When it comes to getting out of debt, you have to make some painful decisions. It might be time to take drastic measures if you’re simply too far behind. There are some soft cuts you can make – swapping one ply for two, taking a walk in the park for a gym membership, taking a “staycation” over a trip.
The hardest cuts come from selling non-essential items that you can live without. Any money raised from selling non-essential items should be put toward paying off your highest interest loan in a lump sum.
Finding out where your money is going is the next step for getting out of debt quickly. Without a full picture of what you pay for and how you spend, it can be difficult to decide where to make budget cuts.
Keep track of all your monthly bills for at least a month, as well as your daily expenses. Ensure you are tracking your debt repayment obligations as well.
There are probably millions of getting out of debt stories being told all over the country.
Some you can find on the internet in blogs or on the shelves of libraries and bookstores in self-help books. All with their unique set of circumstances and all equally inspirational.
My own success story turned out to be short-lived because I didn’t teach my husband how to live debt-free.
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How It All Started
We were married in 1993 just after I graduated from nursing school. Having been a single mother for several years prior to getting married, I was more than happy to hand over the bill paying to my new husband.
Turns out, I married a shopper. He spent money hand over fist but I wasn’t worried because he worked for the US Postal Service and I was now a nurse. We didn’t need to worry about debt, right? We had plenty of money. HA! Not so fast.
Not only was he a shopper, but he was also a hunter and fisherman. He already had all the bow hunting supplies and fishing lures known to mankind and added to them regularly.
One year he decided to go hunting in Colorado with some buddies and would be gone for three weeks so that meant I would have to pay the bills when he was gone.
It was then I found out what a mess we were in. I totaled it all up and was amazed that we were $25,000 in debt. We had some late payments, too, which absolutely floored me. I thought he had things under control.
I gathered all the bills together and started by calling each creditor. Then I mapped out a plan. He would get his allowance and I would get mine.
Then the household bills would be paid, on time, and groceries purchased for the week. Anything leftover went to pay down our debt starting with the smallest bill and working my way through to the largest bill.
After only one year, we were debt-free. My mistake at that point was handing control back to the person who had gotten us into the mess in the first place without teaching him how to live debt-free.
After only two years, we were back in debt as much or more than we had been the first time.
Anyway, if you need some inspiration, you won’t be disappointed when you log on to any of the websites I’ve listed above and read some of these other getting out of debt stories.
Meeting with a credit counselor is one of the best steps to getting out of debt, although this can be more helpful if you do it before you’re desperate. Your credit counselor will offer many helpful tips and ensure you’re on the right track with your repayment plans.