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How to save money while paying off debt.

Updated on January 3, 2015
This is how debt makes me feel. This is also me getting free of it.
This is how debt makes me feel. This is also me getting free of it. | Source

To be blunt.

Debt.

Such a dirty word to me these days. I feel like I just broke Hubpages TOS agreement just talking about it. It's about as abhorrent to me as someone using a nasty four-letter word. Oh wait, it is a nasty four-letter word! I apologize ahead of time for the foul language in this hub.

Okay, now that you've gotten the point of how I feel about (expletive deleted), I'll give you a quick rundown of my personal failure and triumph over this Monster!

Raised in Normality.....

Like the majority of people in this country, I was raised to believe that The-word-that-shall-not-be-named was a good thing, even desirable to have. "You have to get credit somehow", was what I'd been taught by society. I mean, without good credit it's excruciatingly difficult to get a cell phone (with a contract). I bought into the hype that I needed debt (wince), so when I was old enough I procured a Goldsmith's credit card. The reason I chose this particular card was because I could get it without already having a credit history.

To be honest, I didn't do too badly at first. I thought, "I'll only buy a few hundred dollars worth of clothes, cologne, or whatever to build my credit for bigger things." Yeah, that didn't last long. Soon, I was in debt about waist deep and paying just the minimums (big mistake). It wasn't long until I'd gone into debt for a car.....that was about chest deep. Then, a girl I was dating at the time....well... I decided to go for the neck deep level with an expensive ring!

Needless to say, I was beginning to drown a bit in my choices. At the time, my career path wasn't exactly the most lucrative either. The bills were stacking up a bit every month, so I knew there needed to be some drastic change. It was about this time that I read a passage in the bible that spoke directly to the situation I was in.

Romans 13:8 - Owe no one anything except to love one another, for the one who loves has fulfilled the law.

It hit me like a ton of bricks as I felt like The Lord was telling me to get out of debt and never return to it.

I immediately made the decision to take the steps necessary to break off the ball and chain. And now I can proudly say that I have been debt free from credit cards for about 4 years now. I just finished paying off my car in October of 2011 as well. As Gandalf tells King Theoden in The Lord of the Rings, "Breathe the free air again my friend!"

If you're feeling crushed by the weight of debt, this hub is for you. My heart is to see people set free from this as I was. This is not going to be easy to do, but it will be worth it in the end. It'll take hard work and sacrifice, but almost anything worthwhile normally does. In this hub, I'm going to detail out some action steps to take for the short and long term. Let's take that Debt Monster down together!

When you're dealing with debt, declare war and take no prisoners.
When you're dealing with debt, declare war and take no prisoners. | Source

Essentials in planning for the war....

The first steps you must take is to recognize you have a problem to begin with. Most people tend to spend more than they're bringing in (sounds a bit like our government doesn't it?). The Debt Monster requires immediate and decisive action, and you need to understand that it's a ruthless enemy who will take you down if you're not properly equipped. Arm yourself for battle, for a battle it will be. Show this monster no mercy, for you shall be shown none in return! This is a fight for freedom!

  • If you don't know how to budget, learn quickly. Figure out what your expenses are every month compared to your earnings. Your budget is like your map of the terrain you're about to fight on.
  • Take a deep breath and prepare to live without a few things. This could mean some creature comforts. It's only going to hurt for a short time but you'll be thankful in the long run. This is your declaration of war to the Monster.
  • If you're married, make sure you're making decisions together. Bounce ideas off of each other, make sure you're realistic about what needs to be cut from your budget.
  • Take action, don't just talk about it. March to the drum of financial freedom!
  • Don't give into the temptation to renege on some of your decisions. Once you get rid of your creature comforts, it's easy to want to run back to them. Remember you're in a battle you HAVE to win!

DEBT DEVOURS.

How much debt do you have?

See results
I'm struggling with debt man!
I'm struggling with debt man! | Source
Crap, Debt got the upper hand.
Crap, Debt got the upper hand. | Source
I finally overcame baby! Funny thing is, Debt (Chris) is a black belt in karate.
I finally overcame baby! Funny thing is, Debt (Chris) is a black belt in karate. | Source
Being your own mechanic is great!
Being your own mechanic is great! | Source
Cutting yards baby.
Cutting yards baby. | Source
Growing strawberries is a beautiful thing.
Growing strawberries is a beautiful thing. | Source

Dave Ramsey's Envelope system.

20 GREAT STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM!

It's time to stand up and be counted. Make sure you're fully prepared to take these steps. Most of these steps I took personally, but some are measures I know that friends of mine have also taken that have helped.

  1. Stop using your credit cards ASAP! Nowadays, if I can't pay for it by cash or debit....I don't want it typically. That's my whole motto. I've met so many people that can't understand this, but if you don't grasp this quickly, you'll stay where you are. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insane.
  2. Don't pay just the minimums on your balance. This one seems obvious, but you'd be amazed at how many people try to just "get by" on paying minimums. The interest rate alone will guarantee you never crawl out of the hole you're in. That keeps you in slavery to the lender. Try to pay double or even triple if you can.
  3. Get rid of cable and satellite television. Oooooh, did I touch on a nerve here? Trust me I know how hard this one is. If you have to go watch the Super Bowl, go to a restaurant with a tv or a friend's house (The Super Bowl is better watching together anyway man!). You have the potential of saving up to $300 dollars a month.
  4. Get NETFLIX. Costs that fluctuate between $8 to $20 dollars a month. A lot more affordable than cable or satellite and will give you much of what you were watching before in terms of shows and movies. Buy yourself an Apple TV, and get this wirelessly sent to your TV. Heck you could even get an iPad 2 or higher, an iPhone 4S or higher and watch your websites on your tv wirelessly as well.
  5. Do your own auto repairs and maintenance. I've learned how to do all types of maintenance from oil changes to brake pad and rotor replacements. I've saved hundreds of dollars doing these myself. There are many hubs you can read on these as well.
  6. Go cut a few lawns. Earn some extra money on the side. Buy or borrow a mower and hit up the neighborhoods on an off day. Fight for your very soul against the debt monster. Beat him down with some freshly cut lawns and more green in your pocket!
  7. Grow your own food. Not everyone can live on a farm, but you could at least grow some of your own fruits, vegetables, and spices. Ex., Tomatoes, strawberries, bay leaves, etc.
  8. Listen to Dave Ramsey. I have only heard bits and pieces of what this money guru knows, but I know friends who have canceled out thousands and thousands of dollars in only a few years after following his advice! They've recommended His Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace books. Worth a look if you're serious about getting out of debt.
  9. Stop Eating Out all the time. Learn how to cook. Most of the recipes you eat at the restaurants you can easily make at home. Set up your house (if possible) for the right setting and mood of relaxation. If you're married or have a girl/boy friend, you can make it a date night and watch a movie through Netflix or a DVD you own.
  10. Learn to eat smaller portions. Great way to save money and lose weight! I actually did this for a while and gained belt notches. You can save food for the next day or so and eat it again.
  11. Don't buy name brand. I'm mostly talking about groceries here, but it could work for anything. If your local grocery store makes a generic version of something, buy it. Normally it's almost as good anyway. Usually saves about anywhere from 10 cents to $1.50 off the name brand price.
  12. Use coupons! Now I'm not talking "Extreme Couponing",like the show. That's flat out obsessive. I'm talking Sunday paper style. Also, you can use the website called Groupon . My wife and I have saved so much money on anything from date nights to dental appointments using coupons.
  13. Walk more, save gas. I have literally made it routine to walk most places within 15 minutes walking distance. I have even made small grocery runs doing this. Lose belly fat and gain wallet fat!
  14. If you can, carpool to work. If you have co-workers who work similar schedules week after week, do this. Save gas and money. Chip in at least 5 - 10 bucks a week which is cheaper than what you may normally pay.
  15. Downgrade your cell phone service. Do this in the most economical way possible as it depends on your use. If you need to, train yourself to use it less. You could even download free texting apps to help with communication. There's also Google Voice and Skype which let you make free phone calls over wifi.
  16. If you're able to, get prepaid phone service. This depends heavily on where you are and what's offered. Most major carriers such as AT&T have a prepaid option.
  17. Make gifts for Christmas! The fact that you took time out to make that special card for someone speaks volumes. Look up creative ways to bless someone's life and save money doing it! Pinterest is a great place to start. My wife and I have done this one and it saves us so much money.
  18. Save every $5 dollar bill. This may sound kind of wild, but put yourself a small tin can aside for an emergency/savings. Any $5 dollar bill you and your spouse have in your pockets, put it into the can. Don't touch it unless absolutely necessary. You will be amazed at how much dough you'll save in just a month's time. I've done this one too.
  19. Coin jar. I shouldn't have to explain this. I've saved several hundred dollars over 6 months time before. This one is a must.
  20. Starbucks costs too much! I wanted you to get through all the others before I hit you with the hard one. A $5 "MochaFrappaChaiTeaLattewhatever" five times a week is a little much. Do the math and cut back.


Freedom baby. Freedom.

This is what freedom looks like. (For me anyway)
This is what freedom looks like. (For me anyway) | Source

FINAL THOUGHTS.

This hub was done under the assumption you have a job. If you don't have one, here are a few links that will help you.

Don't lose hope.If you set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. Have faith that there's a light at the end of the tunnel and be single-minded about accomplishing that goal.

Freedom....a much sweeter word.

Guys, I was able to buy my Wife's $1200 dollar Macbook Air with cash last year. I own my own car, not the bank. I'm free and the fresh air of freedom smells so sweet. I want you to be there with me!

Won't you join me?


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    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 2 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks so much Audrey. It was only by the grace of God I was able to get free and I'll tell you, I've never looked back at it. I'm glad to hear about your recent chains being broken as well. Keep on stepping in freedom and don't let anything tie you down again. God bless.

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 2 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thank you for your kind remarks jainismus. I appreciate you. God bless.

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 2 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thank you Millionaire tips. I agree with you about the statement on finding good prices for things, as that is one thing to this day I attempt to do through online retailers or otherwise. I appreciate your thoughts and thanks so much for stopping in.

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 2 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thank you so much for that fpherj48. I really and truly believe that with God's help, we can learn to live in freedom and be done with the bondage of debt. God bless you and I appreciate your thoughts.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Kasman....This is a clever, well-written piece of work about a topic that can only benefit your readers. You are a wise young man and I congratulate you for your accomplishment! bravo!...UP+++

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 2 years ago from USA

      Oops sorry about that first sentence. I opened two hubs, and confused them.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 2 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on your well deserved HOTD. Being debt free is very liberating, and it leaves you more flexible when you make other decisions, like travel, moving, job hunting, etc. You don't have to worry about how you are going to get your bills paid. I don't think it has to do with sacrifice though. You have to quit wanting things that are beyond your reach, and take the time to find good prices for what you do want. From my very first job, I spent less than I made - usually saving 30% to 70% of my earnings.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 2 years ago from Pune, India

      Great tips. Thank you for sharing.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I recently paid off my last debt and boy oh boy does it ever feel good. Was it easy? Heck no. I sacrificed, that's for sure. But I had no one to blame but myself for getting into debt in the first place. A great hub that I will happily share. Thanks. Audrey

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      You're welcome Marion, I needed to throw it in there somewhere as it's definitely very relevant at all times especially today! I appreciate your dropping in and your comment!

    • marion langley profile image

      marion langley 4 years ago from The Study

      Thanks for the Romans 13 reference. I knew it was in there somewhere.

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Well Alise, I think that's the only way to think of debt.....WARFARE! I hate that stuff, it honestly drives me up the wall to think of a ball and chain around my foot in life. I don't want to be a slave to debt or a person. I'm glad that you saw the humor in it as well. I appreciate your votes and comments.

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thank you Hezekiah. It's a learned advice through adversity. Coffee shops used to be a bane of mine! Thanks for dropping in!

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      You will find the light at the end of the tunnel Dream On. It took me some time too but in the end it is definitely worth it. I had to hit bottom before I realized how much I needed a change as well. Thanks so much for your great comment and your sharing!

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Yeah Brett, I figured people need to see reality and the facts of life that leads you to want to get into debt. I'm glad you found it humorous....I can laugh at those situations now but as you know, going through them isn't a laughing matter normally! I appreciate you finding useful advice in here and sharing, voting and all the rest! I appreciate you stopping by bud.

    • profile image

      Alise- Evon 4 years ago

      Wonderful hub! Thanks for sharing with us your story and inspiration for others to go to WAR against debt and win the battle. Loved the humor, also.

      Voted up, useful, interesting, and funny.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan

      Very good advice there, and yes those fancy trendy coffee shop drinks do add up.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 4 years ago

      You have done a fantastic job describing why and the how to tackle the debt monster once and for all.You and your wife have succeeded and because of your hub many more will follow.It is so nice to see real people make the difference in their lives' It takes time for me but I am working towards that goal and will do whatever it takes.Thanx so much.I love sharing and passing this along.Have a great debt free night.I am convincing my wife to do the same.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 4 years ago from Thailand

      Loved the intro! lol. Debt is tricky, I fell into it a bit while studying, but am happy to be free. As you say, if you break habits and think outside the box, then there are many ways you can save and still live a pretty good life.

      Sharing as I am sure a few on here may need this, pinned, tweeted, up, useful and funny.

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      I'm glad to hear that azrestoexp. It's an amazing freedom being debt free. It also gives you the freedom to think a little more clearly. I'm very thankful that I have to consider my purchases now before I make them because it means I'm using my noggin a lot more and I'm able to learn more on the budgeting side of things. You're right about faith, family and friends too. Thanks for the great comment and votes!

    • azrestoexp profile image

      Arizona's Restoration Experts, LLC 4 years ago

      Lots of great advice. Very helpful, this is what should be taught to children from the time they're little all the way through school. I too am debt free and you're right, freedom from debt smells sweet. So much more to life and happiness than "THINGS"! There's FAITH, FAMILY, HEALTH, and FRIENDS, available to all without a credit card. GREAT hub . . . voted up.

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks A lot plethora. Glad I could entertain you! I figure if I have to talk about something serious, I need to make it entertaining! At least I keep your attention.

      I'm glad you're enjoying yourself on hubpages and I pray you do well! Have a great one and thanks for stopping by.

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      I hear ya there insightful tiger! I get it about debt in general. I never had school loans but I know that debt is debt. I hope some of this information helps you in the long run honestly! I know how hard it is to be deep in and I know the euphoria of getting out! Thanks so much for dropping in!

    • Aplethora23 profile image

      AngPow 4 years ago from North Cali

      Got it. Thank you Kasman. I am going to try it out, this share button business!

    • Aplethora23 profile image

      AngPow 4 years ago from North Cali

      HA ... This was an awesome read! You make me laugh. Very nicely done, I love the pictures too! Thumbs Up. (Oh and I wanted to ask, since I am a Rookie to Hub Pages) How does one 'share' a Hub?

    • Insightful Tiger profile image

      Insightful Tiger 4 years ago

      Kasman, I'm so glad that you were able to get debt free! Good for you! I never had a problem with credit cards because I was afraid of them, LOL. However, I had no problem racking up the school loans. Now I have a mountain of debt form that. I have faith that I will be able to move this mountain with God's help. Thanks for all the useful tips in this hub and have a great day brother!

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Good on ya Kelly! Stay strong.

    • kellyteam profile image

      Willette 4 years ago from Michigan

      Kasman thanks for the encouragement. You right, I am always depending on the Lord. I know he will see me through. I will take a look into the class. God Bless!

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Hey Kellyteam, I tell ya, for a long time it felt like I would never find my way out either. You do have a lot of debt, but you've got an even bigger Lord to depend on. I am praying for you. It's taking it one day at a time and stopping the use of loans and whatever else as much as possible. Definitely look into Dave Ramsey's financial peace class. He is the guru and I know many folks who've gotten out of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt in maybe 5 to 10 years or even less. There's a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for stopping by!

    • kellyteam profile image

      Willette 4 years ago from Michigan

      Hey Kasman, I feel like I will be in debt forever with my student loans over 100,000 dollars. As far as credit card debt, I do have a little and I'm whittling it down but the loans seem endless. I will try to use some of your tips to focus a lot of my efforts in that direction but I need to make a lot more money. Thanks for sharing. Thumbs up, useful, awesome and sharing.

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Yeah it's just a decision my wife and I make daily to make sure we do not enter back into the debt bubble. I just personally am not a fan of it and it keeps you tied down too much to the lender. Biblical principle there as well, the borrower is slave to the lender.....proverbs. Thanks for stopping by midge, you're a blessing!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Great advice, Kas. My hubby advises not to use credit too and because Singapore is so small, we do not have a car. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Absolutely Michael. I agree that it's a little at a time here and there. Pennies add up and idle hands keep that from happening. I wish our people in the government would grow a set and do what's right but it's just a matter of maturity I suppose. Thanks so much for your insightful comment and for voting and sharing!

    • Michael Tully profile image

      Michael Tully 4 years ago

      This is a masterful job of showing, and not just telling, the debt-enslaved working class heroes of the world that they can really be free. The takeaway here is that it's the little things that make the difference. A buck here, five bucks there, and before you know it you've got a lot of money saved.

      Reminds me of something Sen. Everett Dirksen said, 40 or 50 years ago. "A billion here, and a billion there, and pretty soon we're talking about real money." I think it would be a blessing to the nation if this hub was required reading for every senator and congressman on Capitol Hill.

      Beautiful hub, brother. Voted up+++ and shared.

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      You're welcome chad! I sincerely hope it helps you in the future! Thanks for dropping by man.

    • Chad A Hagy profile image

      Chad Alexander Hagy 4 years ago from California

      Very thorough article :) Lots of great information. Thanks!

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks for dropping by TheKatsmeow. I hope they help you. I appreciate the votes!

    • TheKatsMeow profile image

      TheKatsMeow 4 years ago from Canada

      Some really good tips here. I enjoyed reading this! voted up and useful.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Kasman,

      Alrighty then! I'll be there with bells on! :-)

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Anytime I can provide some entertainment, I work parties on the weekends! You're welcome to drop by anytime and be entertained! lol.

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      My wife is a huge proponent of the 5 dollar system honestly. Sometimes I feel like I want to dip into it but I have to remind myself of why we have it! And you're right, Hubpages is a strong possibility of a supplementary income.

      Glad to hear you're working hard to break free! I really appreciate you stopping by healthylife. Kudos on the votes and shares too!

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thank you for dropping by with your thoughts Anselome. I'm glad to see you approve and are using some of the tips listed.

      That means to me that maybe some of the things I'm saying actually will help some people so that's a great confirmation you've given.

      You stay free sir, and excellent!

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      @Stessily. I've definitely found much inspiration in and from my Lord over the past 7 years of knowing him personally. I've made a lot of stupid and rash decisions in the past that have come to a head at one time or another in my life and thankfully, I've learned quite a bit of discipline at the same time because of the consequences of such actions.

      Reality has to bite sometime. But I'm just glad I haven't lost my sense of humor and I'm able to provide some relief and fun for the people who grace my hubstep with their presence. Thanks for the dropby and the comments!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Kasman,

      Well, I'm glad I gave you guys a laugh and thanks for letting me do my famous rambling on your page :-)

      I really enjoyed this hub; you gave very good advice and it was real, not boring like it would've been from a financial advisor. Very is to relate too!

      Thanks again!

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      What an inspiring hub!! My goal is definitely to get out of debt and never get there again! I follow some of your tips like not buying anything unless we have cash,using netflix, and saving all coins. I'll start also saving $5 bills because those add up fast. Also, some credit cards are willing to reduce interest rates if you ask and that helps to pay it off faster. I also think we need to add an additional source of income like getting a part time job if I find one in addition to the millions I'm already making on HP.:)I guarantee these tips will help many in this economy! Voted up and shared!

    • Anselome profile image

      Steve Anselmo 4 years ago from Thunder Bay

      Great Hub! Great advice! I'm happy to see that some of the methods I use you mentioned here. Makes me feel good to know I'm doing something right.

      I had invested in Netflix a while back for the exact reason that it's WAY cheaper than cable (We still have cable but it's only $35/month and we've bundled it with other services). We don't eat out, we don't spend money we don't have to.

      Also, if you have a cell phone, you really don't need home phone in my opinion.

      I actually wrote a hub on making a budget and following through (my current job only pays once a month, so it's kind of necessary).

      I don't believe that you have to stop using your credit cards. You just need to start using them responsibly. I actually believe that using credit cards is more beneficial than straight cash or debit if used properly. Some credit cards allow you to earn points in loyalty programs like air miles or cash back. I wrote a hub on it.

      Overall though you hit the nail on the head very well. If you really want to get out of debt and you are willing to make a few sacrifices and work hard, you can do it!

      Stay free, and Stay Excellent!

    • profile image

      stessily 4 years ago

      Kasman, Your "how to" on debt freedom is helpful and entertaining, with great photos which make points in a memorably humorous way. Humor is indeed an effective teacher.

      It's inspirational that you found guidance for shaking off the Debt Monster in Romans 13:8. The timeless passages of the Bible are meant to show us the way out of the wilderness in which we have often mindlessly strayed. Thus, it's a good thing to see this particular applicability of this succinctly wise passage in Romans. In my personal life that particular passage has been my refrain of late as the legacy of my dearest friend who passed away last Sunday, and so I value finding it unexpectedly in this article, which also unexpectedly crossed my path.

      There is a lot of positive energy for improving quality of life in your "how to", and that also is highly motivational.

      Thank you for sharing your easy dos and don'ts for exchanging the Debt Monster for breathing freely and refreshingly.

      Appreciatively, Stessily

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      No worries imkarn23! Another of my favorite sayings now I picked up overseas. It seems kiwis use that one a lot.

      I can admit there are times I'm tempted by the self gratification myself. (At least I can admit it, lol)

      I think we can all be trained in doing things that aren't necessarily easy for us right off the bat. Heck, someone with no strength or ear for music can be trained to sing or play an instrument. They won't be great or anything necessarily but they can still function in that role.

      I haven't been inside of a 7-11 in years! They shut down the several near where I live. But your coffee cravings are nowhere near as bad as going to Starbucks daily. I know people who spend upwards of 50 - 70 bucks a week buying coffees!

      Thanks for the dropby and the comments!

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks a lot cantuhermescream.

      I hear ya on the embarrassing bit. I just think that it's financially smarter to get what you need until you can afford what you want. My wife and I were laughing reading over your account of Walmart. And before I read the part of your fathers response, my wife said, "her friend is shopping there too." On the money! Loved the story, thanks for the comments and votes!

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      @Paul. Brother thanks for stopping by and dropping your thoughts! I guess this is where we have to agree on a technicality. I think some people like yourself have the discipline to use a credit card the right way so in that sense I think it would be a helpful tool. I just think the vast majority of people I've met who are in debt up to their eyeballs need to get rid of them. I remember walking into a best buy one day, I saw a lady trying to purchase a MacBook Pro. She literally went through 4 credit cards just to get it done because she had almost maxed out each one of them.

      That's when enoughs enough, lol. I appreciate your comments, votes, and shares!

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Good on ya, Kasman! That takes patience and discipline! Seems as if most folks have lost the ability to JUST SAY NO, or to know the difference between NEED and GREED..

      Let's not even discuss putting off gratification...LOL..

      You deserve all the credit in the world, my friend - i must admit - i'm not nearly as disciplined or dedicated. I believe in living 'smaller', but, keeping records is something i am just BAD at..

      (at least i can admit it)...

      ps when i started cacluating how much my 7/11 coffees cost a week - that was the end of them..

      And - that's 7-11 - i can't imagine what folks with a starbucks habit spend..lol

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Kasman,

      I almost felt dirty even clicking on this hub; "Eww, I don't want people to think I don't know how to control my money" :-) But, I'm glad I did. I think most of us convince ourselves that we have a handle on our spending/saving and know there are things we could be doing a little differntly or better, but living in denial or lacking ambition to change, can leave you broke. You had so many good tips, but I absolutely agree with "buying generic". When I first went out into the real world and started spending my own money, I thought buying name brands said something about your worth; no it says something about your intelligence. Yes, there is no replacement for the Oreo, and somethings you just have to pay a little more for, but I learned that I can fill 2 grocery carts with the same amount of money that I used to spend on 1! It almost annoys me now to see people buying the name brands off the shelf... I wan't to smack it out of their hands and say... "Who do you think you're impressing!" :-)

      Yes, it also works for things other than groceries. Sure, there are somethings I like to keep on a certain brand level, but I actually remember being a teenager in WalMart with my father. I had just gotten a job at a local pizzeria and I needed to stick to a certain color coded dress code. My father said "Well, we'll get enough for you to start your first few days and then you can buy whatever you want after that. I was fine with that, so long as no one knew I was buying clothes at WalMart (especially in the mid 90's), but then, another student from my school went walking by and I actually dove under a clothing rack, Superman style. My father's face turned red and he asked what the hell I was doing and I said "Shhh, Lacey is here". He said "Guess what? She's shopping in the same store you are". My reply... "Yeah, not in the clothing department". I don't give a crap now. I used to spend $50 on a pair of jeans... that can buy me 3 outfits now! (I have gotten savvy though)

      Also, loved your suggestion with the $5.00 bills. I probably wouldn't even notice them missing, but they'd definitely add up and then I could use them much more productively! This was great!

      Voted up, awesome and useful!

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      Paul Richard Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Kasman,

      This is an awesome hub and I commend you for getting out of debt and living debt-free. It's a great feeling and I really like your 20 steps to financial freedom. Personally, I feel it is necessary to have a credit card, especially if living overseas like me. The credit card is needed for purchasing plane tickets, making hotel reservations, and car rental reservations. The important thing is using a credit card responsibly. I always pay off all of my purchases completely before the due date to avoid any late charges. Establishing and sticking to a budget is also essential. A great hub! Voted up and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Also Pinning and Tweeting.

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      That's awesome point2make! I really enjoy hearing about someone else being set free like I was. It's encouraging to know more people are disciplining themselves out of it! Thanks for stopping by and your comment!

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks so much kawikachann! I'm glad you were at the very least entertained as well as informed. I appreciate the votes and follow!

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      @dwachira, thanks for checking this one out man. Glad to hear about the carpooling....most people wouldn't do it for the simple fact that they enjoy riding by themselves and don't want to depend on someone else. Good choice my friend!

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 4 years ago

      Excellent and a very important hub. True freedom can only come when you are debt free. I joined the debt free club nearly 6 years ago and I can certainly testify to the fact that it sure feels good when I get to decide how my paycheck is spent, each week, instead of some creditor making that decision for me.

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      KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Nicely done. Informative and entertaining. Voted up/useful/following. Peace. Oasis.

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi Kasman,

      These are great tips to avoid debt, i just started carpool to work but luckily am doing it with my brother. I think with such tips we can stay clear of debt. Thanks for the tips, voted up useful and shared with followers.

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Lol, I guess I could include a new way to make money for yourself by doing that huh? Ms Dora, you are appreciated for your kind words and your votes!

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Are you sure you don't want to print this in a brochure? It's a great read, a great testimony, a great plan in a great hub. Thank you greatly! Voted Up!

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Keeley, you can do it! It's not that hard in terms of the process. It's getting your mind wrapped around living like you don't have a lot of money for a time. That's hard for sure but it's so worth letting the chains go in your life of debt! It sucks to do these things, but the free air is so much sweeter! I'm cheering you on! God bless!

    • Keeley Shea profile image

      Keeley Shea 4 years ago from Norwich, CT

      Kasman I need to do this!!!!! Great tips on saving money now I just have to do it and stick with it!!!! Thanks for the great hub.

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks a lot Bsloan! I appreciate your stopping by and comment.

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      Barbara Sloan 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Great Hub and great advice.

    • THEmikeLO profile image

      THEmikeLO 4 years ago

      Exactly, you understand that there are products that are a bit pricey but are defiantly worth the money you spend, but at the same time, not worth the debt! Couldn't agree more

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks a lot the mikelo! Yeah it is definitely a difficult proposition for some people who live and die by their cc statements! I do like some brand name stuff but I prefer to make sure I'm in the affordability range of things at times too. Like for example, I like apple products.....I just do. They are expensive, but I don't go into debt for them. I haven't gone into debt for the ipad I'm typing this on nor my wife's MacBook Air. That's a great feeling!

    • THEmikeLO profile image

      THEmikeLO 4 years ago

      20 awesome tips! Tip #11 seems to be very difficult for many people. I don't understand why people need name brands. Well, I do understand why, but I realized years ago that if you don't have the money don't try to buy them, it just isn't worth it! I loved the hub, great job!

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks so much buddhaanalysis! You're right, too many people are addicted to so many thing that eat their money alive! Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Ajreissig, I hear you on that. This may sound funny, but my wife and I don't even believe in a mortgage! Radical thinking I know, but I know friends of mine that have bought a house without it and it worked out well for them......to each his own I guess! But I think if someone is going to get a mortgage, your tips on the fixed rate is definitely spot on! Glad to hear your out of debt otherwise man, good for you. Thanks so much for stopping by and the comment!

      Kellyteam, Kellyteam, Kellyteam: see I can do it too :). My best advice to you is pray hard and listen to what The Lord tells you to do, even if it sounds crazy. That's another part of my story that I haven't listed here. The Lord pulled off a ton of miracles to get me out of debt completely, but it took some radical moments of faith. Follow the practical advice, but remember.......proverbs: man plans his way, but his steps are determined by The Lord. Thanks so much for stopping by and I pray you're out of debt soon! I appreciate your sharing and votes!

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      Willette 4 years ago from Michigan

      Kasman, Kasman, Kasman: excellent job here. These are great tips and manageable. I just recently went back into debt with a couple of credit cards, so I will be working on getting back out. My largest debt though, is school loans. i will be paying those for the rest of my life. If you have some tips for that, HELP!!!! Great hub! Keep up the good work. Thumbs up, useful, awesome and a share.

    • AJReissig profile image

      Alex J. Reissig 4 years ago from New Richmond, Ohio

      Great tips. I was raised to believe that the only debt a person should have is a mortgage, and even that should be paid off as fast as possible. I got into debt trouble back in college because I hadn't learned to control my spending. I cleaned up that mess, and short of my home mortgage, have no debt. And speaking of home mortgage, ALWAYS be sure that it is a FIXED rate loan with a payment you can easily afford.

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      buddhaanalysis 4 years ago

      Staying away from addictions is great way to save money.

      nice hub BTW.

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Awesome thanks a lot prospect! I can't even imagine living any differently nowadays. I've become a man who has to say "no" a lot, but I'm not a money nazi about it! I'm all for having fun and spending when I have it.....but frugal living is the key. Thanks so much for your comments, votes, and shares brother. God bless and have a great one!

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks a lot for stopping by Victoria. Yeah I love Dave Ramsey, I have many friends who have taken his total money makeover. And even though my wife and I live debt free, we've still considered doing the money makeover ourselves. I love it when people can learn how to live within their means and the freedom that brings with it, God bless and have a great day!

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      Bradrick H. 4 years ago from Texas

      Amazing tips in this hub sir! I have a coin jar myself, and I've been able to save up quite a bit of emergency change lol. I also use a prepaid phone, and I monitor my usage on it. I'm really not much of a phone person anyway, so going prepaid was my best option. Besides, most of my family and friends use the same provider as I do, therefore it's more cheaper. You are right about everything you mentioned in here. Debt definitely isn't good, and can bring added stress into anyone's life. You're a positive dude. Looking forward to reading more. Voted up, and shared!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I love articles about frugal living! I've always been about saving money, no matter how little I made, but after listening to Dave Ramsey, I really focused on my mortgage and paid down about half of it about 2 years. I was in a good paying job at the time, I didn't spend money on much else, so everything went toward the mortgage principal. I've had to slow down some but am still paying extra every month. I don't have any other debt and don't plan to.

      Do you know that I have NEVER been in a Starbucks? Never had the urge. :-) Great hub! Voted up among others. Sharing, too!

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      I hear you on that! I like having nice things, but not at the expense of my freedom or losing focus on what's important in life. I hate malls too, I only venture into that dark territory every blue moon just for special reasons. Thanks so much for the comment and stopping by!

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Excellent! What do we need all that STUFF for anyway! Our whole society is set up for instant gratification and the cc companies just love those who just pay the min balance. I think many of us are lost looking for life in a mall. I hate malls; all that excess that will never fill that hole. We need to look inside and at each other to fill that...designer jeans loose the seductive shiny new very quickly...and that hole will remain. Great hub! Really!

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Ball and chain is almost literal here. It's an invisible one at that, but quite physical. The weight kills some people, so I'm praying you get out quickly. Glad to know you liked the lightheartedness of it all as it's a serious topic. But darnit, what's a better way to keep people motivated, lol. Thanks so much for the comment donnah.

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      Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Love the positive, humorous approach you take here, while still giving sound, imporant advice. Debt is the worst weight. I can't wait to feel that sweet freedom. Working on it. I will get there.

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Absolutely sweetie, living within your means. It was once the bedrock of our country. We've gotten far away from that. It's hard to say no to things you want, but I've had to learn how and its better that way. Thanks so much for your visit, comments, and votes! Have a wonderful day!

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      sweetie1 4 years ago from India

      Kasman, these are very good tips you gave to save money. A penny saved is penny earned and every bit counts. If we control our small expenditures we can save a lot. voting it up

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Glad to hear brother. You need to chop that thing up and burn it. You might as well make a party of it. My wife and I made a party of it for sure. This year in particular, we saved so much money and didn't go into debt for Christmas at all! It works, you just have to remind yourself that it's worth it and that the long term returns are worth it. Thanks of the comment and the share.

    • Emmanuel Kariuki profile image

      Emmanuel Kariuki 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      This hub is just for me. Should I chop up the credit card into a jigsaw? I particularly like you advice on cutting a few lawns and making Christmas presents - That I will implement pronto. Just have to share this!

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks so much for the comment. That's one of the more fun ideas we've tried and it's been a great asset!

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      Corey 4 years ago from Northfield, MA

      Thanks for the tips. I like the idea of saving every $5 bill.

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks a lot Iguide! To be honest, I know there are things I could've added to make the list even more exhaustive, so I appreciate your comments brother. It definitely is exhausting, as a battle normally is, but keep persevering and results are seen and codified. And you're right, debt causes grey hairs. My health is definitely a lot better without it. Thanks for the comment, sharing, and the follow!

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thanks for sharing your exhaustive list! There are many ways to save money and it takes a lot of resolve to do these things. After all, I agree what you said, you're in a battle you *have* to win. Plus, some of these things are beneficial to health too.

      Up, useful, shared and a following. :)

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Well Ariel, look at the bright side, you have a plan now on how to get out. You just need to be serious with it and you will break free my friend! I pray it happens quickly for you. God bless you and thanks so much for your comment!

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Awesome, I pray that happens right away for you! Most people don't know that mortgage means death pledge! Some people are cool with it, my wife and I just happen to be people who don't believe in it. Everyone has a different opinion on it. Thanks for the comment!

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      AWESOME hub!!!!! Hubby and I are tackling our final and largest debt-our home mortgage! I cannot wait to be 100% debt free!!

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      It definitely added up quickly. The other aspect to that is, you realize what you normally would use that $5 dollars for otherwise. I think I saved about 30 bucks a week on average. Thanks for the comment kitkat.

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Well I hope it loved loved loved ya back Audrey! Thanks so much for your appreciation and comment.

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks a lot Crissp, I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was definitely meant to entertain and encourage. I want my own personal story to inspire people who are stuck in it. Thanks so much for the share and the votes!

    • kitkat1141 profile image

      kitkat1141 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I also really liked the $5 tin idea. I can see how that would add up quickly. Great ideas.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Loved, loved, loved this hub!!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Very useful, interesting and very positive. I like your zest in this hub. I enjoyed reading it and the fact that you've incorporated a bit of your story makes it even realistic and effective. The accompanying photos are perfectly entertaining!

      Bookmarking for my personal reference.

      Absolutely voting up, useful and sharing.

      Thanks Cash, I mean Kas! (:

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks a lot Alocsin. I thought I would encourage people who are still in debt not to give up by giving them my own testimony to how I got out and the struggles therein. I definitely want to keep people's attention long enough to find out how they can also be free. I appreciate your comments and vote.

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      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      You're advice is sensible and will help folks get debt free. But what lifts this hub out of the ordinary save-money genre are the great pictures of you and the little side-story. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • Kasman profile image
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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks a lot Paul. You're right, it definitely tends to lift your spirits as the chains and weight of it is taken off. Glad to hear you are free of it. It took ridiculous determination to do it, but always worth it in the end.