Smart Card 2Credit: Channel R from Wikimedia Commons

Because of a combination of different factors, many of us today are finding ourselves stuck under a mountain of debt that we just cannot get off of our shoulders. We make all of our minimum credit card payments and yet we find that our balances are not decreasing. Discouragement sets in, and we wonder if anything will ever change.

Yet the majority of us should not fear, for there are a variety of common debt busters that can be used to help us make real headway in lowering and eliminating the sums we owe to other people and institutions. Here are just a few of the steps you can take to clear debts and get back in control of your finances.

Get on a Written Budget

Many of us are not aware of where our money is going. A written budget puts a name to every dollar we spend and helps us have more left over at the end of the month.

Track Your Expenses

This can be done before or after you write your budget, but save your receipts for a month and see where you are spending your funds. Once you see how you have been spending your money, you will probably find ways to cut your expenses and use the money you save to pay off your debt.

Build a Debt Snowball

Pay the minimum amount owed each month on all your debts except the one with the highest interest rate and then pay the minimum plus anything you have that is extra against that particular debt. High interest rates are what keep that mountain of debt from moving, and getting rid of those high interest rate debts first, even if they do not represent the largest debt balances, is a surefire debt buster.

Consider Professional Help

Look into acquiring debt assistance. A debt consolidation service can be one of the most powerful debt busters when it is used properly. There are many fine proft and non-profit services on the market who will be eager to help you fix your debt problems.

Further Tips and Warnings

• To stay out of debt, getting on a written budget is a must. If you do not know where money is going, you will overspend it.

• Be careful of debt consolidation services that want to charge you inordinately high fees. These companies will be worse debt busters than those who do not charge so much.