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Steps to find financial health in the New Year

With the New Year's arrival, many Wisconsin residents may resolve to take care of their debts and save more money. This is an admirable goal, and certainly one that can be achieved. However, it often requires extensive planning and sacrifice. We hope that those struggling with debt will find the following tips helpful.

The first step towards financial freedom is to promise one's self that he or she will not acquire new debt. This may be difficult and could mean making sacrifices, but not adding debt is a critical step in finding financial security.

Second, once an individual figures out how much he can pay towards his debts, he should stick to those payments. Getting out of debt takes time, so slow and steady wins the race.

Third, an individual facing debt should rank that debt according either lowest to highest balance or lowest to highest interest rate. By taking one debt at a time is a good way to build motivation and see progress.

Fourth, once smaller debts are paid off, it is time to attack the big debts. Since by this point the debtor has experience clearing debt, the task will not seem as daunting.

Last, once debt it cleared, it is time to celebrate being debt-free.

Though these steps may be helpful, we realize that they are not realistic for everyone. Yet, even those who are unable to pay off their debts have options. Bankruptcy may be a very real route through which these individuals can find debt relief and a fresh financial start. Thus, those who are struggling to dig themselves out from their debt may want to consult an attorney to discover what options are available to them.

Source: The Courier, "Getting out of debt: 6 steps toward financial freedom," Byron Ellis, Dec. 27, 2015

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