In Getting out of debt

34 tips to get out of debt like a pro

For this week’s post, I wanted to provide some insightful and valuable knowledge to help keep you going when times get rough. I went out and asked a bunch of people from all areas of the financial world to share their best “get out of debt” tips with you all. These include Certified Financial Planners, Lawyers, world travelers, and just regular people who have tips about getting out of debt, because…well they’ve been there

Motivated to get out of debt? Check out the
5 most important things I did to get started.



christopher rither“This one’s a no brainer. Stop spending money! If you stop spending money, you have more to pay off your debt.  It’s amazing how many things we can live without.  So stop whining and complaining and wasting all your money.  Instead save every penny and pay off your debt.  Then by the time you’re out of debt, you’re used to living without spending money on all the things that got you into debt in the first place…”

– Chris Rither,




rachel cruze“If you’re going to get out of debt, you have to get on a budget. Without a budget it’s virtually impossible to win with your money. Think of a budget as a plan with for you money. Most people find freedom in a budget because they know where there money is going and they can spend it intentionally.

Make a new budget each month, before the month begins. List out all of your income and expenses. Figure out what sacrifices you can make to squeeze extra money out of your budget and apply towards debt. Budgeting is key to getting control of your finances – especially getting out of debt.”
– Rachel Cruze,



Know Where Your Money Is Going. You must be aware of your spending habits & what triggers those habits. I strongly recommend journaling EVERY penny for 21 days…even 25 Cents for a gumball at the mall. When you know where your money is going…you can start to work the budget you may have in place.”

– Kim Martin, KMartin Enterprises



gino pascucci“Do not get in debt in the first place…It seems the whole game is to get you in debt and keep you in debt like a mouse in a spinning wheel. As a millennial I believe your number one priority should be to stay out of debt completely. If you stay out of debt you are given a different level of freedom and opportunity denied to almost everyone in today’s society.”

– Gino Pascucci,





barbara elaine singer“Rent out your spare bedrooms, garage or attic. It is the quicks way to gain income without having to actually earn it. You may even gain a valued friend. Throw the money directly at a debt. If you have 2 rooms and each rents for $500 a month, you can knock down a debt by $12,000 in 1 year.”

– Barbara Elaine Singer,




vickens moscova“My number one get out of debt tip would be to validate the debts you are being accused of owing to begin with right away. I say this because many of the so called creditors cannot validate the original debt and many times have bought the debt therefore paying it off and discharging it.”

– Vickens Moscova,





tana gildeaGet out of debt 5 bucks at a time. Add just 5 bucks more to those payments. Every time you are somewhere about to grab a 5 buck item, stop, put it back and send 5 bucks to your highest interest debt. It is amazing how we spend money 5 or 10 or 20 bucks and it adds up to a lot of money. If we can get in the habit of reversing that, we can make those small payments add up to big amounts on our debts.”

– Tana,




“My number one get out of debt tip is to track your spending. Many people spend money they don’t even realize they are spending. Even spending as little as $5 a day during the work-week on lunch out can add up to $1,300 a year! Cutting back on your expenses allows you to put this found money towards your debt.” –

– Danny Kofke,


juan polanco“My number one get out of debt tip is to pay the highest interest debt bi-weekly instead of monthly. Why? because over time you will pay your debt quicker. For example, instead of paying $1200/yr (12 months x $100), by paying $50 every two weeks you will end up paying $1300/yr (26 weeks x $50). This is so because some months have more than four weeks.” – Juan Polanco,



leslie tayne“Know your income and expenses. While it is important to make a list itemizing your income and expenses so you know where exactly what comes in after taxes and what percentage of your money goes to your big expenses, don’t leave it at just that – you itemize for all expenses, accounting for food, cable, entertainment and incidentals each month. Knowledge is power so being in control fosters a relationship with one’s money that can help with reaching goals and avoiding financial pitfalls.”

– Leslie H. Tayne, Esq.,




kathlyn hart

“My #1 tip after getting your debts on automatic payment is to ATTACK the loan with the highest interest. Attack it like you are chopping down a tree like a mad man. Keep hacking away at it until it finally timbers. Celebrate, and then move on to the outstanding debt with the next highest interest.”

– Kathlyn Hart,




nate mathersonPay off your highest interest rate loans (in our case, student loans) first. Too many consumers make their extra principal payments equally over their loans. Not all loan servicing companies automatically apply

extra principal payments to the highest interest rate debt. Make sure that your loan servicer has your back!”

– Nate Matherson,





nancy gaines“Determine your mindset!! The pain of staying in debt has to be so strong and unsustainable that someone absolutely MUST change to avoid more pain. That’s the level of commitment and mindset required. If someone isn’t fully committed to getting out of debt, they won’t.”

– Nancy Gaines,



mary flynn“My number one get out of debt tip is stay away from the store(s) or situations where you are likely to make impulse purchases. Most people can stick to a budget with the idea of paying down the debt, yet are likely to sabotage when the debt starts going down and they see something new that they want. I was able to pay off my credit card balances rather quickly by staying off e-bay, out of stores including resale shops, and finding alternative uses for my time that allowed me to relax but not have a possibility of buying anything.”

– Mary Chase




jason hastie“Getting out of debt can only be achieved if you know how *much* you can spend. Most people try to budget by figuring out what they can spend on a monthly basis. However, I advocate breaking it down to one number that you use *each* and *every* day. Knowing and remembering your one daily number makes it easy to keep your spending in check, and puts everything into perspective (Do I really need that $5 latte?). AND as a bonus … if you are *under* your limit for the day, then you have that much more to spend *guilt free* the next day!”

– Jason Hastie,



jaquetta turner


“If you are going to pay off your debt then you will need money to do so. If you keep spending on things you want (not need) then you will go deeper into debt which will delay your process of getting out of debt.”

– Jaquetta Turner,



wes shelnutt“The only way to get out of debt is to consistently spend less than you make. It’s a really simple answer, because it’s a really simple problem to solve! It takes a lot of time for most, to be sure, but consistently spending less than you make is the *only* way to create a financial margin to begin building savings and attacking debt with an accelerated debt roll-down method. Even if you received a huge inheritance tomorrow, if you spent more than you had received, you would still be in debt—and probably worse off! By meticulously tracking every penny that you spend and eliminating unnecessary expenses, you can get out of debt much quicker. You can’t always control how much money you make and you can’t always predict the return on your investments. What you can control is where, when, and how you spend your money.”

– Wes Shelnutt,


mark and lauren greutman

“Our #1 Tip for getting out of debt is to set aside $1,000 in an emergency savings account before you start paying your debt off. You do this by selling things around your home that you don’t need, or picking up an extra job for a few weeks. Once you have this savings account, then start paying off the debt. The emergency savings is now in place in case of an emergency, and you can pay it back interest free while paying down your other debts.”

– Mark and Lauren Greutman,



mike bowman

Turn your hobby into cash. Then use the cash to pay off your debt while living within the means of your full-time job.  You can turn hobbies such as web design, writing, crafts, car detailing, baking, painting, sewing, and computer repair into cash by selling your products or services to others in your spare time, pay off debt, and enjoy the time you spend doing it!”

– Mike Bowman,




jude bijou“I recommend clients make a budget, then on payday or the first of every month, put the cash for expenses such as food, entertainment, gas, etc in envelopes and only spend what you have designated in your budget. This means, do not use credit cards. And no robbing another envelope to cover yourself. This is the empowering way to become conscious about making choices and living within your means. For further information, don’t hesitate to contact me.”

– Jude Bijou,





ed mcmasters“My number one “get out of debt” tip – This is a simple answer: Pack Your Lunch!

We have started packing our lunches for work and the kids for school. Eating out for work lunch was climbing to $12 – $15 each time. Over 5 days that adds up to $75/week and $300/month. We realized the kids had a similar issue, there were spending upwards of $3/day on a la carte meals at school. When we discussed with them the fact that they could pack and we would give them that $3/day as a bonus on their allowance, packing lunch suddenly became a priority. As a family we have even extended the philosophy to dinners at night and have made a game of seeing what a meal at home costs us. We are averaging $20/home cooked meal, and it is good tasting! We were spending $80 – $100 a meal for our family of four at a restaurant. We have reduced eating out 3-4 times a week to 3-4 times a month saving us nearly $1,000 per month. It all adds up!”

– Ed McMasters,


matthew kelly“My Number one tip is, develop a realistic budget that accounts for less-than-monthly expenses such as, new tires, the holidays, insurance. Without that the emergencies never stop. I should know. My wife and I paid off $165,000 in debt and saved $20,000 in 15 months when we finally took control of our finances.”

-Matt Kelly,




katie provinciano“As someone who dug their way out of a huge pile of debt (my husband and I had over 150K in combined student loans) the key is focused intensity. Waging war against debt can be a long journey and it’s easy to sit on the sidelines and pay your minimums. We had to decide we were done with debt forever and we gave up many things along the way – eating out, new clothes, traveling, etc. but in the end it was completely worth it. Getting out of debt isn’t easy – you have to get very comfortable saying no. But the peace we have now is priceless – our money is finally ours and life couldn’t’ be better!”

– Katie Provinziano,



joseph ritter“Tip for getting out of debt: Get fired up about getting out of debt. All the tips and tricks in the world and the fanciest budget won’t do any good unless you make it important and are ready to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to get out of debt.”

– R. Joseph Ritter,




dana twight

Stop using any sources of credit immediately. Don’t close the accounts, just stop using the cards. Don’t try the old trick of placing a credit card in the freezer, just take the cards out of your wallet. Cut them up or put them in a drawer; ask yourself which method is going to work best for you. If you are using credit for everyday expenses, you have other hard work to do. Review your expenses and really make cuts. No cable, cheaper cell plan, change grocery stores and brands, no new clothes, sell stuff on Craig’s list. Do you need a roommate or do you need to move yourself?”

– Dana Twight,



valentin vesa



Always try to spend less than what you earn, no matter how hard it is.” – Val Vesa,







gene natali

Let your savings dictate your spending, not the opposite. The world is cleverly stacked against our wallets, and spending money is easy.  Without preparation and a plan in place to save it becomes a real challenge to do so.  Consider your savings a fixed monthly cost.”

– Gene Natali,




barry maher



“Before you buy anything, think of how long and how hard you had to work to earn that much money. It’s amazing how many things you think you need turn out to be a lot less necessary when stacked up against the hours of work it would take to own them.”

– Barry Maher,




kevin gallegosLive *below *your means. Know exactly what you have to spend each month and spend less. Living beneath your means goes further than living *within* your means. It means taking responsibility and choosing where your money goes, instead of being influenced by whims, advertising, habits or peer pressure. If you don’t know how to do it, start by learning to create and use a simple budget.”

– Kevin Gallegos, Vice President of



Stop using credit/debit cards. By using cash only, you become much more aware that you are actually spending money. Say goodbye to plastic. Also, pay off credit card debt as soon as possible.”

– Jeff Motske,


david perry

“No debt. Pay cash for everything you can and when you can’t. Do without until you can.”

– David Perry,




tom anderson value of debt in retirementPay off debt that has high interest rates (typically above 10%) first and then begin building up cash reserves. Having liquidity AND debt below 10% can help you weather the next storm better than no debt and no liquidity.

Put debt into three categories – oppressive, working, and enriching. Virtually everything above 10% (credit cards, payday loans, etc) falls under oppressive. Working debt is debt that can help advance your life (e.g. Student loans, mortgages, etc.) and depending on the rate is debt you may not want to pay off right away. Enriching debt can potentially increase your return and reduce your risk (e.g. Securities based loans) and has very low rates (ideally around three percent).”

– Tom Anderson,


randy williams“Unless you have control of your budget, you will never be able to plan out a debt free situation. Most debt comes from not budgeting or preparing for your future. When we don’t have control of our money, chances are we are using debt to supplement our income. This is a recipe for disaster.”

– Randy Williams,



gina constantino“My #1 tip is to pay off high interest credit card debt. By doing this first, you’ll save time and a great deal of money on interest charges. Credit card companies want to keep their customers in a perpetuating debt cycle. They often incentivize customers with rewards and spending perks to keep them in the system.”

– Gina Costantino,



Ready to change your life? Check out the
5 most important things I did to get started.

A big thanks to everyone who contributed their tips! I hope you enjoyed their insights. If you have any questions or comments about what you just read, please let us know below.


Showing 13 comments
  • Adi

    I like the tips around budgeting. Gaining a better understanding of what you’re spending, how to spend more wisely, and where you can make savings are sound fundamentals whether you’re in debt trying to get out or trying not to get into it in the first place.

    • Chenell Tull

      Thanks for stopping by, Adi! Many of these tips can be well utilized for people who don’t have debt and are trying to avoid it, or working towards bettering their own financial health. Totally agree with that one!

  • Frederic Gonzalo

    Lots of great tips, here. I wholeheartedly agree with “packing your lunch”, as I have seen co-workers spend fortunes eating out on a daily basis. I mean, yes, you may have to eat out often for business lunches and networking opportunities, or to chat with colleagues every now and then. But every day? It adds up pretty fast.
    But the best tip in here is one that echoed what my father used to always say: just spend less than what you earn. Some folks will always be in debt because if they earn 100,000$, they tend to spend 120,000$ while if they made 50,000$, they would still outspend by 20%, at 60,000$ for example. It’s that simple. Easier said than done, for many, but a fairly basic principle.

    • Chenell Tull

      You are totally right about spending less than you earn. No matter the size of the income, some people will always spend every dollar they have. It’s crazy to read those example of professional athletes ending up bankrupt because they couldn’t handle the millions of dollars and spent every penny.

  • dedicate

    Although I strongly agree with the sentiment of “do not get into debt in the first place”, one could argue that it’s not really a tip on how to get out of debt (as per the blog post title). But for me this is still the crux of the issue – too many people spend beyond their means and worry about it later. I don’t know why we seem to have that culture and don’t think there’s a need for it, with the exception perhaps of truly major purchases such as a home. Only buy something you can already afford and you won’t go too far wrong.

    • Chenell Tull

      Haha yes, exactly right on that one. It’s so simple and obvious, yet it needs to be said because some people just don’t pay enough attention to where their money goes.

  • David Boozer

    I was a ghost forever, no credit. It was neither good nor bad, at least until I wanted to buy a home. Now I need a little revolving credit for a year and good to go! But, debt was something I never had. If you can’t pay cash for it, I did not own it…

    • Chenell Tull

      I’m glad to hear that you didn’t get yourself into any money trouble, David. That’s how I operate now, only spend what you have and only buy what you really need. Thanks for stopping by!

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