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Click here to grab your free LEGO Magazine subscription.

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Debt is a major problem in today’s world. It’s easy to get so far into debt that it seems like your every move is blocked by an insurmountable wall. But with the right plan, the right mindset, and a little bit of work you’ll be able to break that wall into smaller chunks and before you know it you’ll be on the other side…debt free!

The first thing you should do is sit down and size up your situation so you can figure out exactly how much debt you’re in and where all of your money is going. This is a vital step that you can’t afford to skip.

People who skip this step are missing the point…no matter how good their intentions are they will just never break the cycle of debt. You see your debt is about more than just dollar signs and interest rates. Your debt is about you. Your desires, your temptations, your weaknesses. In order to truly understand your debt you must first understand yourself.

There’s an old episode of The Honeymooners where lovable loser Ralph Kramden vows to transform himself into a success. He understands that there are certain qualities all successful people have in common, so he sits down to size himself up and he makes a list of all his strengths and weaknesses.

You’re going to do the same thing except instead of strengths and weaknesses you’re going to list all of your income and expenses. Just grab two pieces of paper and get started. On the first piece list your monthly salary and any other income you receive from interest, divorce settlements, part-time jobs, and anything else that generates income.

On the second sheet write down all of your expenses. Include your mortgage, rent, car payments, insurance, student loans, credit cards, utilities, and any other payments you must make each month.

What we’re trying to do is figure out exactly where your money is going. You need to total up all of your income and all of your expenses. Then subtract your total expenses from your total income. Hopefully you’ll have a nice amount of money left over which we can then use to form a debt reduction plan to start paying down your debt.

If your expenses are higher than your income it means you’re actually spending more than you are bringing in. This is a dangerous situation and if you don’t resolve it quickly you’ll only dig yourself deeper and deeper into debt. You need to take a close look at your expenses to see where you can cut back, and it wouldn’t hurt to pad your income a little with a part-time job until you get out of the red.

So there’s your assignment for tonight. Draw up a nice list of your income and expenses and jot down some ideas for cutting down your expenses a bit. You may be shocked when you see where all of your money is going.

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Steer Clear: What to Avoid to Save on Your Cell Bill

February 26, 2014

Tweet Money is tight for just about everyone right now, barring the cell phone company CEOs who are raking in more money than they know what to do with because you’re paying too much on your cell phone bill. Sometimes bills are inevitable to avoid, but there’s an answer to the question on everyone’s mind –how do I […]

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5 Ways to Save $50-plus Per Month

June 4, 2013

Tweet David Bakke constantly searches for new ways to save money and shares his findings on the personal finance blog, Money Crashers. Show me a bunch of ways to save $10 per month, and I won’t be too interested. Explain to me how to save $25 a month, and my eyebrows might rise a tad. […]

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What is Superannuation?

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Tweet A girl I used to work with moved to Australia a few years ago and she recently came back to the US to visit her family. While she was in town I met her for lunch at the same old diner we used to eat at when we worked together. While Elaine and I […]

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10 Ways To Cut On Energy Costs At Home

May 14, 2013

Tweet When it comes to reducing energy costs, little gestures can go a long way. By apply these 10 simple tricks at home, you will shrink your energy bill, all the while doing something good for the planet! 1. Fight the Phantom Load! You probably think that your TV, DVD, computer, microwave and other appliances […]

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Saving in the City: Ways to Lower Mortgage Costs in an Urban Area

April 9, 2013

Tweet When the economy takes a nosedive and the unemployment rate remains at all-time highs, homeowners begin to scramble to look for real ways to lower their mortgage costs. Before refinancing a home, homeowners often search for other avenues of cash to help with mortgage cost such as increasing savings, applying for loans, or pursuing […]

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Should You Use a Realtor or Sell Your Home Yourself?

November 27, 2012

Tweet When you’re selling your home you want to try and get as much money as possible.  You also want to minimize your expenses, which means you may be tempted to sell your home without the aid of a realtor and his 6 percent commission.  After all, if the house sells for $300,000 giving up […]

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Four Things First Time Home Buyers Don’t Always Consider

November 21, 2012

Tweet For millions of people, buying a house is like a dream come true.  They imagine themselves sitting in their backyard drinking cocktails with their friends while the kids play on the swing set and nothing could be better. But for all too many people the house becomes like a noose around their neck.  Usually […]

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Namecheap Coupon Code September 2012

September 4, 2012

Tweet If you’re looking to register a new domain then i highly recommend using Namecheap.  I use Namecheap for all of my domain registrations because I like the easy to use interface and customer service is top notch. Plus, for the month of September you can use the promo code below to receive discounts on […]

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