Being in debt sucks. The stress, living paycheck to paycheck, and always wondering how to get out of debt.

As a CPA, I’ve always learned to budget, save money and live simple.

So I’ll share some tips with you on how to pay off deb when you’re complete broke.

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Take back your power

Find out how much you currently owe. I know it’s not fun but as the saying goes.

What you focus on improves.

Write them down in order of balance owed.

You can use a simple spreadsheet with columns of the debt name, amount owed, interest rate that you’re paying, and minimum amount due each month to keep it current.

Start a Money Making Journal

Using a notebook or ledger on a software program like Excel, and divide it into two sections. The first is for your living expenses such as your utilities, food, etc.

In the second section, make columns for debts and anything you spend money on such as entertainment, haircuts and so on. This will help you keep track of how and where your money is being spent each month. 

Once you see where your money is going, take steps to eliminate unnecessary spending. While you’re cutting back, start putting any extra money that you’re saving toward paying off the existing debt.

Make Extra Payments on Credit Cards

Pay as much extra on the minimum as you can afford each month.

Most people usually start by paying off the one with the highest interest rate, but some financial advisors recommend that you start by paying off the one with the smallest balance. Decide what’s right for you.

Modify Your Mortgage

Ask yourself, “Can I really afford my mortgage?” If you’ve had a reduction in income or an illness that’s caused you to struggle with your mortgage payments, call your mortgage company. 

Many offer what’s called a mortgage modification plan. This modification simply means you may qualify to have the terms of your original loan reworked-resulting in a lowered interest rate and lowered monthly payments. 

You may also need to downsize or get a roommate, or even put a room on airbnb. It doesn’t have to last forever – just until you can get back to a healthy financial bottom line.

Stop ignoring your bills

Sounds simple enough, but some people pile bills unopened and just pay the bill without ever going over the bill itself. Do you pay your cell phone bill without looking at it?

Many people have figured out that they were overcharged not once, but multiple times. Wouldn’t you rather that go in your pocket than the cell phone company’s bank account?

Eliminate unnecessary spending

Sadly, emotional spending leads to more stress from having spent the money!

When you’re upset, don’t look for answers in retail therapy and don’t shop to keep up with friends or family who can afford a higher lifestyle than you can.

If you can’t afford it with cash, don’t buy it. This will help stop credit card purchases and impulse buying. Carry a certain amount of cash with you and leave the ATM card at home – along with the credit cards.

Start a saving account

Put something in savings every payday. Even if it’s only $20. 

When you see the money grow you’ll start to fill more abundant and know that you can make money.

You can get your debt under control just by staying alert to what’s going on and working toward paying it off little by little. Don’t let yourself see the situation as hopeless. There’s help available if you feel lost, confused or frustrated.