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Cutting down consumer debt and getting out of financial ruin

Many states around the country are recovering from the recession, with the job market starting to pick up and consumers able to afford to spend a little more. But Florida is one of the areas whose residents continue to struggle with ongoing financial challenges. The Corporation for Enterprise Development ranked Florida number 47 in terms of economic recovery. The group gave Florida Ds in the categories of financial assets and income, business and jobs, and housing and homeownership.

With a great number of people still losing jobs in our state, many of them only one or two paychecks away from homelessness, we might think it's impossible to get out of a financial mess. One woman described her efforts to turn her family's situation around, after her debt from mortgage and credit cards was becoming overwhelming.

The woman says her family owed more on their house than what it was worth, and also had too much car and credit card debt. She and her husband decided to take some steps to get them onto more stable financial ground. They lived on only her husband's income while paying off their debt with her paychecks, and paid down their mortgage until they were no longer underwater. Realizing the importance of saving for retirement and having a backup savings plan, they started putting money into their IRA accounts for both purposes.

Everyone can benefit from saving money, paying down their debt, and only spending what they can afford. However, consumer debt can still be overwhelming for many people. A bankruptcy attorney will be able to discuss other options to help people in financial trouble come up with ways to become more secure.

Source: Yahoo! Finance, "First Person: We Were Living on the Edge of Financial Collapse," Laura Quinn, May 23, 2013

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