How Not to Fall Back into Debt

by Justin Weinger on March 12, 2013

So you’ve finally done it and paid off all of your debt. Congratulations, you deserve a lot of kudos for that. Now that you’ve done it you realize just how difficult it is and how much time it can take, memories that will last for a while.

But sometimes not a long while and that’s why many people find themselves back into debt even after going through a bankruptcy or other financial meltdown. If that’s not something that appeals to you you’re in luck because we’ve put together a list of things you should do and not do if you want to always remain debt free from now on. Take a look and use them to keep your finances in order.  Enjoy!

First have a little bit of fun.  Hey, you paid off  your debt and you deserve a little reward.  If you can afford it, and if it you spend a reasonable amount that fits (mostly) your budget, go for it and get something nice for yourself (and anyone else who helped).

Start using cash only to pay for everything.  If you don’t want to carry cash use a debit card instead of a credit card. Frankly credit cards aren’t bad but it’s the place where most get into trouble.  If you can pay them off every single month and not start getting behind use them but it’s risky.  Better to stick with cash so you know exactly where you stand at all times.

Plan for future large purchases, don’t splurge.  If you want that big flat screen save for it over a few months instead of putting it on credit or, even worse, on a new store credit line. Splurging or ‘emotional’ buying is probably what got you in trouble in the first place last time so be careful and plan your purchases.

Knowing what triggers your spending is a good idea so that, when necessary, you can avoid the places and the things that make you weak and make it easier to spend too much.  If you’re a golfer and you can’t go into a golf store without dropping a few hundred bucks then just don’t go.  Order online so that there’s less temptation.

Of course all that money that you spent on payments should now either go to savings or investments.  Just because you don’t have any debt doesn’t mean that you don’t need to save for retirement or for future plans anymore.  Put that money somewhere safe where it can grow.

If you can, surround yourself with like-minded people who have the same debt-free goals and interests as you do so that, if there’s a temptation to do something rash with your money, you can talk to them and get some support.

Finally, never let go of the terrible way that being deep in debt made you feel.  These strong feelings should be all that you need to steer clear of money problems and remembering them occasionally is a good idea. Besides that, pat yourself on the back too for your big accomplishment.

 

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