6 Tips on How To Be Courageous Getting Out of Debt

moneyscrapingWhenever I think of debt my brow furrows, my head starts to hurt, and I tack on a few more wrinkles. I’ve now aged 10 years in a matter of seconds. At least this is how it feels.

Many of us work hard and take each day head on. No questions asked. But ask us to tackle our debt and we’ll hide under the covers.

Debt is scary – that’s a fact.

Debt is impossible to overcome – that’s a lie.

There are many tips for getting out of debt but I think before diving into any of that you must first recognize that you’re in debt and then commit to keep getting out of debt even when the rough times roll around. Which they definitely will. Most often it isn’t the plan that fails but the commitment to it that’s broken. Getting into debt usually does us in through bad habits like emotional spending, not budgeting, lack of awareness or knowledge, and not being responsible.It’s these bad habits that need to be broken.

“I worked hard and now I want to spend it and have some fun. I don’t want to think about anything else.”

That sounds great…in the moment…but it’s a dangerous path to be on. It’s one of the most common money lies we tell ourselves.

A few weeks ago I was introduced to someone who was $40,000 in debt and she repaid it all in 3 years. That’s right! 3 YEARS! You can read all the details over at American Debt Project. But for a quick summary she committed to it and followed some of these basic tips that anyone can use.

Create a budget

While paying off your bills and trying to get out of debt, you can still do the things you like to do, but limit how much you do it and how much money it costs. Use mint.com or a budget tracking system to keep in line.

Get rid of your credit cards

Most families get into debt because of credit cards. They can be tempting to use, but cause many problems if you can’t control or track your use. Cut them out of your life and only spend money you have budgeted.

Pay the small bills first or for loans start with the highest interest

A great way to take care of several different debts is to get rid of the smaller ones first. You will see success and be more motivated to move onto the next bigger bill. Over time, you will pay them off. It all starts with the small payments.

If you’re dealing with multiple loans then get rid of the one with the highest interest. That’s the one that is torpedoing you into greater debt.

Create a schedule of payment

It’s hard to know when to pay and how much to pay. Try to set a date each month or week when you can pay certain bills. The key to getting out of debt is to stay organized and track your bills, spending and progress. Make a plan that won’t be too difficult and stick to it.

Stop eating out

Many families tend to go out dinner and lunch often, which adds up to a lot of money. Save money in any department you can, including food and eating.        

I started cooking at home. Since I’m single I always cook more then I eat and I have leftovers for lunch. Not only did this save me money but I also leave work earlier since I eat at my desk instead of taking an hour lunch.

Be Accountable – This is most important

Hold yourself accountable to your commitment and plan. Ask others to hold you accountable to it too. You’ve gotten this far. Don’t lose ground because today was tough. Keep your motivation and never give up.

Debt can be one of the most challenging and frustrating challenges to deal with for anyone. No matter the reason you are in debt, it’s stressful and can be hard to balance and handle. It’s important to take care of your debts as soon as possible, so you are able to live free of debt and spend your money how you would like. Debt is limiting and imprisons you, but it isn’t a life sentence.

With enough time and saving, you’ll be able to pay off what you owe and find yourself in a better economical situation. This will bring you peace of mind, and make life that much more enjoyable. Get help from a debt consultant or someone who has experience dealing with debt, and consider the tips covered in this article for safely getting out of debt.   

Featured image by http://dribbble.com/igorvasic

Comments

  1. Wow great tips.

    Being accountable; is the vital part of any debt recovery plan. 🙂

  2. This is great practical advice John, thanks for sharing. When my wife and I were becoming debt free during our first year of marriage we used many of the points listed above. The #1 above all, best way to get out of debt, stay out of debt and keep the peace is to have a budget.

    Without a budget its too easy to overspend. You’ll overspend and not even realize.

  3. Hi John,

    It would be so nice to get out of debt. Throwing away all those credit cards is really one way to get out of debt. We can really use these tips from you.

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