how to: get out of debt

If you’re ready to get out of debt and boost your fiscal fitness, you’ve come to the right place. Staring at that huge stack of bills, fielding the unpleasant phone calls -- even just knowing you’re in the red can really drag you down. Luckily, we’re here to help you get back up! We have tons of advice for getting out of debt, including credit card debt help and an easy-to-use debt calculator to help you pay off debt. You’ll also find debt advice on how to renegotiate your credit card debt and ways to improve your credit (even before you’re out of debt!). Not sure where to begin? Why not give our 7 simple steps to getting out of debt at try -- they will definitely help you find your financial footing. Tackling your debt as a twosome? We’ve got plenty of debt advice geared toward couples. Learn about financial basics for newlyweds, including how to choose the right bank and when to merge your accounts. Peek into real couples’ budgets and see how they fixed their finances. And if you’re wondering where to find all that extra money to pay off debt -- don’t worry, we’ve got that covered too. We have debt help and cash-saving secrets from financial pros, and the money tips that spending savvy couples must know -- plus saving secrets from fellow Nesties. Finally, check out our tips to help you stay out of debt for good -- set up a household budget, plan your paychecks, and get credit smart.

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Money Q&A: Emergency Savings?

Q.

The Nest Q&AHow much emergency savings should we have?

A.

The standard recommendation is that you save three to six months’ worth of expenses in an accessible place (though not in the mattress the way your grandpa did). Regardless of who’s still working, you need to save enough to cover several months of your basic survival expenses (food, health care, rent or mortgage, transportation). So if you bring home, say, $5,000 a month but only spend around $2,000, your savings goal should be $12,000 to cover you for six months -- not $30,000 to cover your salaries.

Nestpert Jean Chatzky, a money coach, the financial editor for TODAY, and the author of five books

-- The Nest Editors

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