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The word debt casts such a dark shadow in our minds. Finances are not only vital to supporting our lifestyles now, but they are necessary in order to fund our future endeavors. It is also important that we have some level of a security net to help us cover those unpredictable financial emergencies that can arise.

No one ever plans to be in debt. It is something that happens when we are not mindful of our spending habits and spend money above our means. Unfortunately, it is quite easy to succumb to debt. Spending money is very easy to do – and often quite fun. Making unnecessary purchases and funding frivolous ventures is an easy way to deplete your bank accounts. That is, however, not to say that all individuals in debt got there by being careless with their money. For example, even an entrepreneur who carefully builds a business and takes caution in strategizing for success may still find themselves in debt.

Whatever your situation, here are a few habits that will help to get you out of debt:

Stop spending more money.

You are in debt because you have spent money beyond your means, so the only way that you can make an impact on your current financial situation is to cut back on the money you are spending so as not to put yourself deeper into debt. You can’t make progress paying off debt if you continue adding to what you already owe.

Don’t only make the minimum payments.

Start dedicating more money to your monthly payments. Paying the minimum is tempting because it is a lower amount, but that only means that it is going to take you that much longer to pay off. This also increases the amount of interest you will be required to pay, which means that when everything is paid off, you have most likely spent double or even triple than what the original amount was.

If you can, focus your efforts on one particular debt.

If you have multiple debts, it may be impossible to increase your monthly payments towards all of them at the same time. Instead, choose one debt that you will increase payments for every month until it is paid off while still paying the minimum – or a little more if your budget allows for it – towards your other debts.

Consider credit card debt settlement.

This is not viewed as the most desirable way to get out of debt, but it is definitely an option. You can work with your creditors to formulate a deal where you can pay a larger amount towards your debt that is less than you originally owed and they will cancel out the rest of your debt.