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10 things anyone can do to stay out of debt

10 things anyone can do to stay out of debt, and that means you too!


We’ve all been there, whether it be an accumulation of credit card debt, getting behind on bills because of a job loss, or so many other scenarios. Debt can add up quickly and it can be overwhelming. It’s easier to stay out of debt by making simple changes, than digging your way out. Here are 10 things anyone can do to stay out of debt, and that means you too!

  1. Make better “payment” choices. If you are using a credit card and working to pay down debt, consider paying more than the minimum amount. Doing this can help you pay off your debt quicker by making larger payments than the minimum. Or, if you can, pay off your credit card balance in full when your statement comes to avoid interest charges.

  2. Use cash for everything. Paying in cash might be your best option to stay out of debt when making purchases. You physically can see how much is coming out of your wallet rather than just swiping a credit or debit card.

  3. Create a budget and stick to it, if you go off course, try again! Whether you have debt or not, a budget will help you see what money is coming in and where it needs to go. There will be times when a budget needs to change; when that happens, make an adjustment and keep going!

  4. Avoid that impulse buying habit! How often do you buy anything you just ‘sort of’ want? If there’s something you like and want to buy, try the 30-day challenge. If you can wait, see how you feel after the 30 days and determine if you really need it.

  5. Avoid unnecessary fees. This seems like a no-brainer but why pay fees if you don’t have to? Whether they are account fees, annual fees, or some other fees, there are other options out there and they are FREE. (Pssst we have free savings, and checking accounts – not to mention no annual fee on our credit cards).

  6. Prepare an emergency fund. By having an emergency fund, you have a financial buffer in times of need that will help you with your immediate crisis and help keep you out of debt, or from adding to your debt.
    • You might ask yourself how much should I save? The short term goal should be 3 month’s worth of expenses. The long-term goal should be enough for six months of living expenses in the event you were to lose your source of income. You don’t have to save it all in one paycheck. Start small and work your way there.

  7. Don’t overspend during the holidays or on exotic vacations. Save all year long for holidays or vacations. Set aside money with a Christmas Club or a Vacation club savings account where you can automatically put back money every paycheck.
    • You could also try to start your shopping early, you can often find items on clearance that would make for great gifts, or get an “early-bird” discount for vacations.

  8. Look for every day or holiday sales on big purchase items you plan on getting. You can find seasonal sales on appliances, furniture, vehicles, and other big items that you’d typically borrow money for or put on a credit card.

  9. Save-up over time for big-ticket items you plan on buying. You want the new Apple iPhone or Apple watch, or maybe you have your eye set on a new big-screen TV. Whatever your next big purchase is, put a little money back each week and save up for it, rather than charging it.

  10. Give couponing a try. There has been a mass trend of couponing to save money. Many create a stockpile for their home, or just coupon for “good” and have donated items of need. It doesn't matter if you use a few coupons or go "extreme" and coupon for every item, it all adds up for more savings.

You work hard for your money. That's why it's important to have healthy money habits. It's easy to slip into a financial struggle with irresponsible spending. We hope these tips and tricks help provide a little guidance, if necessary.



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