101 Tips For Getting Out of Debt

Updated by Admin on 19th March 2020

No messing around here! The following are 101 specific tips for helping you get out of debt and staying out of debt for good. I will warn you… these get very specific and some of these tips if followed, will challenge your self-discipline and level of commitment. How bad do you want to get out of debt? Are you willing to sacrifice expensive things and work hard to get there?

Here are the 101 tips for getting out of debt!


2. Cut up your Credit Cards.

3. Create and commit to a realistic budget. Use websites like Mint.com to setup budgets and track your progress. (Here are free budget spreadsheet samples).

4. Get a second job (or 3rd) to increase your income.

5. Call your creditors and negotiate lower interest rates on credit cards, and any other loan (personal loans, mortgages, payday loans, etc.).

6. Eliminate all unnecessary monthly expenses (cable, magazine subscriptions, Netflix, coffee stops, eating out, gym memberships, overuse of cell phone, etc.).

7. Save 10% of your monthly income. Put it into a high-interest earning savings account and DON’T touch it. Have the money automatically withdrawn from your paycheck so you never see it.

8. Consolidate your debts. If you can qualify or have equity in your home, consolidate your debts into one payment at a much lower interest rate.

9. Contact a Credit Counseling Service. (Learn more about Credit Counseling).

10. Spend less than you earn.

11. Refinance your mortgage (the interest rate reduction could save you thousands over the life of the loan).

12. Use coupons. Always be looking for bargains…on everything.

13. Create passive income from assets that make you money (vs. buying liabilities that only depreciate).

14. Consider Bankruptcy and Debt Settlement companies as your absolute LAST OPTION. Try everything else listed in this post before going down this route. (Learn more about Bankruptcy and Debt Settlement).

15. Get insurance. Ensure you have adequate auto, health, life, and disability insurance.

16. Borrow from your 401K.

17. After you put 10% of ALL your money into a savings account, the majority of your funds you typically keep in a checking account should be placed in a temporary account (that is liquid so you can withdraw) that earns a higher interest rate (don’t let it just sit in a checking account earning no interest).

18. Pay more than the minimum payments on your credit cards. Pay as much over the minimum as you can possibly afford.

19. Pay with cash… for everything!

20. Get educated. The more education you receive, the more your income-earning potential is. And remember that going into debt for education is good debt and a wise investment. (Keep in mind that you can save thousands on tuition by taking advantage of company education benefits, government grants, financial aid, and scholarships).

21. Get term life insurance (vs. whole life insurance). Never forget that insurance is NOT an investment.

22. Do balance transfers and get balances on one card with much lower interest rate (but be sure that the balance transfer fees are not more than the money you will save). Take advantage of 0% balance transfer options.

23. Borrow against your Life Insurance policy.

24. Don’t be dumb. If you have a savings account earning 3% interest and a credit card charging you 18% interest, while it is still important to save money, you need to pay off that debt ASAP (having your money earning 3% while you are charged 18% is… FOOLISH).

25. Take advantage of pre-tax income. Contribute to and maximize company contributions to your 401(k), and use the Flexible Spending Account your company provides.

26. Everything is negotiable. From the clothes you buy to the new service you sign up for to the fees you pay… everything is negotiable.

27. Have a plan. Create a realistic plan of how you will pay off debts. Set goals and deadlines, and hold yourself accountable (as well as reward yourself).

28. Raise your deductibles. Call your insurance company and see how much you can save by just raising your deductibles.

29. Make sure you take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) match (if available). Maximize your contributions.

30. Anticipate and save for major expenses and emergencies. Cars break down, unanticipated doctor visits and illnesses happen, pipes leak, emergencies happen, etc.

31. Pay off card / loan with smallest balance first. When that is complete, a mental battle is won and you are motivated to move on to the next card, etc. Otherwise, pay off highest interest card / loan first and work down to lowest interest card.

32. Move into a smaller place.

33. Learn about compounding interest and how it both benefits and hurts you. Put money into accounts that compound interest works for you, and get your money out of accounts (credit cards and loans) where compounding interest is working against you.

34. Shop around for lower insurance rates.

35. Absolutely, I repeat, absolutely avoid ‘get rich quick’ scams. Getting out of debt and earning money takes time and requires a lot of work.

36. Never spend money just to make yourself feel better when you are discouraged, depressed, frustrated, or lonely.

37. Start a blog. Find a topic you are passionate about and knowledgeable in, and get a readership built up, and then start monetizing your traffic through advertisements.

38. Put a note in your wallet (or actually on your debit card) that says: “Is this a want or a need?”

39. Reduce your credit limits. If you have a $12,000 limit on your card, reduce it.

40. Go to your local library and check out and read books about getting out of debt, personal finance, investing, etc.

41. Find free forms of entertainment. Almost every major city has multiple websites, newspapers, libraries, and bulletin boards that list and announce free and fun events within the community.

42. Money is NOT evil. Change the way you think about money. Look at money as a way to create time freedom, financial independence, and resources to help other people.

44. Turn off the TV, don’t leave things plugged in, turn off the lights, etc.

45. Live with roommates, or invite roommates / others to live with you to subsidize housing costs.

46. Be an educated shopper and do your research before buying. Do your research and compare prices, read consumer reviews, find the best deals, etc. Don’t buy on emotion, be sure to wait a day or two before buying to determine if it really is a ‘want’ or a ‘need.’

47. Lower your monthly phone usage minutes, or get a different and cheaper cell phone plan.

48. Shop around for more economical utility plans.

49. Read the fine print. Back in the mid 2000’s, had all those people who got an ARM mortgage read the fine print, perhaps they would not have signed. Any legal document or loan entered into, be sure to read ALL of the fine print.

50. Ride bike to work. Carpool. Take public transit. Run to work.

51. Continuously visit and read blogs like: www.DaveRamsey.com, www.Suzeorman.com, www.24Biz.biz/blog/

52. Get a programmable thermostat. You can save anywhere from 10-20% on your monthly heating and cooling bill.

53. Create a shopping list (have a plan). Buy NEEDS, not wants.

54. Take care of your car. Do oil changes, change air filter, keep tires full (to increase gas mileage), etc.

55. Regularly check and clean all appliances (fridge, washer/dryer, AC / heating unit, vacuum, etc.). Change vents and clean often.

56. Buy generic. A higher price or fancy label or well-known brand does not always equate to a better product.

57. Take a sack lunch to work… just do it.

58. Ever heard of Google? Before you call the repair or service man, see if Google can teach you how to fix things that are broken, or how to do a job, etc.

59. Utilize your dirt. Plant a garden.

60. Take advantage of wholesale grocery store memberships.

61. Sell old and unused things on Ebay or Craigslist. Have a garage sale.

62. Make more than 1 payment each month to debts. Most loans compound daily, so if you send in the same amount, but at 3 different times during the month, you’ll be charged less interest. Also, look into payments online (which you’ll never pay by credit card, right) instead of paying by check (this gets the money there quicker so you avoid being charged more interest, and you don’t pay money for a stamp).

63. Do you absolutely ‘need’ your boat, ATV’s, golf clubs, snowmobiles, etc.?

64. Find a partner to hold you accountable. Prepare a plan with specific goals and deadlines, and share that plan with a spouse or friend, and have them help you, follow-up, and hold you accountable (have rewards and consequences). Don’t be ashamed or afraid to admit you need help. The more you tell others and communicate, the more motivated you will be and the more people there will be to help you.

65. If possible, borrow money from a family member or friend.

66. Work over-time.

67. Don’t upgrade your lifestyle after that next pay raise or promotion.

68. Start a small side business and earn extra money creatively (using your interests and talents). If you know how to paint, fix computers, repair cars, style hair, make crafts, build websites, etc… then start promoting your talents and charge a fee for your services. Are you a handy man, photographer, musician, electrician, tutor, etc. Be creative.

69. Quit smoking (or any other expensive habit).

70. Stop paying the small fees. Overdraft fees, late payment fees, monthly fees, etc. Get overdraft protection set up (and always go off your own records … which you are keeping, right … not off the bank’s records).

71. Keep the change. Make sure every extra dime, nickel, and penny you have, you keep and save.

72. Cut the extra’s on the phone and cable bill. Do you need all those extra or premium channels? Do you need call forwarding, call screening, or those extra minutes you don’t use? In fact, BUNDLE the two bills with internet and you’ll save even more.

73. Keep track of and record where every dime is spent. Use a program like Microsoft Money or Quicken, and record every dime you spend so you can know where you can cut the ‘wants’ and only spend on the needs.

74. Hide the credit card at Christmas time, during vacations, during emergencies, etc. Only pay CASH.

75. Ever heard of the internet? Why do people have a magazine or newspaper subscription in our day and age, when they can get all their information and news and ‘gossip’ online for FREE.

76. Stop trying to ‘keep up with the Jones’ and trying to appear rich. You don’t need a fancy car or big house like your neighbors (because they probably had to go into debt to get theirs… so, let them appear rich and remain enslaved to their creditors).

77. In the winter, put on a sweater and have a blanket nearby.

78. Be thrifty. Shop at thrift stores. Sew patches on clothes. Do hand-me-downs. Repaint and refinish furniture. Fix the lawnmower yourself. Do your own oil changes. Etc. Find the do-it-yourself blogs… you can learn how to do anything.

79. If married or have a partner, be sure you both are on the same page, both committed to your plan, both willing to cut spending and save, and both determined to help each other get out of debt.

80. Be realistic. If you have been accumulating debt for four years, it will probably take you much longer than that to pay it all off.

81. Any time you come across or earn extra money in addition to your normal monthly income, put it straight towards paying off debt.

The Final 20
Below are the final 20 tips about how you can get out of debt. The 81 listed above are practical and applicable tips… the 20 below are more mental and psychological in nature. However, they are just as, if not more, important than anything listed above:

82. Find the ‘why.’ Why do you want to get out of debt? Is it to have more time freedom, to start a business, get rid of the stress, have extra to spend on your children / family, to have more time with family, etc. Find your ‘why,’ constantly remind yourself of it, look at it and repeat it daily, and let it motivate you.

83. Be positive. You can do this. Realistically, it will take time… but do NOT get discouraged. Discipline your mind and create positive self-talk always.

84. Be patient. Getting out of debt takes time. Develop a ‘chip away’ mentality along the way.

85. Be consistent. Put 10% aside from every dollar you make. Make more than the minimum payment on every payment. Pay cash with everything. Etc. Be consistent.

86. Be responsible and have integrity. Face the reality that you got yourself into this situation. No matter how mad you get about a credit card company charging you such a high interest rate, you knew the terms, you borrowed the money, and now you need to be financially responsible and have integrity and pay the debts back.

87. Create small wins along the way (reward yourself).

88. Budget realistically. You know you are going to need money for gifts, entertainment, and spending on your family. Budget these fun things and ‘wants’ into the budget and be realistic.

89. Make sacrifices. Despite the fact that the point above is true, be willing to ‘go without’ and discipline yourself for a time period.

90. Recognize the seriousness of the problem. Your credit will be ruined (if it’s not already). Lenders and creditors in the future will either not lend to you or lend at ridiculously high interest rates (which affects insurance rates, job offers, mortgage rates, etc). Don’t wish the problem away, don’t think that ‘debt settlement’ or ‘bankruptcy’ is the only solution… take ownership of the problem, implement the tips in this post, and take action to get out of debt and save your financial future.

91. Consider changing who you “hang” around. Surround yourself with successful and positive people. If friends are in the same situation as you and are negative, stop hanging around them. Success breeds success.

92. Daily envision yourself as debt free.

93. Talk to others about your debt. Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous – but be humble, open, and willing enough to do so, because when others start to know about your situation, they not only help by encouraging and following-up with you, but because you know that others know, you feel more of a commitment to do something about it (to not let them down).

94. Stop making excuses. It is not your spouse’s, friends, or childrens fault you are in debt. It wasn’t the economy going bad that is justification for your situation. It is not the creditors or banks who made you borrow that money. Stop giving excuses and do something about it. Change your attitude, mentality, and actions.

95. Control and discipline your thoughts. Envision yourself in 5-7 years when you are out of debt and what you’ll be able to do. Constantly keep your goals and plan in the forefront of your mind, and don’t become discouraged that it takes time and effort to get out of debt.

96. Think big. Think in terms of ‘I am going to get wealthy’ instead of just ‘I am going to get out of debt.’

97. Sit down every month with your spouse or friend (who is going to hold you accountable for your ‘get out of debt’ plan) and have a monthly meeting about where you are at, what you accomplished, what you can improve upon, what you can cut back on, etc.

98. Have fun with it!

99. Never forget that you can become and accomplish anything!

100. Never give up. You can do this!

101. Continually come back to this blog to educate and re-motivate yourself.