10 Tips for a Debt-free Life


Be Un-interest-ed

Financial planning tips in books, on Web sites, and from friends and family can help us get rid of debt. Some suggest paying off the highest-interest bills first and when done, applying payments to the next debt, plus the amount you had been paying on the first. Payments increase in size with each pay-down, and debts clear faster. Others propose clearing the smallest balances first because it is motivating to eliminate a payment or two up front. Those smaller debt monthly payments then go right back into paying other bills. Still others suggest consolidating all debt and paying it off in a larger monthly payment.

Choose a method that appeals to you. If a popular or highly successful plan for one person doesn't help you make real gains, try another, and keep going!

Once you reach a clean slate or are down to just one card, consider whether you need a credit card at all. Maybe having one bank card for emergencies is a comfort, or maybe you're ready to rely on a savings cushion instead. Not having the plastic can lead to a new way of spending in the now, with cash in hand and no interest later.