7 Healthy Habits To Get Out Of Debt

Check out these 7 healthy ideas to get out of debt!

Let’s face it, the reason you’re in debt is partly due to some bad habits.  To simplify it even more, you spend, or have spent more than your income which has left you in this stressful position.

I can give you all the tips and strategies in the world to get a handle on your debt, but if you hold onto those old spending habits, you will never be able to change your situation.  Consumer debt is the main one we will focus on today because consumer debt is the one that is most influenced by habits.  Your student loans are probably done and over with and now you must deal with the consequences of your school finance choices. (Student loans will be discussed in another post)

Without further ado, here are some habits to develop in order to keep you from going further into consumer debt.

1. Do A Monthly Budget

I know you may be sick and tired of reading about budgets, but I can’t help it.  A budget really is the first main key to getting and staying out of debt.  A budget gives you a game plan at the beginning of the month for where your money will go, and how much you are allowed to spend on discretionary items.  As you know, developed habits get easier over time and the same applies to a budget habit.  The first couple of months will be tiresome… but I PROMISE, if you keep with it, the monthly budget process will become quicker and will require much less work to update.

By using the monthly budget, you will also be able to track your spending and visually see where you did well and where you need to improve the next month.  If you need more help with building a budget, please refer to my related article: Budget Isn’t A Bad Word.

2. Focus Your Time And Money On Things You Value

If you really examine every dollar you spend on a monthly basis, I’m willing to bet you spend a lot of money on things that don’t add value to your life.  For instance, sometimes I get a craving for cheese dip and chips.  Needless to say, after I finish that can of cheese dip, my body hates itself and I usually regret my decision.

It’s about getting out of our normal spending habits.  Much of our life is on auto pilot and we buy and do the same things each day.  Make sure each dollar you spend is going towards something that adds value to your life rather than just buying junk to fill a void.

3. Make A Stand – Say “No” To Debt!

hands black and white fingers palm
Photo by Josie Stephens on Pexels.com

This comes down to a change in lifestyle and mindset.  We need to be in a mental state that refuses to tolerate debt.  Debt is not our friend – not a $100 dollar balance on a credit card, or $10,000.  Debt is debt.  If you are tired of your money and debt controlling you, it’s time you called the shots.  Do you like making monthly interest payments to someone who is profiting off you?  Then don’t rack up any more debt!  All you need is the basics.  Food, clothing, and shelter.  Take care of those basics and the rest is all discretionary fluff.  Refuse to spend more on fluff than you need to – you can’t afford to add more fluff debt!

4. Cash Is King

Have you ever tried a cash only budget?  A great habit to get into if you’re having difficulty with your spending is to go to the ATM each month and take out cash.  Keep your cash separated by the different categories you budgeted for each month.  Groceries for instance, is a common area many people over spend.  If you have only a certain amount of cash in your possession, you know exactly what you are allowed to spend.  When the cash is gone, it’s gone.  No more overdraft issues!

5. Say, “No” To Your Spending Habits!

When do you go shopping for things you don’t need?  Many of us have things that happen in our life that trigger us to spend.  It may be going to the mall and “window shopping” that turns into “actual shopping.”  Others of us are addicted to Amazon.  What triggers these spending sprees?  Some people shop when they are depressed, others when they are bored.  Find out why you spend when you do, and when you feel the need to shop to fill a void – snap out of it and find something else to do that won’t put you in debt.  Go for a jog or do some push ups – physical exercise is a great way to get your mind off things.

6. Reward Yourself!

brown wooden floating shelves mounted on beige painted wall
Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

At times, people on their debt free journey can become disgruntled and lose sight of their goals that seem so far away.  We start the journey with optimism and energy, but a few months or years into it we can feel defeated and fail to see the progress we have made.  In order to keep yourself motivated on this journey, set small goals for yourself and celebrate when you reach them!  For instance, my wife and I have a jar with glass marbles in it.  Each marble represents $1,000 and if you add them all together you get our total mortgage.  Each $1,000 we pay off our house, a marble is removed.  After 10 marbles are taken away, we go out to dinner as a reward!

Making small attainable goals and celebrating our successes is great for keeping us motivated.  Reward yourself for reaching small goals but don’t go father in debt during the celebration…

7.  Don’t Spend It – Save It!

This is a great habit that people who win with money do on a daily and weekly basis.  If your food budget is $200 a week, and at the end of the week you still have $50 left over – don’t spend it! Don’t make your next weeks budget $250 for food.  If you can save money in any area, keep it stashed away until the end of the month and put it toward paying down debt.  Often we get excited when we meet a goal or spend less than we planned and we celebrate by buying a steak dinner with the extra money.  Instead, use it to pay off your debt that much faster!  I like to hide my left over cash so it is out of sight, out of mind.  I can’t spend it if I can’t see it!


Our debt issue is a habit issue.  The habit of giving into our lack of will power, or our habit of ignoring our finances.  You have daily habits that you don’t even realize you have.  Through perseverance and repetition, you can create new healthy financial habits that take place of the bad habits.

You are the only person who can make the choice to be debt free and significantly reduce the financial stress in your life.  Eliminating debt and getting on track is difficult only in that it requires a change of habit.  It requires you to make a conscience decision to change the way you spend and to build a life that does not worry about money.  People with spending plans don’t stress over money – they know where it is going and they have the emergency backups in the event the unexpected happens.  I pray you can find this peace that I have and have the determination to change your habits.

If I can be of any assistance to you, please feel free to reach out!  There is no reason for you to live another day with this much stress and uncertainty in your life!  Please comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts and what healthy habits you have developed that are not on this list!  As always, please remember to subscribe to my blog and share this across social media if you found it helpful!  Thank you for reading and stay safe my friends. You work too hard to be this broke!

-Ryan

 

 

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Author: Ryan

Hi!  My name is Ryan and I have a passion for personal finance and education.  I am married and have three children, a girl and two boys all under the age of ten.  My wife stays home with the kids so it can be challenging to live off one income.  Much of what I write is based off my personal experiences and what I have learned in the course of my life. My financial journey began when my wife and I saved up a sum of money and I didn't know who I could trust to invest it.  After several interviews with financial advisers, I still didn't feel like I could trust anyone.  That began my journey to educate myself by reading every finance book I could get my hand on and by attending financial seminars.  After getting a good handle on debt, finance, and investments, I decided to start this blog as a resource for others who find it difficult to trust people with their money. I recently started writing this blog about how to get out of debt and start investing to create the future you deserve. I have been in law enforcement for 14 years and I have seen the devastation left behind by people who mismanage their finances.  I started this blog because I want to help as many people I can by educating them on common sense money management. As far as my formal education, I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Administration Degree from Northern Arizona University.  I am an adjunct professor at a local community college and I have been a student of finance for many years. This blog is dedicated to those looking to eliminate their debt and to mold a new way of thinking, living, and spending. Education, focused on financial stability and wealth, is the main purpose of this blog. This website is a new journey for me and I know there are areas that I could improve.  Please feel free to reach out to me with any critiques - I would love the feedback so I can be as effective as I possibly can and provide the most relevant information.  I look forward to writing for you and learning with you! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you! -Ryan

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