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Get debt under control for the upcoming year

Are you ready to get your debt under control for the new year? Tired of dealing with creditor harassment? While many people are thinking about what kind of resolutions they will be making for next year, one of the best things you can do for yourself is get your finances in order.

At whatever point you are at in your finances, there are steps you can take to get back on track. Let's start with a worst-case scenario. If you are swimming in debt over your head, have creditors harassing you or threatening legal action or are about to lose your home to foreclosure, bankruptcy may be an option for you.

Bankruptcy is not a bad thing. It can give you debt relief, allowing you a fresh start. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can sometimes eliminate all of your unsecured debts, and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you reorganize your debts into an affordable payment plan. You should speak with a bankruptcy attorney to see which is right for you.

If your finances are not in bad enough shape to warrant a bankruptcy, resolve to do some budgeting and financial planning that will allow you to pay off existing debt and save some money. Invest in your future. Below are some things you can do to work towards freeing up some cash and becoming more financially secure.

See if you can save some money on your insurance plans; this includes health insurance, car insurance, or home insurance. Higher deductibles can save you money on your premiums. For instance, if your car insurance has a $250 deductible, consider putting an extra $250 back for emergencies and raise the deductible to $500. Your premiums should go down.

Prepare ahead for tax time. Pay your taxes on time to avoid penalties and talk to your tax professional about what you can do to ensure you don't owe next year. If you are getting a refund, consider investing it in your future, either in stocks, bonds or your retirement account.

Make sure you have a budget that is detailed enough to include all of the extras you spend during the year. You may have to track your spending patterns. This takes time, but it will give you peace of mind when you are done. You will have a blueprint to keep you on track and help you meet your goals.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, "4 Simple Things to Do Every Year to Save Money" Adam Levin, Nov. 08, 2013

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