Atlanta Economy Helps City Earn Place on ‘Most Stressful’ List just came out with its annual list of the most stressful places to live and Atlanta is smack-dab in the middle, thanks to a 25% drop in home values and a 10.7% unemployment rate - a whole percentage point more than the national average.

It's not exactly bad news (hey, we could be at the number-one slot like Chicago), but it isn't good news either. In my opinion, anywhere where people are losing their homes to foreclosure, their jobs to layoffs and their quality of life to the recession is too dang stressful.

But you know what? Regardless of what city - or town - you call home, you have the power to control your stress level. Yes, I realize you can't control all the events in your life - and sometimes job loss, medical emergencies, divorce or other unexpected circumstances take a toll on our finances. But how you handle these events is up to you.

Take your debt, for instance.

Often times, debt is the single most stressful factor in our lives. And for good reason. When you're forking a good chunk of your paycheck over to creditors and lenders every month, there's not much left for the mortgage, gas, groceries, doctor's visits - let alone enough to treat yourself to something fun. But unlike the aforementioned circumstances, debt is something you can control.

If you start paying off your principal today, you'll pay less interest tomorrow. The more of your debt you eliminate, the less you'll have shell out to creditors each month - leaving more money for other necessities. Think your debt burden is too big to handle? Think again. You can eliminate any amount you owe - you just need a good plan.

Budgeting is a classic way to free up the cash needed to start making a dent in your debt. But if you're too overwhelmed to stick to your savings plan, what good is it? You need a time-tested, realistic way to get out of debt - like bankruptcy.

Filing for bankruptcy is often the most effective ways to eliminate financial obligations because it provides a realistic way to pay them off - whether its through an affordable repayment plan, a discharge of your debts or some combination. Wondering if bankruptcy will work for your unique financial situation? No worries - find out for free when you request a complimentary personal debt analysis with one of our Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys.

Because when your debts melt away, your stress will follow.

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