Just Graduated and Starting Out

Just graduated and starting out bloggers examine life after school. Read along as they manage their debt and expenses, while trying to make a living.

What to do when you fall behind…

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Falling behind on your bills is terrible. 

When late fees are added to your regular monthly payment, it puts your finances in the hole, making you feel like you'll never escape. 

I have been there, and knowing that I owed additional money to my creditors made me feel sick and extremely stressed. 

Before it was too late and I wasted hundreds of dollars.  To help me prevent these cycles, I started a system to help me catch up and get back on track. 

This is what has helped me catch up and hopefully avoid falling behind again:

Make a List:  The first thing I did when I began to fall behind and feel overwhelmed was make a list.  I wrote down all of my bills, the due dates, how much I owed, etc.  Once I had the list, I added up my debt and got the exact sum I needed to pay to get out of debt.

Start a Budget:  The next thing I started was a new budget.  I wrote down my pay dates, the amount I was getting paid, and how much I needed for bills that pay period.  If I had money left over, I'd pay an additional amount to one of the bills I was really behind with.    

Pay Online:  I know a lot of people don't like paying their bills online, but I feel it is a much faster and simpler way to pay bills.  If you need until the due date to pay the bill, you can't use the mail, because you'll be charged a late fee.  If you want your bills to be paid on time and need until the last minute to pay them - pay online!

Be Frugal:  When you're in debt you need to be frugal with your spending.  Eat dinner at home, pack your lunch, rent a movie instead of going to the theater, ride your bike to work, etc.  Saving money any way you can will allow you to have more money for your bills.

Consolidate:  If you feel none of the above tips can help you, then consider consolidating your unsecure debt.  Consolidation is way to group all of your bills into one low, monthly payment with a consolidation company, who will in turn pay off your creditors.  Within 5 years or so, you could have all of your unsecure debt paid off.

These are only some of the ways you can get yourself out of debt.  Remember that the sooner you take action to pay off your debt, the less you'll have to pay.  You should always keep an eye on your finances, because it's too easy for them to get out of control.  Knowledge and control are your best teammates when it comes to the fight against debt!

What are some ways you got out of debt?  Please, share with us all of your helpful advice!

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Mary Stolarik

Mary is a contributing writer for the Just Graduated & Starting Out blog. She is a recent college graduate, with an English Writing degree from the University of Pittsburgh - Greensburg, and she's in debt. Mary shares her experiences with job searching, managing her finances on a part-time job, and ways to save money along the way. Compensated CareOne Blogger.

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