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5 ways to cut debt this July

If you are facing a high amount of debt, one of the first things you can do is take action to stop accruing more debt. Here are five ways you might be able to cut some debt accrual in the next month.

First, stop using credit cards. Cut them up if you have to, or keep an emergency card in a secure location at home. Don't carry your cards with you, because that can lead to impulse buys. If you don't have the ability to pay cash, you might be tempted to swipe because something is on sale or you simply fall in love with it in the store.

Second, take some time to organize your financial records and open every piece of mail you get in a timely manner this month. You could be adding to your debt by missing important notices about balances, interest changes or payments. You might be able to take action on some of these notices to keep your balances down or participate in special offers.

Third, pay your bills on time whenever possible. Avoiding late fees, which can range from $5 to $50 or more depending on the type of bill, is an easy way to reduce your expenses.

Fourth, consider bartering when you want or need something. Friends and family might need something you have to offer, such as a skill or the loan of a special tool, and everyone can meet his or her needs without spending anything.

Finally, opt for low-cost entertainment options throughout July to keep extra charges off your accounts. Enjoy public parks, free parades and city festivals and entertainment offerings from the public library.

Even after taking action to curtail spending, many people are still struggling with looming debt. If you are doing all you can, and it doesn't seem to make a difference, consider contacting a lawyer to discuss options such as bankruptcy.

Source: WebMD, "Your Debt-Reduction Checklist," accessed June 24, 2016

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