by Charles A. Monagan
Aug 1, 2011
10:40 AM
On Connecticut

Debt Management


Everywhere you turn there are constant reminders that both our state and federal government are drowning in debt. This, unfortunately, is not all that different than the majority of households out there.

Checking through the dozens of debt-management websites for tips and other suggestions, there seems to be a fairly simple three-step plan for dealing with it:

  1. Stop creating more debt.
  2. Increase the amount you're putting toward your debt obligation.
  3. Stop creating more debt.

Now, I recognize that coming up with the plan and being able to follow the plan are two completely different things, especially in terms of step 2—increasing income isn't always an option, and cutting expenses can be difficult. I also get that debt begets debt when you start tacking on fees and interest, and that you have to spend some money to make some money. Still, it seems to me that steps 1 & 3 are common sense and shouldn't be so difficult to achieve in the overall picture.

I was just recently interviewing Mike Guida, CEO of Guida's Dairy, a small, family-operated business that has managed to stay successful despite going against huge corporations and in light of the recent economic downturn. While we were talking, he said something that sort of stuck out: "My father told me that if you don't have enough cash to buy something, then you probably don't need it."

Simple advice from a long-gone era that may not be practical when you're running a government? Maybe ... there's a lot of hands in the cookie jar and it can get extremely complicated. Still, it'd be nice that once we get our financial matters in order—which will happen—that someone occasionally will remember this mess and say, "You know, that sounds great, but I don't think we really need it."

Debt Management

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