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Getting debt free and staying debt free is hard work. It takes discipline, self-sacrifice and often a lot of out of the box thinking.
I have shared our family’s debt free journey:
- Why I Rarely Talk About Our Family’s Debt Free Journey
- Debt Free Journey Part 2: How We Got Back Into Debt & Then Out Again For Good
- What The Debt Free Life Really Looks Like For Our Family
Now I want to share with you the tools we used to get out of debt and to stay out of debt for good.
10 Tools You Need To Get Out Of Debt And Stay That Way
1. Help To Make A Plan
To do any of the steps below you first must know what it takes to get out of debt and how to set up a budget that works.
Here are two great books to help you create a budget & a debt payoff plan
2. A Budget
Unless you have a plan for how to spend every dollar earned, your chances of living below your means so you can pay off debt are very slim. After your debt is paid, you will still need a budget to help you stay out of debt and reach further financial goals.
Here are some helpful free resources for budgeting
- Free budgeting resources
- Free printable budget forms
- A good example of what a financial notebook looks like (we have something similar I plan to share soon)
Budgeting is going to go a lot smoother when you have an idea of what you are aiming for. I know some of you are thinking, “I am aiming to get and stay debt free,” but that is too broad a goal. Instead, break down what getting to debt free and staying debt free will take into small actionable steps. For instance, that goal could state, “three months from now we plan to have paid off…in debt which works out to a monthly goal of…and a weekly goal of…”.
4. Cash Envelopes
When our family uses cash to pay for eating out, date night, and other sorts of activities we always spend less than budgeted–when we use our debit card we have a habit of going over.
A few resources for using, making or buying cash envelopes:
- A Thrifty Person’s Guide To Cash Envelopes
- An Etsy Store that sells some amazing cash envelope systems
- My cash envelopes made from a $1 T.J.Maxx bag
5. A Library Of Ideas On How To Keep Expenses Low
Through the internet and the library, you can find out how to save on just about every area of your spending.
- 101 Blogs Thrifty People Read
- 10 Books That Will Make You A Thrifty Ninja
- My Money Saving Tips Resource Page
(if you want to purchase some of the books listed for your home library, make sure to check out 17 Ways Thrifty Bookworms Save Money On Books.)
6. Flexible Ways To Boost Income From Home
Sometimes the reason you aren’t making financial headway isn’t that you are not managing your money well, but instead because you are not making enough money.
If so here a few ways my family has increased our income from home:
- Reselling tips to help you sell your no longer needed items for more cash
- 18+ point programs that can help you earn $50 or more every month
- A list of ways that you can use your laptop to earn money from home
7. A DIY Spirit
Paying to have things done gets expensive. Yes, doing things yourself does take time, but it can be fun, rewarding and a great way to save a substantial amount of money.
8. Words Of Finacial Wisdom
Our family gets our wisdom from the Bible: Here are 10 Bible verses about money that have helped us become and stay debt free as well as shape our view of money.
9. A Wealth Of Inexpensive Ideas For Fun
Life can get boring fast if all you do is stay home and read books from the library because that is the only free activity you can think of (yep, a bookworm just said that).
Here are a few resources to help you expand your horizons and find frugal sources of entertainment
- 10 Summer Dates That Cost Zero
- 20 Thrifty Ways To Spend Quality Time With Your Child
- 25 Fall Activities For Families On A Tight Budget
10. A Toolbox Full Of Ways To Save Money On Just About Anything
If you click over to 250 Ways Thrifty People Save Money and scroll down to the bottom, you will find 10 key things our family does to save money on just about anything. I would call this our ultimate savings toolbox and of course all of the 10 tools are free.
Psst…for more great ideas on saving and earning money, join my Thrifty People Of Snail Pace Transformations Facebook group.
What would you add to my list?
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.