Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: 10 Tips for Getting Out of Debt...

Monday, June 6, 2016

10 Tips for Getting Out of Debt...


Are you swimming in debt and aren't quite sure where to start? I hear ya...we've all been there. At one time or another we will all find ourselves in debt....it can be a lot of debt or just a little bit of debt. The debt can be accumulated in many different ways...maybe it is from school loans, from buying a new car, home, hospital stay, etc. Maybe your debt came from some shopping trips, where you enjoyed those sales a little too much. No matter how you accumulated the debt, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can pay off your debt and gain financial freedom.

When we started our journey to financial freedom many years ago, we had quite a bit of debt. We owed money on a van we had bought, when our Daewoo gave up life. Anyone remember the Daewoos? They don't even make them any more. That little silver four door served us well, but when it died, we had to purchase a new car. We went to Carmax and bought a used Chrysler Town and Country Van. It cost us about $25,000. We put a nice down payment on the car, but we were still left with thousands of dollars in debt. We also had some debt from a certain someone....ahem...cough cough....me....who had been too heavy handed with those credit cards. 

That is when we started learning ways to attack our debt. We didn't like being a slave to the debt....having to make payments every month. That was money we wanted freed up, so we could have more control over what we wanted to do with our money. 

Below are 10 things that we did to pull ourselves out of debt and become financially free.


1) Create a Budget

You always need to start with a plan. If you don't have a plan, than you don't know where you are going. We created a budget, so we knew how much money we had coming in and how much money we could attack our debt with.


2) List Your Debts

On a sheet of paper, we listed our debts from least to greatest. We wanted to start off with our smallest debts, so we could attack those quickly and be able to have that immediate gratification. We all love to know that what we are doing is working. Starting with the smallest debt, allowed us to gain confidence and momentum in our debt attack :) 

3) Pay More Than The Minimum Balance

When you attack your debt, you want to pay more than the minimum balance. We love the "Snowball Method" for attacking debt. You pay the minimum balance on all of your debt, except the smallest debt your are attacking. Look at how much you have coming in and going out. Then decide how much money you can throw at your debt.Continue paying the minimum on all your other debts, while attacking the smallest debt. Oh and when I say attack...I mean attack...like grizzly style. Use any extra money you have, so you can get out of debt as quick as possible.

Here is a great link explaining the snowball method - Dave Ramsey Print Out


4) Halt Your Spending

While you are attacking that debt like a mama bear, you need to make sure that you are not continually adding to those debt balances. Halt all your spending. Go back to a basic, "need to pay budget". Remind yourself of your needs and wants. If we ever find ourselves in debt, we do exactly this. We halt any extra spending....meaning eating out, excursions, etc. We use the money we would have budgeted for those things and put it towards whatever debt we have acquired.

If you are not able to resist those little plastic rectangles, than remove them from your wallet. At one time in my life, I had to lock up my credit cards...literally friends. I couldn't be trusted. I cut up some of my cards and others I put in our safe. For over a year I couldn't trust myself with those things, so I took the temptation away. By taking the temptation away, I prevented myself from accruing more debt.

5) Use Bonuses Wisely

Whenever you get bonuses, overtime, or that long awaited tax return, use them wisely. Take either the whole thing or a portion of it and put it towards whatever debt. All of these incomes are extra. They are not things that we usually budget in for our day to day spending, so why not put them towards our debt and gain our freedom quicker. Avoid the temptation to spend it on things, like vacations or household goodies. It is more important to get out of whatever financial situation you are in.

6) Delete Credit Card Information From Online Stores

If you are an online shopper, than go into all your accounts and delete your payment info. This is another way to take away the temptation to shop and add more to those balances. Just say no friends.


7) Sell Stuff

Have a dresser you don't need or maybe you have old clothes that you no longer wear anymore...sell them. Have a yard sell, sell stuff on ebay, etc. Take unwanted items from around your home and get some cash for them. Not only will you place more money in your pocket, but you'll feel great when you get a good dejunk session done.

8) Change Your Habits

This is honestly one of the most important things to do when you are pulling yourself out of debt. You can do everything in the world to get yourself out of debt, but if you don't change your habits and your behavior, which got you into debt in the first place, you will find yourself back in financial bondage before you know it. You have to refocus yourself. Make goals for your financial future and constantly work towards them. Paying off your debt DOES NOT mean you can now go on a shopping spree. It means you can now use credit cards and lines of credit responsibly. Be smart and think about where you want to be two years from now, five years from now, etc. Ask yourself, "Is what I'm doing today, getting me to where I want to be tomorrow?"


9) Celebrate

When you reach those financial goals of getting out debt, celebrate friends! You just accomplished something really hard. After each debt that we attacked, we would do something to celebrate and acknowledge what we had done. It takes a lot of discipline to be responsible with your money. Giving yourself a little treat is a great way to keep yourself motivated on your financial journey. You don't need a trip to Disneyland to celebrate, but you can do something small. Maybe a family camping trip, trip to the movies, etc. Whatever you do make sure you have the cash for it and that you DO NOT charge it...that would just defeat your whole purpose of celebrating getting out of debt.


10) Document Your Journey

Want to know why there are so many bloggers and youtubers who are sharing their struggles and victories with family finances? Because they are documenting their journeys. Being able to look back and see how far we've come is a great motivator. It also feels really good to know that our struggles can give someone else encouragement to start their own journey to financial freedom. Now I am not saying you need to start a youtube channel or start writing a blog, but their are ways to document your journey to being debt free. Keep a journal, share on social media, etc. Journal your progress, so you can look back and see how much of a rock star you truly are.


Now I know there are many more tips out there for getting out of debt. In fact, a lot of you readers shared your own tried and true tips on the Blissful and Domestic Facebook Page last week. Below is all the goodness you guys shared. You truly are an encouraging lot. Comment below or hop on over to the Facebook page to join the conversation. Let's all get our selves closer to becoming financially free in 2016.



XO Danielle 

4 comments:

  1. Getting out of debt, was the most wonderful thing , that we ever did.. I think we screamed/jumped up and down for hours, when we made the very last house payment. ha
    When you move, will you move your mobile home ? Or will you sell? Hope you and baby are doing well. hugs.

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  2. ps.. forgot to add my email address. sewblessedmaw@gmail.com

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  3. Okay so as someone who is out of debt (and blogged about it) i have to say these are PERFECTLY Accurate tips. If you can do all of these, you will be on the right path so to everyone reading this post - YES!!!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away
    www.askawayblog.com

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  4. This was a great post. Thank you for sharing it! I really agree with documenting the journey. On a few different places on the Internet I lurk people share their ideas on everything they do, no matter how small, to get out of debt and/or save money. I know for myself when I share my weekly money saving things on my blog I feel more accountable to continually find ways to save.

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