Get me out of debt! Have you ever felt that way before? Living a debt free lifestyle takes determination and discipline. Every week we get those nice empty checks from our credit card company that promise to take away the immediate pain that we feel from whatever current financial bind we are in. We know that it does not solve our problems long term and yet we continue to take the easy road. If you currently find yourself under a ton of debt, stop beating yourself up. Feeling bad or living discouraged does not improve your situation. You need to take some baby steps in order to get back on track. Here are some tips for you to follow:
1. Determine that you are done with consumer credit. This decision is not an easy one. It also goes against the grain of society for sure. You will have many opportunities to give in and the road will not be easy, but there is something deeply satisfying about not going further into debt. Freeze your credit card in a big block of ice. That way it takes a day or so for you to be able to make out the numbers and use the card. If the impulse has gone away, then you have accomplished what you wanted to do.
2. Sell, sell, sell. There is something incredibly energizing about selling extra stuff that is laying around the house. If you haven’t touched it in over a year then you will probably not even need it for some time. Go ahead and sell it. Maybe out of all the things you sell you end up needing one thing, then go buy a new one. Just do not sweat selling a bunch of items. Hold a garage sale for two weekends in a row. List the things you did not sell on Craigslist or Ebay.
3. Stock away a cash cushion for a rainy day. Take the income that you have earned from selling all your things and place it in savings for a rainy day. The next time the dishwasher goes out you can buy a new one from this account instead of putting it on a credit card. If you are screaming “Get me out of debt,” then you need to determine to not go back there.
4. Focus on paying off the smallest debt first. Dame Ramsey calls this is debt snowball. Any extra bonuses or cash that comes to you along the way, throw it at your smallest debt. Try to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Make it a game if you want to.
5. Celebrate each success along the way. Each time you pay off a debt, they send you the latest bill with $0 owed. Take that and pin it up somewhere visible. Buy a small cork board and pin each success. It is motivating to see your progress.
Hopefully, this steps will answer your cry of “Get me out of debt.” These principles have worked for me and I know that they can work for you as well.