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5 simple steps to eliminate debt and create financial success.

How to Eliminate Debt
When you hear the phrase, turn up, I am sure you do not associate it with personal finance.


Personal finance is a simple topic that often ruins your buzz because you assume it needs to be simplified. Achieving your financial goals is easy when you follow a proven plan for success.


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How to eliminate debt and ensure a guaranteed turn-up in your financial life


Know where your money went.

When did you last look at your banking statement to understand your spending habits? Categorize your spending for one month (e.g., rent/mortgage, car payment, eating out, gas, utilities, groceries, retail therapy, etc.) to uncover opportunities to decrease spending.


Create and follow a spending plan.

Could you give every dollar flowing through your household an assignment? When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Money only does what you tell it to do.


Determine why you need to save

If you do not have money in your emergency fund today, it will not magically appear a month from now if you do not change your behavior. At some point shortly, an emergency you did not expect will occur that will cost money. Why not save an extra $50 to $100 monthly to avoid financial pain later?


Reduce or eliminate debt.

Debt is one of the most significant barriers to creating a stable financial future. Would you believe credit card debt in America at the end of 2016 was approximately $999 billion? If you believe a credit card is what you use in cases of emergency, WAKE UP! Cash is king! While creating your spending plan, could you pay extra on your smallest debt until it is gone? Remember to make sure your emergency fund is in place first. Please repeat this process every month until you are satisfied with your progress.


Could you clean up your credit report?

Visit Annual Credit Report to retrieve a copy. You are entitled to one FREE report every 12 months from each of the three major bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax). Learn to resolve your disputes for FREE. If raising your score is a concern, try these simple tips:


You can pay down your balance.

It is not how much you owe; it’s your utilization ratio. The music is too loud. My what? If you have a $1,000 credit card limit and the balance owed is $500, your utilization ratio is 50%. Aim for 30% or less.


Pay twice a month

Suppose you max out your credit limit every month to earn rewards. In that case, the credit card company probably reports your utilization ratio as 100%, although you may be paying your balance in full.


Negotiate outstanding balances

If, for example, you had a $5,000 debt and suddenly came into $2,500 (e.g., income tax refund check), your lender may settle for this amount. Before you send any money, could you get the agreement in writing? Refrain from being surprised when you receive Form 1099-C (cancellation of debt) in the mail from your creditor since forgiven debt ($600 or more) is considered income by your friends at the IRS.


Related Article: Tips to make you feel rich and protect your mental health


How to Eliminate DebtYou already have everything you need. There are a few financial secrets that you do not already know.   Since you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide, the only other skill you have to master is controlling your behavior and emotions. That is the most significant factor when learning how to eliminate debt.


The next time you consider purchasing, pause and ask yourself a question. Will this move me toward or away from my goals? Never make an impulse purchase that may haunt you for months.


Related Article: Money saving travel tips


Hopefully, by now, you are in complete turn-up mode and saying, This is my jam. I hope that you have hired a babysitter. Don’t worry! Your children can get their groove on with this one financial tip: Eliminate allowance, and use commission.


Could you create a chart that lists weekly household responsibilities (e.g., taking out the trash, washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, etc.) and a respective pay scale that you decide? Let your child experience what it is like to work for money instead of being given a sum of money regularly (i.e., allowance), which can produce laziness.


Do you need more information on how to stay away from financial stress?  Al Riddick’s book The Uncommon Millionaire can be purchased at select Kroger stores.


Related Article: Check out the Game Time Budgeting business listing



About the author, Al Riddick


Al Riddick
Al Riddick

Al is founder and president of Game Time Budgeting, an award-winning financial fitness company that assists others in developing behaviors to improve their short- and long-term financial outcomes. For over a decade, Al and his wife, Lesia, have been living debt-free after eliminating $150,000 of financial obligations.


As a highly sought-after speaker, Al delivers passionate and inspiring presentations that educate audiences about saving more, spending wisely and maximizing their financial potential. Al has been featured in Black Enterprise and Money magazines, on radio and ABC, CBS and NBC affiliated television stations. His book, The Uncommon Millionaire: Financial Success Begins with Behavior, was published in 2016.



The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job posting, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.


Images provided by Adobe Stock and Al Riddick

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Written by Crystal Kendrick

Crystal Kendrick is the publisher of The Voice of Black Cincinnati. With a vision to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans in the region, Crystal oversees all content creation and publication, ensuring each piece aligns with the outlet's mission to inform, engage, and inspire. A lifelong advocate for community engagement and empowerment, Crystal's leadership steers The Voice of Black Cincinnati toward being a pivotal platform to find community resources, local Black-owned businesses, culturally relevant events, jobs with equal opportunity employers and scholarship for higher education. Connect with Crystal on LinkedIn to explore her experiences and contributions to Cincinnati's media landscape.