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Jean develops a simple spreadsheet for Steven and Lisa to calculate their debt—step one of the Debt Diet plan. Then, Jean targets areas where Steven and Lisa can cut back on their spending and start saving up.

Step 1: Calculate debt and get your credit score
Cell phone: $130 per month
Gym membership: $75
Car payment: $560 per month
ATM fees: $273 per year

Step 2: Track your spending and find extra money to pay down debt
In order to help Steven and Lisa track their spending, Jean asks them to write down every single cent they spend. Jean also tells Lisa and Steven they must deposit their paychecks directly into a joint account. Then, Jean delivers some tough news. "Steven's in charge," Jean tells Lisa. "And he's going to pay the bills. You are going to get an allowance and he is going to give you $20 a day."

Lisa begrudgingly agrees to Jean's plan. "I'm going to the bank today to get rid of my womanhood," says Lisa. "So I'm transferring all of my money from my savings account into Steve's checking account, so that he can be the man now and manage the money and take control of Lisa Bradley."
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FROM: The Debt Diet: Part 2
Published on January 01, 2006
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.

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