Establishing a budget, keeping on track with it, and keeping a record of all of your expenses is the real solution for rebuilding and repairing your credit once it has been damaged. Don’t be tempted to file for bankruptcy; you will only ruin your chances for the future. Even the solution of a debt consolidation loan will only add more and continued debt burden. You have to pay interest on the loan, and you will just be worried about making it until it is finally paid off. The best solution is to save your way out of debt. It is a much better idea to keep track of your expenses so you know what you are spending your money on and then you can eliminate unnecessary expenses and start to save.

A small first investment you might want to make is a software program that will assist you in budgeting and saving. By making it easier to keep track of things, this small expenditure will save you a lot in the long run. The first thing you need to do is establish a budget. A software program will ask you all the questions you need to establish a budget. By answering the questions, the program will put all of your income and expenses in the correct categories and show you what you have leftover. You can also do this on your own, by using a form where you write all of your income on one side and all of your expenses on the other. Each week write down what you spend on each item, how much you put in your savings account or retirement fund, taxes, etc. Record your earnings and track how much you have left. If you see that each week you have nothing left to pay an essential bill, you will have to change your payment system. Each week as you pay your bills, try to make as large a payment as you can on each of your necessary bills, such as rent or mortgage, electric, water, phone, etc. Then you have to survive on what is left by cutting back on non-essentials. You may have to stop going to the movies for a while and just rent inexpensive ones from the library. You may have to cut back eating out. Next, examine all of your essential bills to see how you can save money there. If you start to limit the phone calls your family makes, if you make sure to turn off lights and stop wasting water, you can probably save a lot of money. Making these cutbacks and sacrifices will pay off big if you can catch up on all of your bills. You will not even remember which movies you missed while you were putting money away to pay off all of your bills.

Another way to handle this problem is to make a survival budget. What is the absolute minimum you and your family need to survive? Cut every expense down to its lowest, like budget meals every night, no entertainment except whatever is free, basic water, basic T.V. cable, basic telephone. Follow this survival budget for a few months and you will be shocked at how much extra you will have to pay off your bills and debts. Certain items are important to keep up, such as health insurance and your rent or mortgage, so you don’t end up with no roof over your head or medical bills you can’t pay. But everywhere you can cut back, you should. Any savings can be applied to catch up on bills or debt.

The other side of the equation to look at is your income side. Can you ask for a raise, or can you find a better paying job, or perhaps you can find a second job? Find any way you can (any honest way, that is!) to increase your income while you cut down on your expenses, and you will repair your credit before you know it.

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