The First Step to Getting Out of Debt

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Have you been thinking about getting out of debt? I mean, you have entertained the idea before and paid a little bit toward your credit card once in a while, but you didn’t really take a dive at your debt seriously. If you were truly serious about getting out of debt, you would have changed your lifestyle and would be much richer today.

I strongly encourage you to take the first step in getting out of debt. I took this step over 4 years ago and have been debt free (outside of my mortgage) since February, 2011. Having money at the end of the month and being able to pay the bills without worry has been amazing. Can you imagine an ever-increasing bank account hardly trying? One morning you’ll wake up and just happen to notice that you have over $2,000 in your checking account. A few months later this amount will have accidentally grown to $5,000, and then $10,000. You then start to wonder what you should even do with it! Let me tell you though, these are great problems to have.

Take the First Step: Sell Your Possessions 

grab moneyAt the point when you really become serious about getting out of debt, you want to see your debt total go down, and fast. Typically, this can’t be done with your normal income because you have stretched yourself too thin (in terms of cash flow) as it is, so in order to get your debt payments rolling you’ll need to sell some stuff – obviously, the more the better.

So what kind of stuff should you get rid of? Truthfully, I would just start out selling anything that has a real value and that others would want. If you have outdoor toys like quads, dirt bikes, or wave runners that you hardly use anymore, start with those. They are in the price category that people can easily afford without getting help from the bank. At the same time though, I would put the big stuff on the market. If you have an extra car or a boat that you can really do without (you have to be honest with yourself here), then put them on the market too.

Listing your items through Craigslist is typically the best way to get rid of them. Your customers are local and can quickly come with cash to make the purchase. Within one day of listing your item you could have cash in your hand and make that big deposit into the bank.

From this point you must move on to step two (yes, I’m going to give away step 2, so listen closely). While it will be very tempting to use that money you just received to buy something else, please DO NOT! This money is first for a small emergency fund of $1,000, and then the rest of it is for putting toward your smallest debts (likely a store credit card or a gas card). Then, once you get a small debt taken care of, you can use that money you had been paying each month to that small debt and put it toward the next largest debt. Then, once that larger debt is paid for, you can take that payment and put it toward the next largest debt. This is called the debt snowball. Once it gets rolling, you can really start to pay off your debts in a hurry!

Are you ready to take the first step toward getting out of debt?

 

Weekly Round-Up

I have not only read a few articles, but have also listened to a few podcasts this week. Here is the best of the best from this past week!

The Most Popular Way to Stay Broke – by My Journey to Millions

Investing Tip #52: Invest Small Amounts Regularly – by the College Investor

Deciding to Be Content, Even When Life Doesn’t Go the Way You Plan – by Prairie Eco Thrifter

Is Holding a Garage Sale Worth It? – by Barbara Friedberg

Should You Invest in Your 401k If You Plan to Retire Early? – by Retire by 40

3 Reasons You Don’t Become Wealthy by Paying Retail – by Narrow Bridge Finance

Podcasts

Radical Personal Finance – Part One

Radical Personal Finance – Part Two

Mr. Money Mustache – Early Retirement Made Easy

J.D. Roth – Get Rich Slowly

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Money

Derek

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

4 Comments

  1. I find putting extra money aside to an emergency fund to be a huge motivator. When I was living paycheck to paycheck, it was easy to spend what little extra I had because saving seemed impossible. But once I started to see the balance in my checking account grow, I realized that was way more fun than spending and my mindset instantly changed. From there, it was easier for me to stay motivated and tackle my debt!
    Shannon recently posted..How Your Brain Works Against You in Making Financial Decisions

    • Great point Shannon! Once I started building up my savings and saw my net worth increase, I was excited to pay down more debt and save more. Then, once you stick with it for a while, you begin to realize just how quickly you can rid yourself of debt completely!

    • It sure is a great feeling. Some people should really learn the art of simplicity and get rid of some of their belongings. After a few weeks, they won’t even think about it or miss it.


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