Medium Term

  • Avoid using credit cards.

    The only way to get rid of credit card debt for good is to stop using credit cards. There is no way around it; you must put them away until you are debt free. Cash only.

  • Be aware of things that DON'T affect your credit score

    Employment history, interest rates on your debt, the amount you have in the bank, your age and where you live are all irrelevant to your score.

  • Be aware of things that DON'T affect your credit score

    Employment history, interest rates on your debt, the amount you have in the bank, your age and where you live are all irrelevant to your score.

  • Be honest about the areas where you're spending more than you thought

    Most people find their weaknesses to be dining out, entertainment or clothing. Many also find that the expenses that are squeezing them are things they should be planning ahead for, such as holidays, weddings and other gift-giving and travel-heavy occasions. These are the areas where you should cut back or better plan for.

  • Brainstorm approaches that might work for you

    There are many ways to combine money: going "all in" and just having one account that you both use; keeping your money completely separate and dividing shared bills fairly; opening a joint account for shared expenses but keeping separate accounts for personal spending; the list goes on. The important thing is to determine what will work best for your relationship.

  • Calculate how much you will need in order to retire

    Retirement may be decades off, but you can still get a ballpark idea of how much you'll need using your current lifestyle expenses as a starting point.

  • Consider community college for your basic credits

    It really doesn't matter where you earn your basic credits, so you might consider earning them at a much less expensive community college. Just make sure the credits will transfer to the university from which you plan to graduate.

  • Correct any errors you found on your credit report

    If there are accounts you don't recall opening or unpaid bills that have been paid, take the steps needed to clear them up.

  • Correct any errors you found on your credit report

    If there are accounts you don't recall opening or unpaid bills that have been paid, take the steps needed to clear them up.

  • Determine an amount to start saving

    Figure out how much you can afford to set aside, with the 20 percent rule as an ultimate goal amount.