20+ Ways to Get Rid of Your Debt for Good
Dumb Little Man
May 12, 2011
This is not a step-by-step guide to reducing debt. Rather, it is a collection of a lot of the wisdom I have read so far on this topic and a list of some of the things that worked for us.
As you go through the list, I would recommend sorting it out into things that will definitely work for you and things that could possibly work for you. Start implementing the things that will work for you right away and start working on incorporating the others when possible. Believe me, soon it will become an obsession (if it already isn’t!) and slowly but surely you will be free of debt. And that feeling is worth any short-term pain you have to go through.
1. Stop adding more debt Duh. No kidding right? Well, if it’s so simple why aren’t you doing it? Think of your debt as a small hill of dirt in your back yard. To get rid of that dirt hill, you need to dig out a shovel at a time. Now imagine for every 2-3 shovels of dirt that you dig out, you toss 4 shovels back on. How long will it take to get rid of that little hill? Piling on more debt while you are trying to get out of it doesn’t make much sense either.
2. Get rid of your credit cards One of the biggest down falls that most of us have is the reliance on credit cards. Unlike spending real cash, when you charge it to a card you don’t feel the burn. So if you cannot control how much you spend on your card, then cut up your cards, leave them locked up at home, freeze them or bury them until you are out of debt. (Note: Don’t close the accounts since that can result in reducing your credit score!)
When I was in college, I went a little wild with student credit cards. I learned the hard way that I needed some control, so I froze the cards in a large pan of water. If I wanted or needed something badly enough to wait for the cards to thaw out, then it was probably worth purchasing. If not, I saved the dough. My mom still laughs about this, but I saved thousands in forgone impulse purchases. — Kelly Colucci, Cumming, Ga. – quote source: Kiplinger
3. Change your attitude Like everything else in life, getting out of debt is heavily dependent on your attitude. Switch to a “Can Do” attitude. Stop giving into the victim mentality or self-doubts of whether you can do it. Start attacking debt and don’t stop until its all gone.
4. Stay busy An idle mind is a devil’s work shop and a retailer’s dream. If you go to the mall just because you are bored, you are bound to end up buying stuff you likely don’t need. If you laze in front of the TV doing nothing, then the advertisers are bound to instill a yearning for something that you wouldn’t have wanted otherwise. Throwing away money to keep yourself entertained when you could be using that time a lot more productively just won’t cut it if you are serious about getting out of debt.
5. Change your spending habits Do you always plan before you buy something or do you just pick things up? Do you ask yourself if you really “need” it, or justify your “wants” and keep indulging yourself? Do you spend an excessive amount of money on showing off to your friends? Take a long hard look at your spending habits and fix any short comings that you see.