5 habits to get you out of debt

A voice of experience offers tips on gaining control of your finances and wiping out big bills -- a little bit at a time.

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VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

40Comments
Oct 4, 2012 10:14AM
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Very simple solutions to this:

 

1.  Realize that credit card charges are actually real money

2.  Don't buy stuff you can't afford

3.  Pay your bills and credit card charges as they occur

4.  Homes and cars may require financing.  NOTHING ELSE DOES.  If you have to finance a TV or home appliance, you can't afford it.  Buy used or keep what you already have.

5.  The fact that "you are not alone" is no excuse.  Nobody should have to pay YOUR bills but YOU.

6.  Stop whining and pull your head out.  Some people don't have enough good sense to have credit cards.

Oct 7, 2012 4:47PM
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Money isn't that hard to manage. If you can't afford it don't buy it. Never use a credit card unless it's an emergency. Just because somebody else has something doesn't mean you deserve the same thing. In most cases people just need to grow up and deal with reality. American people (usually the younger crowd) actually believe they deserve thing instead of earning them. That's one reason the U.S. is in the shape it's in. Mostly, spoiled brats.
Oct 5, 2012 10:06PM
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We are 100% debt free, including our house. Life is good. We are slaves to no one. I work to keep health insurance for us. We are to young for medicare. Life is great. I wish everyone could feel this way.
Oct 4, 2012 2:25PM
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Dave Ramsey changed my life.  I'm going to be debt free in the next year or so, and I am so excited about it!  I've been worrying for a long time if I'd have to work at a big box store after I retire to make ends meet - - now I know I'll have a choice.  Doing the debt snowball, living like no one else, rice & beans and beans & rice, gazelle intensity - - it will all pay off.  Get the Total Money Makeover book from the library - - you'll be so glad you did!!
Oct 15, 2012 2:48PM
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DAVERAMSEY.com!!!  Dave uses the no BS approach to managing money.  Borrowing money for the things you want is not the way to become wealthy.  Being able to keep your paycheck in the bank is!    When you borrow money you are a slave to the lender!  I like having the money in the bank knowing that I COULD buy it if I wanted to, but I don't.  It's amazing what people think they NEED.  Live on the bare minimums for a while and you will pay off your debt and have money in the bank.  It takes perserverence and the biggy...Sacrifice.
Oct 4, 2012 9:59AM
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wholeheartedly agree with you mortgagefree.
I did not pay cash for my house, however I did put 35% down and paid of the mortgage in approx. 5.5 years. If I would have just waited 5 years to purchase a house I could have paid cash, so it is very much a good goal to have.
If we ever move again I can assure you I will never have a mortgage again. ( or a car payment, or cc debt, or debt of any kind.)
The freedom of being debt free surpasses all!!

Oct 15, 2012 2:54PM
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You should pay off the lowest amount of debt first!  This last slide totally contradicts what he was saying before about setting small goals.  If your largest debt has the highest interest rate, it could take years to pay it off!  Where's the satisfaction in that?  Pay off small debts first, then work up to the big ones.  Dave Ramsey 101 people!

Oct 4, 2012 10:34AM
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i destroyed all credit cards but one.   If I couldn't pay cash, I didn't buy it.   I have all paid off but the one, and it is getting close, but since it has automatic monthly charges on it for things such as Home Protection Plans, it will always carry a small balance.   
Oct 4, 2012 11:33AM
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Getting out of debt is SIMPLE.  Cut up credit cards and don't spend more than you make.  Use the extra towards paying off the debt you do have.  I started using this site a few weeks ago BuckleDownFinance.com which is pretty cool and of course everyone knows mint.com.
Oct 4, 2012 11:01AM
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I keep very small balances on my credit card. usually just to keep it "active". I really dont like to carry a balance and I shouldnt have to, I dont have kids, I dont have a medical condition (by the grace of god), I dont really have an excuse to be in the red as I have a decent job.

 

I try to plan as best I can and make appropriate decisions. I have student loans, mortgage and now a car note. I plan to pay off my student loans upon the sale of my home or renting it out at exhorbitant amounts (LOL- I live by a very popular attraction). My car note will be paid off in a year and a half. ....I can honestly say, my mortgage will probably be the only longterm debt I carry unless I sell, and if I ever buy again I will have a mortgage that is extremely low or doesnt exist. I learned my lesson this time around!

Oct 15, 2012 3:13PM
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I have NO credit cards, just a car payment and I would love to pay it off early but never have extra money. I have MINIMAL bills and still seem to get nowhere quick
Oct 15, 2012 4:13PM
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Unrealistic article.  Most Americans have more than one credit card balance, (debt) and find it difficult to pay $500/month.  They have a mortgage, car or cars, kids, and other necessary expenses.  Every time someone pays off A credit card bill..automatically they become experts & have to write an article about how they went without and really dug deep and sufferred to pay a $1,000 credit card bill.  So Hoakey.

Oct 15, 2012 2:33PM
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This is a great little article & we do this already & just paid off our credit card!!  I will say though the scenerio above is someone who has little debt & with the way the ecomony has been many people have much more debt then person did so it may take you longer then a year.
Oct 15, 2012 1:27PM
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Please, everyone visit We are debt free and saving cash for our first house! We don't own one single credit card, and never will.
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This is an important topic and one that should be shared and talked about more often. Unfortunately, the article is too 'generic' and 'bland' to really help those with major debt. Telling someone to pay more than the minimum or to relate with those who are in the same situation doesn't do much in the long run. In order to really cut down on debt is to cut down on costs that are either too high or unnecessary. Be it, cable tv, coffee, car insurance, there are ways to save money here. Also, trying to find an extra job or another income helps. I'm currently in debt, but am on my way to a recovery by cutting costs, big time, and it really makes a difference at the end of each month. Be realistic and be prepared.
Oct 4, 2012 7:10AM
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In this, only two things actually applied.  And they both were common sense things.
Oct 15, 2012 4:05PM
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The very best way to save money....day in...and, day out....is DO NOT WATCH TV.
Oct 15, 2012 5:32PM
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pay your bills!..you are young and need to establish this habit now.  Cost of living will always be something we have to pay...and sometimes the fun stuff has to be put on the back burner. YET, if we are responsible now...it will pay off in the long run! ...awwwwww Solomon Islands...  :)  Always keep a fund back....like someone once told me..put a penny back each day...one penny..two penny..three penny on the third day...it's a good practice.  GOOD LUCK ALL...together we can make it!!!!

Oct 15, 2012 5:44PM
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Yes, this is a joke, get a grib on student loan debt--well, well, let us see now it takes an average of 6.5 month to find a job after a BS, and much more for PHD and Masters, and the 150 K debt should be paid, nice------from what my dear---???? Try to be real  here instead of playing dreamland! Never mind the car, apartment, food, doctor, clothing--never mind all that entertainment you were promised---

Let us get a real story here, and talk about why too many people with  an IQ of less than 110, can not get a job anyway, when they come to me for an interview, instead MOST people should be sent 4-6 years into an apprenteship type education, like caring, life food service, like assistant to the assistant---the actual jobs out there, and lots of them.

 

Oct 15, 2012 1:10PM
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