Do you have any tips to get out of debt?

Help a reader get out of debt

Or actually help a lot of readers get out of debt! From the little demographic info I have about CPF readers, it seems that most are in debt and are working on minimizing their debts.

I recently got this email from a reader and thought I should share it to get the wisdom of the crowds…

Hi Bob and thank you for being there for those of us that are in debt due to our lack of discipline and allowing us to express that in an e-mail. Being in debt is not a fun trip, it is very stressful and can cause all sorts of problems. I am trying to cut back on everything possible…taking my lunch to work, wearing old clothes (cannot afford new ones), buying only what I need and never anything I want. If you have any other ideas that may help me stay on my budget, please share them with me. Thank you.

I shared a bit of my advice to help her get out of debt, but I want to open it up to the readers…

What other tips do you have to help her get out of debt?

  1. joe

    over the last 6 months i have paid off over 10,000 in debt on a salary of about 35,000 a year.

    the biggest reason i was able to do so was not because of a disciplined style of living (which i am doing) but the advice and the accountability provided by my brother who keeps track of my finances.

    my advice is to find a good friend and work out a budget with them. and then, stick to it by your friends encouragement and oversight.

    it becomes much easier to pass over small purchases (or large ones) when you have someone watching your purchases and providing some support.

    here’s to being 10,000 closer to being debt-free.


  2. todd C

    With the new year right around the corner, commit to using your “raise” to paying off debt. You won’t miss the raise because “you didn’t have it anyway” and it’s like paying down debt for free.


  3. Redonno

    My wife and I have made significant strides in paying off debt as well. My few pieces of advice is…
    – Pray, with God anything is possible
    – Organization, create a realistic, workable budget and stick with it. This blog has GREAT tips and ideas. Read, Read, Read.
    – Do whatever is possible and legal to increase your income short term and set goals to increase your base income long term.
    – Stay focused, stay disciplined, see the end, see yourself debt free. You can do it! It wont be pretty and it will be frustrating at times but you can do it. In other words, keep yourself encouraged 🙂

  4. bob

    Good tips everyone,
    and Joe, you know I like you advice about having someone to keep you accountable. I helped my wife start a budget when we were engaged and the accountability factor helped her a lot – so she says 😉

  5. mjh

    I am a Crown Money Map Coach through my local church. If you are not able to find a friend who might help you, you could consider looking for a Money Map Coach. It’s free.

  6. MInTheGap

    Strict budget, competitive shopping, and paying for routine purchases in cash. Keep off the cards– it’s too easy to go over.

  7. Gholmes

    We posted our debt free goal on the Fridge. It was a graph and every time we paid on that goal we colored it in. Celebrate the small successes!

    Does help going thru with an accountability group to share success and struggles with.

  8. Cyndie

    * part time job,
    * ebay — something you make yourself (careful about how much your actual cost is),
    * ebay — stuff around the house
    * ebay — stuff you get cheap (I have a friend who shops garage sales for kids clothes and resells them on ebay)

    the normal cutbacks —

    * cable,
    * cell phone (maybe change plans),
    * home phone (either ditch it or cutback to no long distance, no outgoing calls, etc.,
    * internet — switch to dial up, share with a neighbor, use the library
    * check your insurance rates, raise your deductible

  9. bob

    Thanks everyone for sharing, I think I might turn these tips into a new post – so keep em coming!

  10. Gholmes

    This isnt about mathmatics, it is about someone staying with it.

    Debt snowball works for those that need motivation. You have to get sick and tired of living in debt. As you knock off each bill that is one less check/bill pay you have to do.

  11. rose

    It seems there is no easy answer to getting out of debt except sucking it up and doing it! It’s not fun, but the reward is worth it—just like most things in life. And determination goes a long way!

    I think another good tip is to just do what you can. If you goal is to pay it off fast, then don’t spend anything outside of what you HAVE to spend. If it’s just to eventually get out of debt and not accumulate more, then I am a firm believer in doing one step at a time—stop using the credit card. Master that and then start paying toward the debt. If you go in full force and you can’t handle the discipline, you’ll quit fast. When I get overwhelmed, that’s what happens to me. I just stop working toward my goal and actually go backward.

  12. Craig

    You can try debt consolidation loans as one method.

  13. poor boomer

    Cut all spending to the bare minimum. Rent out all available space in your home. (I live in a house with nine people.)

    Do you have any tips on how to earn money for those who can’t land a job?

  14. Jeannine

    This May, I will be credit card debt free. My next goal is to S*A*V*E.

    Things I do to save money and keep a minimal budget:
    make coffee at home and work
    bring a lunch to work
    make dinner at home
    don’t eat out… only once in a great while (you appreciate it more)
    workout to exercise dvds instead of having a gym membership
    Haircuts about 3 times/year (I’m a woman and can get away with this!)
    I have a used car, which is paid for, so no car payment.
    I don’t go to malls or shop on line (if you don’t look, you won’t be tempted)

    My recreation is reading, school (my job reimburses tuition), exercise, making dinner, drinking wine! 🙂 …. all relatively inexpensive.

    I am really looking forward to May, when I can say ba-bye to my credit cards. My next challenge will be saving money. I will put the chunk of change from credit card payments into the bank and watch it grow for a change!

  15. John Doe

    What do you do if you can’t make minimum CC payments? where should you start?