The search engine Ask.com recently released Top Questions in 2009 from Ask.com – a list of the most popular queries over the past year. Care to take a peek into the mindset of America? Of course you do!
Without further ado, the two most pressing questions propelling Americans’ online research in 2009 were:
1. How much should I weigh?
2. How do I get out of debt fast?
The Answer: How much should you weigh?
While the Body Mass Index (BMI is not a fail proof system for determining how much you should weigh, it can offer you a pretty good indication of whether you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese based off a calculation of your current weight and height.
The Answer: How do you get out of debt fast?
You can’t. Sorry, sad but true.
You didn’t get into debt overnight, and you can’t snap your fingers and make debt disappear. Like a crash diet, taking radical measures to eliminate weight (or debt) only hurts you in the long run.
You can, however, get out of debt the smart way.
Getting out of debt is a matter of making more money than you spend and allocating the extra funds to paying off outstanding balances. This process isn’t necessarily fast, but it is possible by following these steps:
Stop using credit. Seriously, just stop. You can’t borrow your way out of financially difficulty and by charging up your credit card, you will only be digging a deeper hole. (And don’t even try using the holidays as an excuse to charge gifts. Regifting is in and you should try it!)
Create a budget. Tracking your spending and creating a personal budget is the best way to know exactly where your every cent is spent. Allocate funds for necessities like rent, food, and bills. Then, try to put what’s leftover into savings.
Assess your debt. Gather all of your statements and find out whom you owe, how much you owe, and what interest rates you are paying. Being well informed about your financial situation now will help you take control of your financial future.
Contact your creditors. Many creditors are willing to talk with consumers who are facing temporary setbacks to work out a plan for repayment. Being open, honest, and communicative with your creditors is the best way to find a solution that works for both of you.
Remember, you aren’t alone in your struggle to get out of debt. There are plenty of online financial resources for you to read and friendly credit counselors who are eager to discuss your options for getting out of debt.