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Patrik Edblad

How to Get Out of Debt & Save Money – Advice From 9 Personal Finance Experts

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Do you want to finally get rid of your debt and/or start saving up some money?

Maybe you’re a bit discouraged after som earlier failed attempts?

Perhaps you’re unsure of how and where to start?

No sweat. I reached out to some of the best personal finance bloggers out there and asked them:

What would be your number one advice to get out of debt and save money?

Kyle_TaylorOne of my best tips for those trying to save money is to use gift cards to pay for everything. You can purchase gift cards for as much as 20% off on sites like giftcardbin or ebay. Pay for the gift cards with a rewards credit card to increase the savings even more!
– Kyle Taylor, ThePennyHoarder.com

Philip-TaylorGet out of debt:
Make sure you fix the problem that’s causing the debt to begin with. If you’re simply spending more than you earn each month, it’s time to reduce your spending and ratchet up your income with a second job, business, etc.

Save money:
Take YOU out of the saving equation. Automate your savings so that you don’t have to remember to save each month. Start with a small deposit each month and then work your way up to larger automatic deposits. You won’t even miss the money.
– Philip Taylor, PTMoney.com

GlenCraigGet out of debt:
My advice would be to find the lowest debt you owe and attack that first. For example if you have a few credit cards with balances on them then pick the one with the lowest balance to pay off first. By picking the lowest balance you get the psychological boost to keep going.

Save money:
The easiest thing to do is to automate your savings. Set up an automatic transfer from your checking into a savings account you won’t take money out of (online savings accounts are great for this). You might even be able to have the money taken right from your paycheck (check with your employer’s HR department).
– Glen Craig, Free From Broke

andrew-schrage (1)Get out of debt:
Commit to getting yourself on a personal budget. Look for ways to cut your expenses in all areas, including monthly services, food, and home energy. Once your spending is under your income, determine how much of a surplus you have each month. Then, total up all credit card debts and set a goal for yourself for when you’ll be debt-free, depending upon how much you can send in to your balances each month. Track your progress and adjust your goal as necessary. Establish mini goals as part of your main goal and each time you achieve one, reward yourself with a small purchase.

Save money:
Get yourself in the habit of questioning all of your personal spending, even the minor items. Whether you’re stopping at a convenience store for a snack and a soda or you’re at the clothing store checking out a new set of digs, ask yourself whether or not you truly need to spend your money. If you do this objectively, you’ll find yourself saving more and spending less.
– Andrew Schrage, co-owner of Money Crashers Personal Finance

david-ningGet out of debt:
The best way to get out of debt is to get fired up about it. Look at how much you’ve paid in interest already, and imagine how freedom feels when you no longer have to make payments that are making someone else rich. Only then will you have the motivation to keep plugging away.

Save money:
It always seems difficult to come up with the money to save, but start small if you have to. Even a dollar here and there is great, because it gets you thinking about putting money away. Once you start, it’ll be much easier to increase the dollar amounts. Try it, and you’ll be surprise at how effective this tactic really is.
– David Ning, MoneyNing.com

andrew_richGet out of debt:
The first thing I would do is reduce the overall debt I have to pay. Often times you can just call up a credit card company and negotiate a reduction in your balance and a reduction in your interest rate. There are services that charge you to do this but if you pick up the phone yourself, it’s free. Second is I would consolidate and refinance my debt with a peer to peer lending service like LendingClub. That would allow me to significantly reduce the interest rate and dramatically cut the length of time it would take me to get out of debt.

Save money:
I recommend a little bit of pretax and a little bit of post tax savings. If you have a 401k with your employer, set it to no lower than 6% of your salary. You won’t miss the money and over the course of the year it will add up to a lot of savings. Plus, if your employer matches contributions then you’ll likely be taking advantage of nearly all of it (free money). If you don’t have a 401k with an employer, contribute 6% to an IRA. For post tax savings I would use Mint to create a budget. Even if you can only shave $100 off your expenses a month, on a consistent basis over 5 years that would be $7,500 with 7% interest.
– Andrew Rich, Listen Money Matters

elance picGet out of debt:
Just do it. Choose to make the commitment to not use credit anymore, to spend within your means, and to put any extra cash toward debt, even if it’s just $20, or $50 or $100 a month. Those little steps, over time, add up to BIG results.

Save money:
Commit to picking a percentage of each paycheck to save, and then don’t waiver from that commitment. Even if you’re deep in debt you can save 1%, 2% or 5 % of each check. It may not seem like a lot of cash right now, but every penny counts and it all adds up.
– Laurie, The Frugal Farmer

barbara-friedbergGet out of debt:
Put credit cards on ice! (freeze them in water). Pay cash only. Pay more than the minimum on every outstanding loan, and focus on paying off the smallest balance loan first.

Save money:
Set up automatic transfer from paycheck into savings and/or workplace retirement account.
– Barbara Friedberg, Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance

Deacon & the SphinxOne of the top New Year’s resolutions every year that people have is to get their finances in order. My wife and I had this resolution at one point and we’re were able to pay off $52,000 in debt in 18 months. If this is you and you are willing to take the steps necessary to get on track with your finances, then I have just the thing for you:

Get out a sheet of paper and list your debts smallest amount owed to the largest amount owed. Next pay minimum payments on the all of the debts accept the smallest one. That debt you are going to pay off with a vengeance. Once it is paid off, you will take the money you were paying on it and roll that money into the next debt. This is known as the Debt Snowball and is exactly what we used to pay off our consumer debt. Have a happy New Year!
– Deacon Hayes, Well Kept Wallet

More New Years Resolution Ideas

Pretty great stuff, right? If you’d like some more awesome new years resolution ideas and how to make them a booming success, make sure to check out how to:

Moving Forward

Before you go I have two things to ask of you:

  1. Have you managed to get out of debt and/or start saving money? How did you do it? Let us know in the comments!
  2. Take a minute and email this article to a friend who could benefit from it.

Good luck with your finances & Happy New Year! 🙂