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How to Avoid Going Into Debt

Updated on August 2, 2015
erinshelby profile image

Erin Shelby is passionate about living a lifestyle that aims for financial freedom. She writes about personal finance and other topics.

Have you ever wished for stress, sleepless nights and calls from strangers asking for money? No one does, but debt causes all these things and more. Find out the most common reasons for going into debt and how you can keep it from happening to you.

More than just places of knowledge, colleges are one of the top places for getting into debt.
More than just places of knowledge, colleges are one of the top places for getting into debt. | Source

Which type of debt is the worst?

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How to Avoid Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt has never been higher in America and it is the only type of debt that cannot be discharged during a bankruptcy. There are many options for funding college instead of taking out a loan. College-sponsored scholarships and grants and work-study programs can cut the cost of tuition. Studying for the first two years at a community college can be significantly cheaper. Taking a year off after high school to work and save money is also worth considering.

How to Avoid Overspending

  • Make a shopping list and stick to it
  • Learn how to cook so you'll enjoy dining at home
  • Treat yourself to splurges so you'll be motivated to stick to your budget
  • Buddy up with someone who's also committed to responsible spending

Overspending Causes Debt

Are you living within your means or maintaining a lifestyle that depicts a salary beyond what you earn? Overspending is buying what you can't afford and it's a trap that will never lead to financial freedom. While it may be uncomfortable to pass up items you can't afford, the long-term reward is avoiding debt and living within your means.

When shopping for a home, look for a price that won't leave you struggling to pay your other bills.
When shopping for a home, look for a price that won't leave you struggling to pay your other bills. | Source

Tools to Keep You Out of Debt

How to Pay for College
How to Pay for a Home
How to Pay for Food
take a year off to work
shop for a foreclosed property
plant a garden for produce
study at a community college
carefully consider location
learn how to use coupons
research scholarships early
rent out half of the property
comparison-shop
utilize tuition reimbursement
negotiate a lower price
plan trips in advance
Source

Medical Problems Can Cause Debt

No one likes to think about hospital bills or medical problems. While it's impossible to know what the future holds, there are some questions you can ask yourself or discuss with your significant other to keep a health crisis from also turning into a financial one:

  • Do I have a high quality health insurance plan? If not, what can I do to change that?
  • Do I have an emergency savings fund just in case? If not, how can I start saving a little every month to improve my situation?
  • Am I doing what I can right now to live a healthy lifestyle, such as eating right, exercising and managing my stress? If not, what can I do to get back on track?


Job Loss Can Cause Debt

In a weak economy or a strong economy, job loss can quickly cause debt. Shopping feels good and creates a temporary distraction from the problem of not having a comfortable routine and meaningful work. How can you avoid debt after a job loss?

  • Let friends know you're looking for work so they can help
  • Polish up your resume and have your interview attire ready
  • Look for free ways to spend your time (volunteering, community events, visiting museums and the public library, etc.) because you'll need a break from your job search
  • Learn a new skill or hobby that will make you smile
  • Remember that you are more than just a former employee but a whole person

How to Escape Debt

Whether it’s student loan debt, credit card debt or the debt caused by a job loss, escaping debt is worth the effort. Taking the journey one step at a time will enable you to find your way to financial freedom.

Have you ever escaped a large debt?

Tell us how you did it in the comments section below.

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very helpful hub, especially for young people about to go to college or just starting out on their adult life. Great advice.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 3 years ago

      A well thought out hub - thank you. Voted up, interesting and useful.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      You provide some useful options here. During such times, I have found that the money envelope system of budgeting works well for me. I have learned a lot from faithfully following Suze Orman.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I agree with Jodah in that this is very helpful and informative -- especially for students. :-)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Good list of options for those considering funding for college. I know students who rely on loans and have a high debt to pay off. I worked my way through college and also took advantage of the tuition reimbursement program through my company. Thankfully, I graduated with little debt.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great hub and suggestions. I suppose we each have to find what works best for us. I know that I was surprised to see one of my son having a system with envelopes because I didn't work that way but I prefer for him to have a system than nothing at all!

    • quildon profile image

      Angela Joseph 3 years ago from Florida

      So many of us get into debt and then it is very difficult to get out of it, or even enjoy your life. Very helpful hub. Voted up and useful.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      This is such a big help for those of us that get in to debt. Thanks and sharing.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Good suggestions. Once you're in debt it's a struggle to climb out. It's best to try to avoid it in the first place, as interest can really creep up on you.

    • erinshelby profile image
      Author

      erinshelby 3 years ago from United States

      Debt is a huge burden not just in what it takes from your bank account, but what it takes emotionally. Need more tips on how to tackle it? Feel free to leave a comment and I'll be happy to help!

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