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Ten Steps To Take If You Think You Have a Money Disorder.

By Ron Gallen

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1 Admit that your problem may go deeper than just money.

2 Stop borrowing money and using credit cards. Close the accounts and cut up the cards.

3 Spend money only when you can pay cash. If you have to have that pair of shoes, take the money out of the ATM.

4 Avoid situations that trigger your spending (favorite stores, envy-inducing or wealthier friends).

5 Don't spend to change your mood.

6 Get clear about your situation. Go through all your unopened bills and make an honest list of your assets and debts.

7 Write down everything you spend, and don't forget the small stuff. Every cent counts.

8 Create a spending plan that takes care of your needs, but more modestly. You can still buy yourself flowers and lingerie, just less often. And once you've cut back, the pleasures you do allow yourself should be guilt-free.

9 Develop a repayment plan with your creditors that doesn't leave you strapped, even if that means paying less than the monthly minimum required. (Credit-card companies are more flexible than you might think.)

10 Get professional help.

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