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How can you make small changes to reduce debt?

There are hundreds of ways to reduce your personal debts, but knowing just a few is enough to get you back on track. Whether you owe $3,000 or $30,000, these tips can help you avoid going further into debt and get out of debt quickly.

One of the first things you can do is to try to refinance student loans and shop for better rates on car insurance, life insurance, home insurance, health insurance and other negotiable coverages. Reducing a car insurance bill by even $40 a month helps you take that money and put it on your credit cards or personal debts, reducing them faster than before.

Another thing you can do is to get rid of cable or your phone at home. If you have a cellphone with good service at home, there's no real reason to also have a home phone. Cable is not very expensive, but it does add up. Eliminate these bills until you're back on your feet.

For better rates on gas for your vehicle, try to use rewards programs. Cut down on driving when you can, so you have fewer car-related expenses. If you have any unnecessary expenses, cut them out as well. That daily coffee on-the-go can be made at home and put into a thermos if it's really necessary.

Another way to cut down is to avoid going to movies. Wait until the movie comes out on DVD and then rent it or download it. You'll save a significant amount compared to going to a theater.

Of course, these tips only help if you have unnecessary expenses or have the ability to cut back further. If you don't, and if your bills still overwhelm you, that's when it's time to start considering your legal options.

Source: Becoming Minimalist, "33 Proven Ways to Reduce Personal Debt," accessed March 24, 2017

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