When your budget won't let you give gifts to everyone in the world—which is always, by the way—who should you give...
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Sometimes, when you’re busting your way out of debt, you might feel like you’ve run out of ideas.
You might be trying to get so creative that you’ve forgotten about some really basic ways to get debt-free. Or, maybe you’re stuck in a rut with just a few ideas, and you can’t seem to get the creative juices flowing.
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That’s what we are here for!
Since today is February 29—leap day—a day that only comes around once every four years, we thought we’d give you 29 ways to LEAP out of debt. Now is the time!
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- Start couponing. It’s worth the time, and you can save a ton of money.
- Cut cable. Welcome to 2012, where you can watch most of your favorite shows online. Put that $80-per-month cable bill toward your debt.
- Stop eating out. If you don’t know where all your money is going each month, we’re pretty sure Applebee’s can locate it for you.
- Visit the library. Remember libraries? They have free books you can borrow! Free is a lot cheaper than Amazon!
- Plan your grocery trips. Or, follow your stomach, who really doesn’t care about your budget. Your choice. Get tips for cutting your grocery bill.
- Learn the word “no.” Learn it. Make it a new part of your vocabulary. Love it. Embrace it. Because, when it comes to money, you’ll be saying it quite often. Practice with us now: “NO!”
- Tell the kids to shut up. When it comes to money, the kids can be a worse guide than your stomach, and they don’t care about your budget either.
- Avoid expensive hobbies. $200 a month on golf? And you don’t even have a 401(k) or a college fund for your kid? Are you serious?
- Use eBay or Craigslist. Sell your stuff. Or, better yet, if you have a skill for making something, put that skill to use by making stuff and selling it online.
- Sell the car! The average car payment is more than $400 per month. Everyone, say it all together: “Sell the car!”
- Stop making excuses. If you don’t want to get out of debt, then guess what? You’re not going to get out of debt. To win with money, you have to change the way you think.
- Cut up your credit cards. Shred ‘em. Burn ‘em. Shoot ‘em. Drop ‘em in a trash compactor. Cut ‘em up while skydiving. You’ll never get out of debt until you stop making debt a way of life.
- Use the envelope system. You spend less money when you use cash.
- Get on a budget. So unoriginal, right? But it’s true. You’ll never get out of debt without knowing exactly where all your money is going.
- Listen to The Dave Ramsey Show. Every day, Dave helps millions of people across the country find hope with their money. His advice will help you too. Listen online.
- Merge bank accounts. If you’re married, you and your spouse should share the same account. When you got married, “two became one,” right?
- Stop investing. Yes, you read that right. Once you’re debt-free, then start putting 15% of your income into a retirement plan.
- Use your tax refund to pay debt. The beach will still be there next summer. We promise.
- Build your emergency fund. Start with $1,000. After you’re out of debt, build the fund to three to six months' worth of living expenses.
- Ignore your broke friends. Twenty years from now, you won’t have a financial worry in the world, and they will still have car loans, mortgages and credit card bills. If they call you crazy, like Jeff and Crystal’s friends did, you’re on the right track!
- Meet EveryDollar. Budgeting should be easy and—dare we say it—fun! Focus your money on what matters: day-to-day spending, knocking out those pesky debts, and building wealth. Learn more about EveryDollar, Dave's free budget tool.
- Give more. Wait a minute … give more? Yes, giving changes your spirit. Make giving a priority in your budget and you’ll see a difference.
- Ask for a raise. Why not? Unless you’re sitting at home reading this article right now, after calling in sick with a “sore throat” for the fourth time in three weeks. If that’s the case, maybe you shouldn’t ask for a raise.
- Don’t quit your day job. You’re in debt, so you need money. Pursue your dream while you are working your day job. Learn how. When you’re debt-free, you have so many more options because money isn’t an issue.
- Get a part-time job. This guy made nearly $20,000 a year delivering pizzas. No excuses!
- Stay away from get-rich-quick schemes. If it smells like a pyramid scheme, then it’s a pyramid scheme. Don’t get hoodwinked by a smooth-talking salesman. Check out six scams to avoid.
- Get in shape. Better health means fewer doctor’s bills. Walk, run, lift, press. Just get off the couch and do something!
- Read a book. Instead of watching mindless television, read a book … from the library that you’ve already visited for free!
- Take a successful friend to lunch. Find someone who is doing things the right way—with money, with marriage, with life in general—and do what they are doing. Get to know them.
The Dave Ramsey Basics
Those 29 ways to leap out of debt are just the tip of the iceberg. Leave a comment below to share what you're doing.
The bottom line is that you’ve got to get serious about getting out of debt if you really want to do it. Don’t let the next leap year come around with you still up to your eyeballs in credit card bills.
Leap out of debt … starting today!