Today's lesson--on getting out of debt--is perhaps one of the most important things you can do to ensure the long-term survivability of yourself and your family. When you have the weigh of massive debt on your shoulders, you can't do much else besides worry about how you are going to pay for it (and the stress from this can't be good for your health). When you have debt you are tied to a job that you may or may not like, you fight more with your spouse, you have to walk through the sporting goods department with blinders on because you can't afford anything you see anyway, and you can't even stock an extra week's worth of food because that money is already destined to pay interest on your debt.
When you have no debt (this means no credit card bills, loan bills, student loan bills, car payments, and yes, even house payments) you will have a sense of freedom that most people can not even imagine. Job loss will be a mere blip on you your radar, hardly anything to worry about. Picking up and moving your family from the site of a natural disaster which was formerly your town will be sad but not overly problematic. You will have LOTS and LOTS of cash left over from each paycheck to do with as you will (which means buying some cool survival gear, buying a few extra cases of canned good to add to your stockpile, and buying ammo when it comes available instead of 'waiting til next time'). Your stress level will significantly decrease, the relationship with your spouse will significantly increase, and you will set an amazing example for your kids that could influence them for a lifetime.
Here's how to get out of debt:
- Follow Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps
- Listen or watch the Dave Ramsey show every day
- Follow the debt snowball plan
- Get gazelle intense
- Get inspired
By now you can tell I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey. I like his "system" because it isn't a system. It is common sense about money that never changes despite what the economy is doing. It is someone telling you that YOU are responsible for your debt and that, yes, it is possible for YOU to be debt free by taking responsibility for your actions (no one wants to hear this but it is quite true. Plus there are no other systems for getting out of debt other than plain old hard work).
So your task for today is to take the first steps towards getting out of debt. Pick your smallest debt, list something on ebay or Craigslist or sell your blood or throw together a garage sale, put all of the proceeds from the sale towards your smallest debt, and you will be well on your way towards becoming debt free.