There are five things you can do to get out of debt:
- Stop buying expensive coffee shop coffee. Make your own at home and carry it to work in a thermos.
- Stop eating out for lunch. Brown bag it.
- Stop subscribing to newspapers and magazines. You don’t read them anyway.
- Start paying off your credit cards everything month. When you pay interest on a credit card you are giving some Wall Street thief money for nothing. Didn’t they steal enough of your hard earned cash in that government bailout?
- Stop buying things other than houses or cars on credit. Paying interest on a latte is idiotic. Stop doing that.
Buying vs. renting
There are many more things you should consider before going on a budget. For instance, if you plan to stay in the town where you now reside for ten years or more, compare the monthly house payments in a couple of neighborhoods that you would like to live in to the rent you pay for your family to live in an apartment. If the monthly payment for a house is the same or lower than the monthly payment for rent, you need to be buying a house. Be sure to factor in things like keeping the car in a rented garage or whatever else you might be forking over in order to rent an apartment.
Cut the cable
If you find yourself paying for cable on a channel that never has movies you want, or always has the movies at an inconvenient time or just repeats movies you have already seen all the time, cut the cable. Use a service like Netflix to rent movies you want when you want to watch them. Or you could hook up with a streaming service to watch what you want. There are services popping up all over the Internet that could also help you cut the cable. Stopping paying for cable every month. Even those cable shows you want to watch are put on DVDs so that you can rent them and watch them when you want.
Lose the land line
Almost everyone has a cell phone these days so that landline is very likely a complete waste of money. You can get a phone card if you need to call long distance or just get a cell phone plan that allows it. Better yet, look into using something like Skype or Vontage to see if you can reduce or eliminate long distance bills by calling people over the Internet.
Stop the subscriptions
Do you have a bunch of magazines, books and newspapers piling up that you one day intend to read but know that you will never get around to? Stop all the subscriptions and don’t subscribe to any more publications. You read what you want to read when you want to read it online anyway. If you really want a book then check it out from the library. There is no need to buy it.
Stop buying rusty, dusty toys
Do you actually use that boat, or that espresso machine or that exercise machine? You know you don’t, so stop buying that kind of crap. Sell the boat to some other sucker. It costs you money and wastes your time just to maintain it, and even more money comes out of your pocket those three or so times a year you actually consider using it. Don’t buy any more good intentions or pipe dreams.
A swimming pool is a big, expensive headache that for many, if not most, people will be the single greatest regret of their lives. Use somebody else’s pool. Take my word for it. You will not own the pool. It will own you.
The Internet is just about the cheapest vice you could have so give up the other vices for it. Another habit you need to have is to take a walk for at least 15 minutes a day every day, rain or shine. You don’t need a fancy exercise machine to exercise and you don’t need a boat for an excuse to get out and about.