Editor's note: This article originally appeared on Christian Personal Finance. Used with permission.
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.
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
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.
Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock/RTimages
Publication date: August 29, 2012