It’s What You Keep
Get a grip on your personal debt
Need to get a grip on your personal debt?

Attending a debt-elimination course is a smart idea, but that’s not always feasible for long haulers. OOIDA brings the course designed and written by Steve Freidell to you on

Freidell has assisted clients in their case management, trading and portfolio management of fix income securities since 1975. He started his career at the First National Bank of Kansas City and later served as first vice president with Commerce Bank, where he served his clients for 25 years. He is currently a partner in Central States Capital Markets LLC, a Kansas City, MO, financial services corporation.

Part 1: If it’s not what you spend – what is it then?
In this article, Freidell begins by showing you how to get started on developing your “Debt Elimination Program” by first understanding where your money goes.

Part 2: Ready to roll toward debt elimination?
Now it’s time to sit down and take an honest look at your budget and where exactly your money is going. Does fast food have a higher budget total than groceries? Does your dining out category look like the national debt? Don’t worry; with a few minor adjustments, you can change all that.

Part 3: Revving up your credit score
Think of your credit score as an engine's horsepower: The larger the number, the more confidence lenders will have that you can handle the large amount of debt being towed around. Freidell looks at a few simple things you can do to rev up your credit score.

Part 4: Lightening the load
You can take big strides toward reducing stress in your life with discipline and a commitment to reducing the burden of debt by paying down your mortgage.

Part 5: Saving money by not spending it
To prevent paying thousands of dollars for your young adults’ exploration of career choices, it's important to get your children thinking about what they want to do with their lives long before they leave for college.

Part 6: The importance of a good track record
Your ability to borrow money for that new truck your business needs – or for the new car that your family needs – will largely be determined by your previous credit history.

Part 7: Pay yourself first
You are the most important piece of your business. It's imperative for you to understand that if you don't pay yourself first, you will always be working for your truck instead of your truck working for you.

Part 8: Teaching your children
Educating your children on their role in the family's financial scheme will carry them far in life.

Part 9: Finances at your fingertips
With advancements in online bookkeeping, you can keep on top of your financial situation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, eliminating surprises that may arise.

Part 10: Never go to the grocery store hungry
Not only will a well-planned trip to the store save you money, but you won't believe how it also benefits your health.

Part 11: No better time than the present
Taking immediate steps to formulate a plan can have you seeing a debt-free life ahead of you.

Part 12: Staying on course
Many of you have been asking about government programs designed to help people having trouble making their mortgage payments. The good news is that the U.S. government has two programs designed to help financially troubled homeowners.

Part 13: Your good name
Working hard to get out of debt and on the financial rise makes your identity all the more valuable. Are you doing enough to protect it?

Part 14: It's all a matter of trust
Independently verifying payments to lenders and lien holders a big step in protecting your assets

Part 15: What we have learned from weathering the financial storm
People ask me all the time, “Steve, how did our economy collapse so quickly?” Well, like that pothole, it didn’t happen quickly, but rather was the result of damage accumulated over time. Let

Part 16: 'Empty' can leave you stranded
Are you keeping your eye on your financial reserves, the way you do with your fuel tank?

Part 17: Teach your children well
Learning financial responsibility can start early with your children – especially before mistakes carry huge costs

Part 18: Loaning money to friends and family
We all think that we can make a difference by helping our loved ones out of a quick jam and many times we do. However, most of the time we are only making matters worse.

Part 19: Keep your eyes on the road and your hand on your wallet
Managing your finances is much the same as attentive driving. It’s all too easy to take your eye off your financial goals only to see your previous gains wiped out in a relatively short period of time.

Part 20: Golden budget rule: Separate your financial needs from your wants
You wouldn’t routinely park your truck in the most dangerous parts of town. As a consumer, you need to learn to be equally cautious in how you approach financially risky situations. Otherwise you’ll fall prey to the most common form of financial assault – the belief you “need” something you don’t.

The material in the on-line debt elimination series was prepared for informational purposes only; it is not intended to provide and should not be relied upon for accounting, legal or tax advice.

Click here to email Steve.