How can I get Debt Free?

H. Terry
H. Terry
People in debt often benefit from analyzing how they ended up in debt in the first place.
People in debt often benefit from analyzing how they ended up in debt in the first place.

To get debt free, a person must first analyze exactly how his or her total debt was accumulated. A firm understanding of one's own economic reality makes it easier to avoid repeating past mistakes, prioritize debt payments, and adjust spending habits. It also makes it clearer whether or not it is necessary to seek supplementary income.

The thought of gambling one's way out of debt can be enticing. Casinos are not the only businesses that trade in this quick-fix temptation — high risk investments, pyramid schemes and dubious agencies offering to help one get debt free at a cost are all more likely to deepen debt than alleviate it. A person who is in debt cannot afford to take such risks, and there is no risk-free way to become debt free quickly.

Avoiding the use of credit cards can help reduce debt.
Avoiding the use of credit cards can help reduce debt.

Patience and perseverance are the surest killers of debt, and debt needs to be tackled systematically. Each separate debt that a person has to pay — no matter how large or small — should be written down in one place for comparison. The debts with the highest interest rates should be placed at the top of the list and dealt with first.

The sources of each debt should also be analyzed and sub-listed. Once these particular sources are determined, those expenses that are not immediately vital should be eliminated from the person's current lifestyle. Spending on luxuries, no matter how small, makes more sense for people with surplus wealth than for those in debt. It is important not to view sacrifices as depressing reminders of debt, but rather as proofs of the will power necessary to escape it.

Paying off credit cards with higher interest rates first can help a person eliminate debt.
Paying off credit cards with higher interest rates first can help a person eliminate debt.

When personal debt seems overwhelming, people sometimes make the mistake of viewing smaller expenses as trifles. If one already owes $10,000 US Dollars (USD), this fallacy goes, what difference will it make to spend another $20USD? That false logic applied 100 times leads to an additional $2,000 USD of debt.

If a person is truly committed to getting debt free as soon as possible, this goal should trump other priorities. It is important to accept that certain perceived needs — living in a certain neighborhood or driving a particular car, for example — might not be, in fact, as necessary as they seem. In extreme circumstances, working multiple jobs to rise out of debt might be a worthwhile option; in most cases, learning to live within one's means is the healthiest and most sustainable path to becoming and staying debt free.

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    • People in debt often benefit from analyzing how they ended up in debt in the first place.
      By: Gajus
      People in debt often benefit from analyzing how they ended up in debt in the first place.
    • Avoiding the use of credit cards can help reduce debt.
      By: bramgino
      Avoiding the use of credit cards can help reduce debt.
    • Paying off credit cards with higher interest rates first can help a person eliminate debt.
      By: Merkuri2
      Paying off credit cards with higher interest rates first can help a person eliminate debt.