InCharge Debt Solutions says the answer to debt reduction may be all around you
ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recent surveys show that 50% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck with no appreciable savings, including retirement savings. "Living paycheck to paycheck means committing to a life of work," said Etta Money, president of InCharge Debt Solutions, a financial counseling and education nonprofit. "Savings rates have declined steadily from the 1980s, from 11% to -1% before the financial crisis. Now they hover around 3-4%. Many people can't save, because they are in debt."
Recent research on debt by Pew Health Group and others show that debt held by low income Americans has increased significantly in the past two decades. "Low income families are paying an increasing percent of their income to service their debt, making saving for a rainy day, education and retirement impossible," noted Ms. Money.
On this Labor Day, InCharge Debt Solutions challenges Americans living paycheck to paycheck to give themselves a raise by paying off their debt and building an emergency fund. "Paying off debt is the first step toward financial stability. You can reclaim the 10-40% of hard earned income currently allocated toward monthly payments," offered Ms. Money.
Financial experts at InCharge Debt Solutions have come up with a few tips to help you get your debt under control:
Clean storage closets, garage, and the attic to see what you have that might be attractive to someone else for sale on eBay or a garage sale.
Sell old and broken jewelry. Gold prices are at historic highs.
Electronic equipment always attracts buyers. See if you have any you don't use or are willing to sell.
Bring your lunch to work. You'll quickly realize how much money is saved after one month of "brown bagging." Try putting yourself on a lunch budget whereby you treat yourself one or two times per month.
Avoid paying costly automatic teller machine (ATM) fees by using only your own bank's ATMs, and make sure you're not paying your bank for any fees for services you don't want or need.
Exercise for a healthier body and state of mind. Consistent exercise over time can reduce health-care expenses.
Set realistic goals and use "apps" to track and manage your progress in adding income and reducing expenses.
InCharge Debt Solutions, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides bankruptcy counseling, credit counseling, and housing counseling services to consumers and service members in need of financial literacy education, money management guidance, and help finding the right debt solution for their specific situation.
About InCharge® Debt Solutions InCharge® Debt Solutions is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in personal finance education, housing counseling, bankruptcy services, and credit counseling. Founded in 1997, InCharge interacted with over 1.1 million consumers in 2011 alone. InCharge is affiliated with InCharge® Education Foundation, Inc. (ICEF) which is dedicated to providing educational products, services and research supporting the personal financial literacy of consumers across America. ICEF also provides financial literacy training to servicemembers and their families through MilitaryMoney.com. InCharge is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).