Being nearly overwhelmed with debt is an unfortunately common situation to find yourself in today. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and certainly nothing to panic about. Yes, debt is considerably easier to accumulate than it is to get rid of, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to pull yourself out of the hole you’ve dug.

Debt simply means that at some point you spent more money than you had and either took a loan or used a credit card or in some other way borrowed money and now need to pay it back, and getting rid of it really is as simple as paying it back. While that may not seem “simple” at the moment, proper planning make it so quite easily.

The first step to becoming debt free is to establish a proper budget. This means getting a good stock of your total income each month and your total expenses as well. If you find that your expense outweigh your income, there is obviously a problem, and this is probably the source of the bulk of your debt. The next step, then, is to figure out where all your money is going and find the places you can cut back that spending. Trimming down your budget is really not as hard as it may seem, but it may mean giving up some of the luxuries and frivolous spending that you may be accustomed to.

Once you have your budget set up and you have a good grasp of exactly how much money you have coming in above your expenses, you can start looking at paying off your debt. You need to start by figuring out exactly what you owe and how much it is going to cost to pay it all off. If your debt is relatively small, this can be easy.

However, if you have large amounts of debt from multiple sources, it can be tricky to figure out exactly what it will take to get you out of it. Most lenders, though, will be willing to work with you if you come to them with a plan for paying them off and show that you are actually working toward that goal.

Finally, once you’ve paid off all your debt, the trick is to not incur any more. This is really not as difficult as it may seem at the moment. It simply means avoid credit card purchases and loans. It means not buying anything if you can’t pay cash. Debt builds rapidly when the money you borrow comes with a high interest rate, so the trick is to simply stay away from borrowing money as much as possible.

The key, over all, is to just take a calm look at your situation. Most of the time, when you actually lay out the whole situation, you’ll find that it is not nearly as bad as it seems at first. The biggest trick to getting out of debt it to stop the money leak.

Once that’s done it’s easy to get everything paid off, even if you have to do it slowly over time. Then it’s just a matter of maintaining your debt-free status, which shouldn’t be hard with a good budget.

By Jasmina