Dealing with debt can be overwhelming, no matter the size of that debt. Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to reduce or even eliminate your debt and your stress.

1. Make a budget.

This sounds simple enough, but most people do not utilize this tool to track their spending. Instead, they rely on their memory or digital banking without corroborating with a balanced checkbook. Making a budget is important, as you may not be fully aware of where your money is actually going until it is fully mapped out for you. Remember: Little things add up! Cut out any unnecessary expenses until your bills are paid. A budget will help you find areas where you can spend less to catch up on your bills and/or payments. There are many free budget-planning resources to help you along the way.

2. Start paying off your high-interest debt first.

This will help you reduce your overall debt faster. When possible, pay more than the minimum payment to reduce incurred interest.

3. Make a plan to pay back credit card debt.

Reach out to the bank that issued your credit cards to see what options are available to help you get back on track with your payments. In some cases, you can negotiate a payment plan in which interest or penalties are halted for a period of time. Do this before you are sent to collections!

4. Consider seeking professional help.

Contacting a financial advisor or credit counselor can also be beneficial, and remember that nonprofit credit counselors are out there. When in doubt you should speak with a qualified bankruptcy attorney. An attorney will help you find the best path towards becoming debt-free.

It is always a good idea to hope for the best, but plan for the worst when planning your finances. The Law Office of Daniela Romero has been helping people get out of debt and move on with their lives for years. Book a free consultation for more information.