The decision to get yourself out of debt is a life changer, if you are willing to make the necessary commitment that goes with that.

Getting out of debt involves more than just paying off a few credit cards. It means changing spending habits; learning to how to budget; knowing who and how much you owe; prioritizing debts; creating emergency and retirement funds; and knowing where to find help when you get off track.

In other words, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made.  It’s also likely that you’re going to make some mistakes along the way. Here are a few of the most typical, and how to avoid them.

1. Mistake: Never changing you spending habits.

We’re all creatures of habit – and spending money is no exception. We shop in the same stores, drive the same car and even eat the same restaurants because it’s what makes us comfortable.  What you don’t realize is it’s also costing you more than you can handle financially. Remedy: If you won’t change your spending habits, you won’t ever get out of debt. Start with your morning habits (have your coffee and breakfast at home). Start packing your lunch. In the evening, watch games or movies on TV, while eating a home cooked meal. You will see an immediate impact on your daily spending habits. You don’t have to do without….you just need to make smarter choices with what you do.

2. Mistake: Signing up for a debt-relief program, but not understanding what is expected.

It is rare to get a quick-fix solution to debt problems. If that is one of the promises you hear, start looking elsewhere. Remedy: The first thing to understand is that debt-relief programs typically take 24-48 months, so be patient. Second, check up on the whatever company you choose for debt relief. They should be A rated by the Better Business Bureau and have positive user reviews certified by Trust Pilot. They should be a business that’s been around for at least 5 years.

3. Mistake: Trying to dig out of debt alone.

People are reluctant to ask professionals for help dealing with debt. Remedy: Call a credit counseling agency like ASSURE Financial Services and get free help from experts. Accredited Debt Relief credit counselors are trained and certified by their organizations. They can suggest debt-relief solutions like credit consolidation and debt settlement. The credit counselors advise you on creating budgets and recommend a solution that you can take or leave. And, it’s free! Take advantage of that.