Debt mounting? Stop spending and merge bills

The Ticker

November 14, 2001|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

FIRST THE market - and your portfolio - nose- dived," says Financial Planning Perspectives. "Then the economy softened, then came Sept. 11, then you lost your job.

"Many Americans are experiencing something they haven't suffered with for a long time - financial tough times and increasing debt."

How do you get out of mounting debt? The newsletter suggests:

"Stop the bleeding; cut spending. This is tough because one thing most consumers like to do is - spend. ...

"Stay away from credit cards, the biggest cause of debt problems. Switch debts on expensive cards onto a single card with a lower rate. ...

"Also, consolidate debts, talk to your creditors and look for ways to boost income - a raise, a second job, a better job, etc."

SOUND THINKING: "Forget running to cash. You'll be sorry. Fleeing stocks is the predictable response to disturbing news, but it is almost always the wrong move. Markets shoot up sharply when least expected." (David Dreman, money manager, in Forbes, Oct. 29)

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