Perhaps one of the most common tips on how to get out of debt is to not get in debt in the first place. However, with 69 percent of Americans battling debt averaging upwards of $70,000, we asked our Facebook followers to share their best piece of advice for those struggling to get out of debt.
Here are some of their top tips.
While credit cards allow you to spend money you don't have, sticking strictly to cash mandates that you spend only the money you have on hand. Relying on cash lessens the urge to overspend, which consumers tend to do by 12 to 18 percent when paying with a card instead of cash.
Facebook user Diane B. says to "stop using your credit cards." This might be easier if you cut them up, according to user Al B.
Craig R. recommends just getting rid of them altogether to eliminate the temptation to live beyond your means. Even if it's not ideal, learning to live within your means sets a sturdy foundation for digging yourself out of debt.
While it may be nice to own a newer car, Edward K. believes that it's better to have one that's payed for. Even if this means driving an older model for a few extra years, it's worth it. Billie L. says it's important to be realistic about purchase decisions, not buying anything that you don't absolutely need.
Recovering from debt typically requires some sacrifice to trim back on spending habits, though the process doesn't have to be excruciating. Getting creative with how you spend the money you do have can be easier and more effective than shorting your spending altogether.
Robin F. recommends looking on Pinterest, an online collection of creativity. The site contains some thrifty and surprising ways you can save money, and it's not just for the ladies, either. You can also save money by eating meals at home, taking your own lunch, cutting out smoking, giving up cable channels and buying clothes from a thrift store, suggests user Laura H. Tonya N. also advises checking out thrift stores and yard sales, as well as shopping the sales and clearance racks, learning to use coupons and cooking from scratch.
After eliminating the temptation to overspend and adopting some creative money-saving practices, digging yourself out of debt becomes much simpler. Effective money management is a discipline developed over time, but once that crucial skill is mastered, the rest will follow.
As Facebook user Mike M. puts it, "If you watch your pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves."
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