Libra (September 23 - October 22)
People born under the sign of the Scales could use a practical way to deal with debt. Planting a garden is a cheap, easy way to cut your grocery bills in half. Understanding the difference between necessities and luxuries can also help. You might try creating a budget that includes allocations for food, utilities, rent and credit card debt, then adding in a small allowance for splurges. Treating yourself to an appointment at the hair salon once a month could offset all of the deprivations associated with paring down debt. If you're drowning in debt, this could be a good time to downsize. Moving to a smaller place can prompt you to get rid of a lot of possessions you don't really want or need, and reduce your rent or mortgage bill.
Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)
Scorpions are wonderful at ferreting out important information. The fastest way for you to get out of debt is to do some research. You might try finding a credit card with the lowest possible interest rate, then transferring all of your balances to that card -- then this debt could be paid off by paying more than the minimum monthly payment. If you can only pay the minimum amount, dividing that sum in half and then paying that amount twice a month can be helpful. By making payments every two weeks you can reduce your average daily balance, thereby whittling down the total amount you owe by a small but significant amount. In the event you can't transfer all of your credit balances to one card, you could try closing out your newest accounts first to improve your credit history and speed you on the road to financial security.
Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)
Archers love their independence. When you get into debt, you become sad and despondent. That's why paying down your bills could be critical to your success. One of the fastest ways to attain financial freedom is to get the whole family involved by assigning each member of your household a money-saving task, like clipping coupons, planning inexpensive meals, turning off unused lights and doing chores that you would ordinarily hire someone else to do. If you're on your own, turn expense cutting into a game. Pull out your four most recent credit card statements and circle the charges that weren't necessities. Then, try vowing to eliminate these costs, at least for the next four weeks. If you have any monthly expenses like cable, phone and Netflix bills, see if you can downgrade your packages in an effort to save money. With every expense you pare down, you can become more empowered and less obligated to creditors.
Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)
Goats love a challenge, and one of the biggest is attaining financial freedom. Ironically, one of the fastest ways to set up a nest egg is one of the easiest: automated payments. By having a set portion of your paycheck automatically allocated into an IRA or 401K account, you can save money without ever being tempted to spend it. Setting yourself up for automated credit card payments is also a good idea, as it can prevent you from being slapped with costly late fees. When it comes to prioritizing bills, it's wise to pay off the credit card with the highest interest rate first, then move on to the one with the next highest rate. Every time you pay off a credit card, you might close that account until you have only one low-interest card. This could enable you to maintain a healthy credit rating.
Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)
The Water-bearer isn't a particularly materialistic sign. Attaining financial freedom allows you to focus on the people and activities that give you pleasure. Therefore, it's important to set financial goals, even if you hate thinking about money. First and foremost, you need to get out of debt. You might try contacting the Consumer Credit Counseling Service for help; it's a nonprofit agency that can help you prioritize your bills and consolidate your debts. Next, you could try opening a savings account and contributing a set percentage of your earnings into this fund on a regular basis. Creating good savings habits should make you value your money more, as well as the hard work it requires to earn it. Last but not least, you could create a fund for a big dream, like buying a home or traveling abroad. It's easy to stay the course when you're moving toward a specific goal.
Pisces (February 19 - March 20)
Fish have a tendency to spend lavishly on their loved ones. The sooner you learn to stop buying people's affection, the healthier your financial situation should become. Instead of buying lavish gifts on credit, try making them with your own two hands. Rather than springing for dinner at a fancy restaurant, why not host a potluck dinner at home? When it comes to credit card debt, you could transfer your balance to a low-interest card, and be ready to switch again when the reduced rate is up. Mark it on your calendar, if you need to. Getting out of debt means being proactive, though. Once you take control of your finances, your self-esteem will soar. Pretty soon, you'll be lobbying for a promotion, applying for high-paying jobs and raising your rates. Remember, the most financially successful people are the ones that demand what they are worth!
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