Eight simple steps to avoid debt

By your mid-thirties, you are far enough along in life to understand that staying out of debt is a key to your longterm financial health. But have you ever sat down and thought about what, specifically, you need to do to stay debt-free? Here are eight simple steps that will help you. Sarah is 35 and single. She owns a home and lives alone. She is not an extravagant spender. She rarely takes vacations. She always buys a secondhand car. Yet she has trouble staying out of debt, and she has had no success with saving. What can she do to change the pattern? Step 1: Set up a budget. By definition, avoiding debt requires that you spend less than you take in. It is just common arithmetic. But while Sarah knows exactly what her income is—she can recite the amount of her biweekly take-home pay to the penny—she is only vaguely aware of her full range of expenses. Voya’s Home Budget & Savings Calculator can help Sarah understand her monthly expenses by showing her…

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