How to Stay Debt Free and Stop the Cycle of getting in and out of debt!

Published on July 27, 2019 by Lauren
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    Lauren Greutman Recovering Spender

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    Years ago, I had an enormous amount of credit card debt. For the longest time, I ignored it. But one day I got smart and faced my fears. I wanted to learn how to stay debt free.

    Debt is truly a financial drain.

    I blasted through my credit card and student loan debt, and learned how to budget. I started using a Money Saving Budget Planer. I did it because I was sick and tired of being broke. The hardest lesson to learn was that in order to get out of debt, I had to stop going into debt.

    Whether you're still in debt or you're free from those chains, this article is all about encouraging you to avoid debt like the plague. Here are a few ways to avoid the vicious debt cycle and build a healthier financial future:

    How to Stay Debt Free:

    1. Transform Your Mind

    To truly go the distance and avoid debt, you're going to have to have a mind transformation.

    If you're used to going into debt to get what you want, it's time to learn contentment! Contentment isn't always easily found. But if you take a look at the important things in your life like family, friends, and living with a purpose, material possessions start to lose their appeal.

    The reason I tell you this is because no matter your debt reduction or debt avoidance tactics, without determination and a change of mind, you'll fall right back into debt. So transform your mind. When you think about debt, don't think positively about it – no matter the type.

    2. Limit Your Access to Debt (Suit Up)

    Make it difficult to go into debt. You can do this in a number of ways.

    The first way is to get rid of your credit cards and substitute them for a debit card. That's right, cut up your credit cards. If you have a debt problem, the last thing you need is a credit card in your wallet. Do not cancel your cards because that can negatively affect your credit score. Keep the accounts open and just cut up the cards, this can actually help improve your credit score.

    Unfortunately, it's impossible to completely eliminate your access to debt. Student loans, personal loans, and business loans are seemingly always just a signature away. You can eliminate prescreened credit offers in the mail at OptOutPrescreen.com. You'll have a choice between opting out for five years or permanently – I'll let you guess what I'd recommend…

    You need to suit up and limit your exposure to debt. Avoid it like the plague!

    So what should you do to further prevent yourself from going into debt? My next tip should help quite a bit.

    3. Construct Positive Peer Pressure

    It's amazing what a little positive peer pressure can do.

    If you're married, the best thing you can do is get on the same page about debt. Talk together about the dangers of credit cards and loans. Commit to one another to never go into debt again.

    If you're single, you should tell your family – parents and siblings – and friends that you're on a debt-free journey. Shout it from the rooftops that you're going to be living without debt! The social pressure should help you stay under control since you now have people that you don't want to let down.

    4. Plan and Save for the Future

    Another way to prevent going into debt is to plan and save for your purchases. There are two such purchases that I'd like to highlight…

    The first is vehicles. You don't have to have a vehicle payment. If you're in a crunch, you should be able to buy a low-cost vehicle with cash – don't show up at the dealership to buy something even remotely new.

    The second is a college education. While student loans might be one of the “best” debts you can incur, that doesn't mean you should incur it. Instead, try planning for your kids college educations by saving money, applying for scholarships, and attending low-cost colleges.

    Yes, you can get a college education without going into debt. Granted, if you're going to become a doctor or lawyer, this might be a bit difficult unless you have generous parents or a large inheritance, but try to avoid as much debt as possible.

    5. Start and Maintain a Budget

    Learning how to budget will vastly improve your financial future – including helping you avoid debt.

    When you have fully-funded budget categories, why go into debt?

    When you start budgeting, you'll find your bank account balance going up. How? You'll save money at the grocery store. You'll start to negotiate lower bills. Wondering how? Read my Ask Trim Review. You'll pay attention to where you buy household items.

    My journey to debt-freedom wasn't easy. I am naturally a spender, so racking up that debt was way too easy. As I talk about in my book, The Recovering Spender, I overcame a mountain of debt. I learned to change and you can too. If you've always felt like you've never been good with money, if books and programs about money have always been a turn off for you, then this just might be for you. A book about money that actually speaks your language.

    COMMENTS

  • I notice neither me or my wife have any great budgeting skills. We make pretty good money but at the end of the year there’s nothing left. I’m at my wits end

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