Saving Isn’t Just About Spending Less, It’s About Spending Smarter

Earlier this year, a poll found that 32 percent of Americans believe spending less has become their normal, permanent behavior.

Cheap chains like McDonald's, Wal-Mart and dollar stores have been thriving. There's even been talk that our generation will be penny-pinchers just like our grandparents and great-grandparents who lived through the Great Depression. If there's a silver lining to the recession, it's that saving money is cool again.

So with this newfound respect for frugality, you'd think most of us would be out of financial trouble by now. But it's not that easy. Yes, buying less - and buying cheaper - certainly helps your wallet. But if you're dealing with a lot of debt, simply spending money isn't going to be enough. You're going to have to spend smarter.

What do I mean? Let's say you've made some major budget changes in order to make ends meet. Maybe you've reduced gas costs by carpooling or taking public transit on occasion. Maybe you've switched to some generic brands or a cheaper supermarket to save on groceries. Maybe you've eliminated some of the little extras you don't need - i.e., the cable, the coffee, the new clothes. Good for you! But let's say you're still paying just the minimum on your $10,000 credit card debt.

Even though you're saving money, you're going to be paying interest on your debt into the indefinite future. And if you continue to use those credit cards, your balance - and interest - is only going to get bigger. If you really want to free up money, your best bet is to put your newfound savings to work for you - by paying down your debts.

If you like to avoid thinking about your debt because you think paying it off is impossible, then think again. The government has given you the tools you need to eliminate your financial obligations - all you need to do is file for bankruptcy. As soon as you file, bankruptcy legally protects your assets from creditors while you work out a plan to eliminate your debt in its entirety. Imagine - finding financial freedom with Uncle Sam on your side.

To discover a bankruptcy plan that's right for you, try our free one-on-one debt analysis - an hour-long session with an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney at no cost and no obligation. A free opportunity to find out how to free up your finances? You can't spend much smarter than that.

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