29 tips on getting out of debt from you!

Recently I wrote a post asking the readers for tips to help another fellow reader get out of debt. There were quite a few really good responses, so I figured I would formulate it into it’s own reader generated post! So here goes…

Your tips to get out of debt

  1. 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.
  2. 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. Cut up the credit cards
  4. Pay off the credit cards with an automatic withdrawal from your bank account.
  5. Consider looking for a Crown Money Map Coach. It’s free.
  6. Create a strict budget and stick with it.
  7. Learn the art of competitive shopping. Make saving money shopping your hobby!
  8. Pay for routine purchases with cash. This will help you to better SEE where your money is going.
  9. Post your debt free goal on the Fridge. Make a graph and every time you pay a little down, color more of it in.
  10. Celebrate the small successes!
  11. Get a part time job
  12. Use ebay to sell something you make yourself (careful about how much your actual cost is)
  13. Use ebay to sell stuff around the house
  14. Use ebay to sell stuff you get cheap. You can try shopping garage sales or thrift stores and reselling on ebay.
  15. Cut back on expenses – can you imagine life without cable?
  16. Shop for cheaper cell phone plan
  17. Cut your home phone or get a cheaper plan
  18. Cut back on Internet service. Switch to dial up, share with a neighbor, use the library
  19. Contact creditors and negotiate lower rates
  20. Reduce the “source” of the debt (i.e. sell the car with the high loan note and buy a less expensive car)
  21. Quit any vices you have and use that money to pay down debt
  22. Change your housing situation if possible to one that is less expensive / take on a roommate ( again, the point is by saving on spending here, you use the money to pay off debt )
  23. Lower your insurance costs by increasing your deductible and/or review your insurance policy and see if you can find a less expensive one
  24. Shop smart – pool coupons with others, plan a menu around what is on sale at the grocery store, buy in bulk if it is reasonable… etc…
  25. Pray, with God anything is possible
  26. Create a realistic, workable budget and stick with it. This blog has GREAT tips and ideas. Read, Read, Read.
  27. Do whatever is possible and legal to increase your income short term and set goals to increase your base income long term.
  28. 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 :)

The one tip I am torn on is #29. It seems like this debate will live on as long as the chicken and the egg debate. I personally like Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball approach and generally recommend that for most people. I understand that mathematically it is better to pay off higher rates first, but the reason most people are in debt isn’t because they are bad at math, but that they are undisciplined and need all the motivation help they can get. If they quit halfway to their first goal, it doesn’t matter how much they saved by paying off the higher rates first. This is why I generally recommend the Debt Snowball approach. But, study it out for yourself and pick what you think will work for you.

29.  Regardless of what anyone says about debt snowballs, etc…. pay off the highest interest rate first. Mathematically, you come out better

For additional information, I suggest reading the series I wrote about how to get out of debt.

Thanks Joe, Todd C, Redonno, John Finkelde, MJH, MINtheGap, Gholmes, Cyndie, and Joshua for your great tips!

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8 Comments
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  1. On #29: what a lot of people seem to forget is that you’re not stuck with one method until you’re done. If snowballing works for you, and gets you motivated, and is that first step you need to take, then do it. Then at some later point, once you have seen results, if you want to switch to paying off the high-interest debt, you still can.

  2. @Amie
    good point – a lot of people do tend to look that the methods in an “all or nothing” approach…

  3. Arnie, I agree. Getting out of debt is challenging enough at times so if one method works for a situation better than the other, go with what works. My wife and I snowballed the smallest balance style and it has worked great for us.

  4. I look at the getting out of debt in this fashion. You have one of two ways of solving this problem outside of never entering it in the first place. 1.) You can cut spending. 2.) you can increase your income.

    I hope that you can maybe look at ways of increasing income. I have heard many people put down network marketing, but, it is an amazing way to add $500 of extra income per month working less hours than working at the mall part time.

  5. A good compilation of List.
    But,i think it is more of “Frugal Living” list.
    I am a staunch supporter of debt-free life but frugal living is not the right answer to it.Better financial planning is.
    Moreover,as goes the adage
    ‘You should think of ways to spend less,rather focus on how to make more money’:-)

    A good set of articles though.Will keep dropping in

  6. two years ago I had three different cards with a total balance of $19,000. Well I now have one card to worry about thanks to the snowball method. It’s the highest but at lease its only one card. I highly recommend it. Times are tough now days but if you are willing to make your life better it will happen. My saving money tip is to combine your goals, for example I want to lose 15 pounds so I decided not to buy any more clothes until I lose the weight and it especially works for grocery savings because a weight loss plan forces you to plan your meals and this means only purchasing products you need. Good Luck to all.

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