One of the tools that I have used to focus on paying of debt has been the website called http://www.Mint.com. It is very useful in many ways. What it allows you to do is to consolidate all of your accounts into one place. This will allow you view what you owe and your debt to income ratio. The program also allows you to plan ahead, such as an emergency fund and how much you have spent on specific things such as eating out or gas. When shown these things it makes it much easier see where your money goes to and the changes that you should or want to make.
When initially subscribing to Mint it will walk you through a series of steps to connect the various bills and accounts that you have. For me I linked my bank account, my credit cards, my auto loan and so on. Then it will ask you if you have any goals you want to reach or if you want to be warned if you are spending to much on gas or fast food. This is determined by you. For instance I wouldn’t spend more then a hundred dollars a month to eat out or 150 for gas. It will send an email or text message to tell you that you are approaching this limit. It may not necessarily stop you from spending this money however it does make you aware of the fact that you are about to spend over your allotted amount. Lastly the Mint product populates the various accounts that you link to eat and you can view in pie graphs where your money is going.
When I initially started using Mint it was a bit of a wake up call to consolidate spending and make a concerted effort to get things under control. It forced me to set goals and work on getting my financial transactions automated and not just leave things to change. Every couple of weeks I check my account and see how are things are going. Mint reassures you that you are doing the right thing and that there are other things that you should be looking into. This would be new credit cards, a different IRA or other future goals such as savings for your child to go college or whether you should be buying bonds. This program is easy to use and would definitely help any person who wants to get their fiscal house in order.