1. Get organized!

This step always seems to come first with these matters, but that’s because it’s essential to the process. Know exactly how much you owe on what. Figure out which credit cards and loans are charging you the most interest, and create a realistic budget for your monthly expenses. This can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet where you enter in your monthly purchases and bill payments or as complex as buying specialized software like Quicken to help you manage your budget.