Anyone that has ever been in debt knows just how difficult it can be to get out of that hole. The thing is, staying out of debt can actually be easier than getting back out of it. Whether you are already debt free, or have recently become so, make sure that you know the proper way of doing so. Surprisingly, staying out of debt is made up of mostly common sense steps on your part. That being said, here are some of the more common sense steps that you can take to ensure you remain debt free.
- No new credit cards. Have you ever noticed how, every so often, you will get a new offer for a credit card in the mail? Well, instead of signing up for a new credit card each time one of these comes in, ignore them. If you are really interested in having a debt free lifestyle, then you want to avoid signing up for any new credit cards. Frankly it is way too easy to forget how much you owe on multiple credit cards, and have your debt get out of control.
- Pay off existing credit cards. If you do have any credit cards, then pay them off as quickly and effectively as possible. This may require that you cut back expenditures in other areas, but avoid paying the minimum payment as much as possible. Frankly, by only paying the minimum payment you are only really paying the interest, and very little goes towards the principal. Just remember that large balances and large interest rates are really bad combinations (unless we are talking about savings accounts).
- Spend less. One of the best ways to help stay out of debt is to spend as little as possible. It may sound crazy, but if you purchase store brand items that cost $0.68 rather than the name brands that cost $2.00, over time the savings really add up.
- Pay cash. Where ever, and when ever you can pay cash instead of using credit. By paying credit you are only putting off and adding to what you owe. By paying cash, you will have no outstanding debts that are owed, and you will also find yourself spending less in general. Frankly it can often be depressing to see the money vanish from your wallet, and this can help you spend less money in the future.
- Never pay full price. When you need to purchase large items, try to find the most cost effective way of doing so. Typically this will mean that you purchase things while on sale, or use some coupons. Another effective way to save some money (at least if you have a large family) is by going to one of those club stores like Costco or Sam's Club.