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On a side note, should I try to decrease my rent? I could room with another to decrease it or even get a double and rent it out - or that's probably not a good idea?

At this point, that's a sideshow. The first thing you need to do is TRACK EVERY PENNY YOU SPEND!

Everything else comes later in the process.

When I say track every penny, I mean record spending when you spend it. That means if you're using a credit card, the money is spent when you charge something. When you pay the credit card bill, that's not spending; that's sending money that has been temporarily in your custody to its rightful owner.

Many people spend without thinking and without remembering. Tracking helps the memory, and creates records for later if the memory is still weak. Recording helps with thinking about spending. You might catch yourself deciding not to buy something because you have to record the purchase and that's more trouble than the purchase is worth. You know what? When that happens, you just found something that you formerly spent money on for no good reason. It didn't give you enough pleasure to be worth recording what you were doing.

Recording is also a good defense against marketing. People who don't pay attention end up buying stuff because marketing convinces them to spend money on stuff they don't need and don't really enjoy. Recording brings that decision into the forefront of the mind. You record the purchase, and you think about why you're buying it.

Every time you do this, you should be asking yourself, "Is this necessary? If it's not necessary, do I want it bad enough to pay interest on it? Do I want it bad enough to be that much farther from eliminating my debt?"

Those thoughts need to happen at the decision point. Once the bill arrives, it's too late. Your only choice then is to pay the bill in full, pay it partially and pay interest, or default on it and have other problems as a result.

Stop looking for a magic bullet. Magic bullets don't exist. What you need is an attitude of controlling and reducing spending, in order to be out of debt.

Either that, or an attitude that it's okay to be in debt because you want what you want now, and it's okay to be in poverty when you retire because having what you want now is more important to you.

The choice is yours.

Patzer
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