Consumer Law Center of Maryland
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Try These Simple Six Steps to Work on Your Debt

Jar of coins with a savings sign - review tips to get out of debt

If you find yourself staring down an increasing amount of consumer debt, you may be overwhelmed at the prospect of paying it off. Sometimes you need an outside perspective on simple steps you can take to chip away at mounting debt before it grows out of control. Read on to learn about tips to get out of debt, and contact a Maryland consumer lawyer if you’re facing creditor actions and want to know your legal options.

1. Shop smarter

Showing up to the grocery store without a list can result in unnecessary spending on impulse purchases. Write out a list ahead of time, and stick to it (it can help to shop on a full stomach). And, while you may be reluctant to use coupons, they really can make a big dent in your weekly grocery bill. Some stores offer discounts through an app, eliminating the need to cut out paper coupons.

2. Find small side income streams

Consider selling items you no longer use on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You can also try driving for Uber or Lyft in the evenings or on weekends to make a little extra money, or explore other side projects that could bring in extra cash.

3. Eliminate pricey hobbies

Take a long, hard look at the things you do in your spare time, and whether you can truly afford them. You might not be able to go to a fancy gym, play golf, or shop for clothes as often as you once could.

4. Eat in

Preparing your lunches and dinners instead of eating out can save you hundreds of dollars that you could use to keep your debts in check. 

5. Cut the cord

Cable costs more now than ever, despite the fact that nearly anything you could want to see is available to watch online. Your local library probably has a sizeable collection of DVDs that you could rent for free.

6. Try the envelope system

The envelope system is a budget management approach that requires you to use cash to cover certain categories of expenses that can often get out of control, such as entertainment, food, and clothing purchases. At the start of the month, the budgeter puts a certain amount of cash in an envelope labeled with each category of spending, and only uses that cash to make purchases in that category. It’s easier to understand the size of the purchase you’re making when you’re doing it with cold hard cash, and once the money is gone from the envelope for the month, then you’re done spending in that category.

If your consumer debt has grown out of control and you need compassionate and effective legal help getting back on track, contact a Maryland bankruptcy lawyer at Haeger Law for a free consultation at 888-463-3520.