In the face of tough economic times, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) wants to offer you steps to reach a higher financial plain. This includes living within your means and put the credit cards away and live on a cash basis and you will typically spend 20% less and spend less frivolously. Additionally, if you put together a cash-flow calendar where you record each payday for everyone in the home who earns money, assemble which bills are to be paid out of each check, this will help get a better picture of a debt-free timeline as well. Additionally, avoid overdrafting your checking account to generate better spending habits; track all spending and review the findings and determine where the leaks are, and subsequently how to plug them; address your tarnished credit by paying down accounts that have gone into collections, or old credit card bills that youâve forgotten about; and if your damage is too significant, checkout secured credit card offerings. And don’t forget the most important thing; SAVE! SAVE! SAVE!