Posted: Contributor | August 13, 2014

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Take Charge of Your Finances: Easy Ways to Feel Empowered Despite Your Debt

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If you're struggling with what seems like insurmountable debt, it can be hard to keep your head above water and maintain a positive attitude. However, there are some ways that you can improve your monetary attitude and drastically impact the shape of your future. Instead of feeling guilty about the debt you're in, stay on the bright side with the following tips.

Learn From Your Losses

It can be common to want to indulge in purchasing if you're in serious debt and you don't want to face the music, but the best thing you can do is realize what you've done wrong in the past and work toward fixing it for the future. While it's unlikely that you're going to be able to avoid your past mistakes all of the time, being aware of what led to bad spending habits in the first place will at least help you avoid them more frequently going forward. Feeling guilty about what's in the past will only lead to more indulgence and will not help you fix the problem.

Be Diligent About Tracking Your Expenses

It might seem like watching over your expenses is a waste of time, but just writing down your daily purchases can have quite a marked impact on what you actually spend. As you'll be aware of every penny that you're pulling out of your wallet and you'll have it tracked in one place, it will be easy to spot where you're spending excessively and what your weaknesses are as a spender. Even without a set budget, knowing what you generally spend in a month can effectively limit your daily purchases.

Decide What's Necessary and What's Not

Some of the biggest problems when it comes to consumer debt are mistaking something that you want as something that you really need and believing that any purchase is reasonable as long as you have the funds for it. As Edgar Dworsky of Consumerworld.org says, "Just because you make a good salary, or just got a raise, doesn't mean you should spend it all." While it may be more common in our culture to think we should spend all our money, this can lead to the very bad habit of always satisfying your craving and may have you spending even when the funds aren't in the bank.

Contemplate Your Need for Credit

Credit can be great if you're trying to build your credit profile, but if your card has become an excuse to spend money that you don't actually have, you might want to put it on ice or consider cancelling it instead. While not using your credit cards will not necessarily give you the chance to improve your score or diversify your portfolio, it will at least eliminate the ability to spend to excess.

Though having personal debt can seem overwhelming, it's important to surpass your bad habits so you can improve your financial situation. By taking stock of your impulse buys and being aware of what you spend daily, you can put yourself on the path to a better financial situation and a more empowered attitude toward money.

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