Get-out-of-debt gurus too often miss the essential truth known to every carpenter.
Measure twice, cut once
Too many trite lists of tips to help you get out of debt miss the vital first step.
Before you choose a get-out-of-debt path, assess your situation.
Until you know how you got into debt, it’s hard to pick the right get out of debt strategy. How big is the problem? Has it been building over time? Or is it traceable to a particular event?
Will small changes in your budget be enough?
In light of your assessment, then look at all of your options.
When you put bankruptcy at the bottom of the list, to be chosen only after everything else has failed, you may spend a lot of time hopelessly floundering. A lot of stress. A lot of cash spent without achieving your goal.
- Measure the size of your problem.
- Inventory the tools you have available.
- Know how long you have to get the job done.
There’s little point in attacking substantial tax debt by cutting out Starbucks. Nor is bankruptcy the right tool for a couple thousand dollars in credit card debt.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to debt. Whip out your financial tape measure, and check the factors that make a difference here.