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Place your debt on a diet

By Kemberley Washington · Bankrate.com
Friday, October 4, 2013
Posted: 3 pm ET

Recently, I decided it was time to get my credit card balances to zero. It felt like one of those impossible dreams that lingered in my head. But I was determined.

How I did it

I first wrote every credit card debt and small loan balance on a debt-reduction template I created. From there, I divided every balance by 12 to determine the amount I would need to pay monthly to bring the balances to zero.

Next, I had to get creative. I thought of clever ways to earn money. This included money earned from self-employment, hobbies and other sources of income. For each month, I created expected additional streams of income that I fully committed to reducing my debt.

Throughout my debt-reduction plan, I abided by my "just say no" policy. This simply meant I said no to incurring additional debt, and pledged to live within my budget while reducing spending on items I really didn't need.

Keep going

Wherever I went, I kept my template with me throughout the entire process. This served as a reminder to stay on course. When I was tempted to purchase a new handbag or a new pair of shoes, I was reminded that within a few months, I would have a zero credit card balance.

The process was challenging. At times, I was unable to pay down the amount of debt I had committed to on paper. However, these were minor setbacks. Eventually, I paid off my debt, and few things can compare to the feeling of being debt-free.

So, if you are at a point where enough is enough, this plan may work for you.

Kemberley Washington is a CPA and professor at Dillard University. Visit her blog at Kemberley.com. Follow her on Facebook or connect with her on Twitter: @Kemwashcpa. Like, love, tweet or share this post!

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