Join us tonight at 8pm ET as our Senior Editor Tanisha A. Sykes hosts a Twitter chat with nationally syndicated personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary, who was featured in the January 2014 issue of ESSENCE.

Singletary will be talking about her new book The 21 Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom, what the first step towards getting one’s finances in order is, as well as answering all of your pressing money questions. Here’s a taste of her advice in Leslie E. Royal’s story from this month’s issue.

1. List all your debts. Start with the ones with the lowest balance. “Don’t list them according to the highest interest rate because I want you to get immediate satisfaction of eliminating the smallest debts first,” explains Singletary. She refers to this method as the debt dash.
2. Pay down debt with extra cash. Always focus on the debt at the top of the list and make minimum payments on the rest.
3. Practice patience. You didn’t get into debt overnight, so it’s going to take time. “People often get discouraged when they finally list all their debts and see how deeply weighed down they are,” says Singletary. “Do a little happy dance every time you pay off a debt, but don’t buy anything. You are in debt!”
Want to hear more from Personal Finance Expert Michelle Singletary? Join @essencemag, @tanishastips and @SingletaryM on Twitter at 8 pm tonight and be sure to use the hashtag #financialfast!

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Also, ESSENCE challenged three courageous readers to take Singletary’s financial fast. Find out how they did in the January issue, on newsstands now!