More Chicago Shoppers Making Frugal Choices to Lower Debt

It wasn't long ago that Americans worried about keeping up with the Joneses. But those days might finally be behind us, according to the Associated Press.

This holiday season, more middle-class folks are doing what they once vowed they'd never do - shopping at thrift stores for gifts, buying generic brands for the Thanksgiving table, using layaway rather than credit cards and even - gasp! - eating the occasional fast food meal. In other words, we've gone frugal. And it's paying off, say Chicago bankruptcy attorneys.

If you're deep in debt, you have two choices. You can opt to do something about your problem, or you can deny that you're in trouble, hoping for a financial miracle to bail you out, while meanwhile you live the same life with the same expenses - ringing up infinitely more debt in the process. Sound familiar? It's what many folks did at the start of the Great Recession.

But by and by, millions of us have come to accept that times have changed. As the article explains, we're now okay with sometimes admitting "I can't afford it." And that little shift in behavior has had drastic effects. By swapping name brands for store products, we're getting the same goods but in different packaging - and a far lower price. Goodwill offers many items available elsewhere at 20 percent of the price. And while we all know that eating too much fast food isn't healthy, splurging on pricey restaurant meals isn't either - at least not for our bottom lines. A willingness to make these changes is one of the reasons consumer debt is at the lowest level it's been in years.

Obviously, making frugal choices isn't going to erase your debt overnight. But saving money is a big step in the right direction. If you can lower the cost of your lifestyle, you might be able to pay off more of your debt each month - meaning you'll owe less interest and credit card bills down the road. And if you can't get the ball rolling on your own? Bankruptcy can be a great way to get started. Find out if a bankruptcy plan is the fresh financial start you need when you try a free personal debt analysis with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney. So you can stop worrying about money and focus on what truly matters - friends, family, and, in six weeks, starting a new year off on the right financial foot.

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