Feeling defeated after taking inventory of your current financial situation is normal. It is difficult to separate ‘your wants’ from ‘your needs’; and it is common for family members to disagree when performing this exercise together. You may choose to create your own list before sitting down to compare with your significant other. You will get the greatest results, and rewards, if you are completely honest with yourself during this process.

Your needs are items such as shelter, food, clothing, transportation, utilities and other essential services. Review these items to see if there are cheaper alternatives. Clothing is a necessity, but designer clothing is a luxury. Eating at home or packing a lunch is a cheaper option than eating at a restaurant. Every category should be reviewed for savings.

The line between your wants and your needs becomes fuzzy. You may need a telephone, but all of the extra features are an extra cost that is not necessary. Those who are extremely focused on having no more debts will attack this list very aggressively. Cable and internet are examples of items that we could live without, but many of us would not sacrifice.

The reality is, if you have high unsecured debt with a low income, and you are only affording the minimum monthly payment, you may never be debt free. Many people believe that bankruptcy is their only option, but most often there are several viable alternatives.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with your financial situation you should seek information from a local professional in the debt industry. Clients leave my office feeling empowered with factual information about how each of their debt relief options will affect them. They also leave with restored hope that they have the ability to change their financial direction.

~Charlie Peet~