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Lessons of Independence Day applied to financial challenges

Freedom, independence and liberty were widely celebrated throughout America over the recent holiday weekend, and hopefully all of our Escondido readers were able to have a good time with friends and family members. Recognizing the importance of these American principles in the everyday lives of millions of people, a recent article took a somewhat different approach to how they can be implemented to practical effect - through freedom from credit card debt.

Far too many Americans are still dealing with significant financial challenges, even as we are constantly told that the "Great Recession" is over. For many people, credit card debt is the most difficult financial problem they face. So, what recommendations did the recent article have to help people in this type of situation? The article listed five tips.

The first tip is to stop adding to the credit card debt by putting an end to purchases on the cards in question. Although this may seem like an obvious first step, getting into this mindset can be difficult for many people who have come to depend on credit cards.

Next, the article recommended that household budgets need to be re-examined, so that the third step, paying more than the minimum payment, can be implemented next. Freeing up money from even one area of expenses could allow for more funds to be applied toward paying off the debt. When these first three steps are complete, there are two others that need to be considered. One is to see if transferring balances from one card to another could save on the interest rate. The last tip, which may also seem obvious, is also perhaps the hardest in today's economy: find a way to increase income, so that extra funds can be applied toward paying off the debt.

Source: money.usnews.com, "5 Tips to Liberate Yourself From Credit Card Debt," Lindsay Konsko, June 30, 2014

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