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Strategies for eliminating credit card debt

Wisconsin residents might be interested to know that the average consumer in the United States has about $7,000 in credit card debt. Credit card debt in the $10,000- $20,000 range is not uncommon. While it may seem impossible to get out of debt, paying your way out of debt is not as hard as it seems.

The first step for eliminating credit card debt is to establish and analyze a monthly budget. List all of your regular monthly income and expenses. Determine if you spend more money than you make. If so, you need to cut back on spending so you do not get deeper into debt.

Next, review your monthly bills. Telephone, internet, mobile, satellite and cable services often have money-saving options. Give some deep thought to what is really essential.

Then, it makes sense to get rid of unnecessary purchases. Keep track of your spending for a week to see how much you spend on minor purchases. Pay special attention to entertainment costs. Going out to restaurants, movie theaters and bars frequently adds up to a lot of money. Try to stay motivated, though. If the process of getting out of debt is all about sacrifice and does not involve some fun, you might not stick with it. Set goals and then give yourself a little reward when you meet your goals.

Most people should be able to get out of debt by following these simple steps. Sometimes, however, people face seemingly insurmountable financial problems due to circumstances beyond their control. The loss of a job, a death in the family, medical bills and a number of other misfortunes can make getting out of debt seem impossible. Bankruptcy attorneys specialize in helping these people.

Source: US News, "5 Ways to Reduce Your Credit Card Debt Starting Now", David Bakke, May 31, 2013

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