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What are some ways to save money besides bankruptcy?

If you're ready to reduce your debts, there are many ways to do so. Your attorney can help you file for bankruptcy or work to negotiate new credit terms for you, but there are also other steps you can take to start saving money before reaching that stage.

One thing you can try to save money is to start trading services. Do you know how to cut hair? Are you a good photographer? Instead of charging for your services, trade for goods or services you need. For instance, if you have a plumbing issue in the home, state that you'll take a family's photos for free in exchange for the repair you need.

You can also save money by eliminating things you don't need in the home. Stop paying for expensive cable or telephone lines; you can get a less-expensive TV subscription or use the Internet to watch TV instead. This can save you a significant amount of money, particularly if you have Internet, TV, a home phone and a cellphone. Do you really need all four?

If you live close to family, consider sharing meals occasionally to save money. A weekly dinner may seem like it would be expensive with family, but if everyone brings one dish, you can save money on that day's meal and may even have leftovers for another.

Consider giving your heating and cooling a break, too. By lowering the temperature of your home by just a few degrees, you can save on the cost of heating. The same goes for the summer; by keeping the home slightly warmer, you won't have as much air conditioning to pay for.

Source: Becoming Minimalist, "33 Proven Ways to Reduce Personal Debt," accessed Dec. 31, 2015

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