Today is my day to post in the awesome spring carnival that Katie from Kitchen Stewardship has been running. The topic this week?
Spring Cleaning Carnival: Get the Debt Out.
This week I’m over at Kitchen Stewardship sharing my story about debt. I promise you: It’s not the getting-out-of-debt story you’re expecting! Go head over to read that post and then come back and read my tips for putting debt behind you for good.
Interested in a giveaway? I’m having a giveaway bonanza at the bottom of this post!
The No-Debt Plan
Are you trying to get out of debt?
Are you itching for true financial freedom?
Read my personal debt story here, then follow The Saving Money Plan 3-Step Plan:
Step 1 (Baby Steps): Know Your Debt
The first step in taking stock of your financial life is getting a realistic, exact sense of exactly what your debts are, and what your resources are. You need to pull our your bank statements, figure out your true take-home income (after taxes), and be realistic about where you really are right now financially. This is not the time to sweep anything under the rug. One of the hardest parts about getting out of debt is admitting to the reality of your situation. This may be the hardest step — but that’s only because it’s the most important!
Step 2 (Making Strides): Get a Fail-Safe Spending and Saving System
There are three parts to getting a fail-safe spending and saving system:
- A Written Budget: The first step is to write out your budget. As Dave Ramsey says, “Give every dollar a name.” You need to write out exactly what you spend in a month on “necessities”. Need help writing your budget? Kitchen Stewardship has a great giveaway going on here to win free budgeting software from YNAB (You Need a Budget).
- A Money Book: I believe the only way to go about truly saving money is to record everything you spend. I rely on my “Money Book” – where I write down everything that comes in and everything that goes out. I vouch for having a paper version of this book, and then once a week or once a month inputting to an online spreadsheet or online money-management system. In your money book you are also recording every dollar you bring into your home.
- A Complimentary Online Money-Management System: I use Mint.com and I recommend you should use it too. In conjunction with my money book, I’m able to keep my finances in order and know that my Money Book and my online bank statements are reconciled. Go here to read more about Mint.com.
Step 3 (Leap of Faith): Set Big Goals
Set big goals and make big sacrifices. To stay on track, you need a goal. What is yours? Your first goal should always be getting out of debt. If you are close to doing so, then you might be ready to set an even bigger goal — saving 3-6 months of expenses in the bank in case of a job loss, saving to pay cash for a car, etc. What is your big goal? And how can getting out of debt and staying on your written budget get you there?
Want More Information About Getting out of Debt?
I believe there is no better educational resource on debt and financial freedom than Dave Ramsey. I highly recommend all his books and DVDs, his daily radio and TV shows, and his interactive online forum: My Total Money Make-Over. Dave Ramsey has changed the lives of millions and will continue to do for decades to come. If you are eager to learn step-by-step ways to get out of debt and get on the path to financial freedom, the single best thing you can do today is buy his most popular book: The Total Money Makeover.
More of his books:
- The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
- How to Have More Than Enough
- The Money Answer Book
The Get Out of Debt Giveaway Bonanza – Enter to Win!
- Win a $25 Gift Card to Best Buy from Gift Card Granny.
- Win one of two copies of Kitchen Stewardship’s Family Camping Handbook.
What is the Family Camping Handbook?
If you’ve always wanted to try camping as a frugal family vacation but are nervous because you have little ones, whether they’re babies, toddlers, or preschoolers, Kitchen Stewardship’s Family Camping Handbook will show you how to survive and even thrive out in the woods. The Kimball family has camped with a 3-month-old and a 3-year-old when the only amenity they had was a firepit. And they lived to tell about it. Think you need to pack lots of toys? Try a kid’s shovel. Wondering how to organize your campsite? Give everything a place, and you’ll wish you were camping once you get home to your real house. The Family Camping Handbook gives you an overview of how to get started camping, what to bring, the proper campin’ attitude, and of course, real food adaptations to standard camping fare. You don’t need to compromise with hot dogs and white buns just because you’re out in the woods with a campfire. Whether you’re a seasoned camper wishing you could eat more nourishing foods on your trip or a novice ready for a frugal, natural vacation, there’s something for everyone in the Family Camping Handbook from Kitchen Stewardship.
How do you enter to win the $25 Gift Card or the two copies of the Family Camping Handbook?
- For one entry, leave a linky on this post where it says “add your link” (leave one comment saying you did so).
- For one entry, sign up for my email newsletter (leave one comment saying you did so).
- For two entries, follow me on Twitter (leave one comment saying you did both).
- For three entries, blog about this giveaway (leave three comments saying you did all three).
- For four entries, be my friend on Facebook (leave four comments saying you did all four).