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: Out-of-Control Spending?

Q.

The Nest Q&A

I can't get my mate to stop spending money! How can I put my foot down?

A.

How serious is the situation? If your spouse is a compulsive spender, they need professional help. But if they simply spend frivolously, you can make changes together. Offer to be a shopping buddy and help figure out ways to avoid unnecessary splurges, whether they're drawn to tech gadgets or clothes. Also track both of your spending habits, big and small, for a few weeks (also a sign of solidarity). Your spouse may not realize how hard they're hitting the bank account until the numbers start adding up.

If none of those things work, it may be time to divide and conquer. Open one bank account for your spouse, another for you, and a third that's joint. Put enough in the joint account to satisfy all of your household expenses and joint savings needs, then divvy up the rest. The idea is to give your partner only as much discretionary cash as they can blow through without dragging your family finances into the gutter.

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

-- The Nest Editors

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