10 Tips for Debt-Free Living – Backdoor Survival is a series of articles written by Ed Doolittle about his experiences living a life that is free from credit card debt. The first article in the “10 Tips for Debt-Free Living – Backdoor Survival” series was published on August 24, 2021. This was before the economic crisis hit. At that time, the economy was still recovering. Today, many are still struggling with high interest rates and lowered credit scores.
So how do we survive in such a situation? One of the first tips Doolittle gave was to cut down on expenses. You can do this by cutting out unnecessary spending. A common excuse given by people who are having trouble paying their bills is, “I don’t have enough money.” The reality is that you only have as much money as you put into it.
The second tip for survival is to stay away from credit cards. The third tip is to use debit cards instead. Credit cards give you the impression of wealth. However, if your income is going downward, using credit cards is like waving good-bye to any financial security you may have. And because they have a fixed interest rate and pay off on a set schedule, credit cards eventually end up costing you more than you put in.
In addition, one of the most effective survival techniques to follow is a budget. It sounds simple enough, but the reality is that most people don’t have a real budget. A budget helps you see where your money is going and helps you work toward changing your spending habits. The first step is to create a document that details all of your income and expenses. This will include a statement of your job salary, social security numbers, and perhaps other personal information. A budget can help you get a handle on your finances and assist you with living life on a budget.
Another important survival technique for living debt-free is to be diligent with your savings. Saving money now can mean the difference between paying off your debt and living month to month. The best way to save is to invest in low-risk mutual funds, stocks, and bonds. The goal is to build a nest egg to support you during times of financial difficulty. The sooner you begin saving, the better off you’ll be.
The fourth of the 10 tips for debt-free living is to set aside a portion of your income to help with unexpected costs. One of the biggest expenses in unexpected situations is health care. Therefore, another excellent tip is to set aside a small amount each month for medical emergencies. Even something as simple as a cold or the flu can turn into a major problem if it is not properly treated.
Finally, learn to accept what life has to offer. While it may seem difficult to leave all of your electronic items behind and simply accept that you will have to make due with whatever you can get by, it is one of the most important survival skills to learn. There will come a time when an emergency or financial setback will present itself. Instead of beating a path to the nearest store to buy things, ask yourself if it would be wiser to just lay back and enjoy the ride. Once you learn to embrace the unexpected, you will never be too financially stressed to handle emergency situations.
When these four survival skills are mastered, you will be well on your way to living a life that is free of debt and financial stress. To become debt-free, of course, you must implement all of the other tips as well. The secret to becoming debt-free is taking action. Don’t put it off. Take immediate action and make your dream of living a life without debt a reality sooner than later.