For people who have financial troubles, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Web site can help users reduce their debt.
Kathy Prochaska-Cue, a UNL Extension family economic specialist, proposed the original idea for the Web site, known as Pay Down Debt. The site, located at paydowndebt.unl.edu/, contains a simple-step system and worksheets to help users plan to work toward reducing debt and increasing savings.
"The ultimate bottom line goal of the plan is to help people start saving for long-term goals," Prochaska-Cue says.
Pay Down Debt uses a 10-step system with a road to pay down debt motif. Each step gives advice on how to work out of or prevent debt. The site also offers worksheets that can be saved online with security and privacy. The worksheets allow someone to record and analyze his or her own financial situation.
For the three years that the site has been up and running, Prochaska-Cue says people responding from the Web site have had an average of $18,000 in total debt. The site has been able to help people plan to get those debts paid off.
"There are some good worksheets on there," says Peggy Jeffries, a project assistant for 4-H, who attended one recent demonstration of the Web site. "You can go become more aware of what your debt is or isn't."
Prochaska-Cue says that she hopes to find funding for another Web site for use in conjunction with Pay Down Debt that concentrates on savings.