Establishing yourself as an adult can be an expensive endeavor. You are paying for rent, a car, your education, and any other expenses that come your way. If you aren’t careful with your finances, it can be very easy to suddenly find yourself in debt, without the resources to fix your problem. Sometimes, even if you are careful, life can through you a curveball. You may get sick or have an accident that pushes you over the edge. At this point, you need to start focusing on getting your finances in order.

Make a Budget

The first thing that you should do is create a budget. If you already have one, now is a good time to reassess your budget. List all your sources of income and necessary expenses. Make sure you capture all your expenses, even if they seem insignificant. It doesn’t matter what you use for your budget, as long as it is easy for you to keep track. Once you have created your budget, make sure you keep track of what you are spending each day. Planning out your expenses is useless if you aren’t following up on them.

Get Help with Your Credit

If you are being hounded by collectors, it’s time to look for help in managing your debt and back payments. There are a variety of companies that promise to help you manage your debt, but you need to make sure that you choose one that is reliable. There are a lot of companies that promise to reduce your debt, but they actually leave you in a worse situation than before. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling can help you find an agency who won’t take advantage of you and will help you create a plan to manage your debt.

File for Bankruptcy

While this may seem like an extreme option, sometimes it is your best option. Filing for bankruptcy will stop collectors from coming after you and will allow you to make your payments over a longer period of time. There are different kinds of bankruptcy that you can file for, depending on the type of debt you owe. According to Dove Law Firm, chapter 13 bankruptcy is most commonly used when you are behind on your mortgage, car payment, or when you the IRS. Before you declare bankruptcy, make sure you talk to an expert to consider all your options and make sure you are filing for the right kind of bankruptcy.

Consolidate Debt

If you struggle with remembering to make all of your payments on time, then consolidating your debt is a good option. Debt consolidation combines your various credit cards and other unsecured debts into one, meaning that you only have one payment to make instead of three or four at different times. This option actually won’t have a negative effect on your credit score, unless you start missing payments.

It can be overwhelming and frightening to be deeply in debt, but that doesn’t mean that you have to give up. Stop spending more than you need and talk to a counselor about your options.

Author's Bio: 

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.