What can you do? These are not given in any particular order, but they will serve as a good place to start.
1. Change your attitude. Don’t accept debt as “normal”. The Bible is clear on it’s attitude toward debt – it’s not a good thing!
2. Make a commitment not to take on any more debt. Learn to laugh at the “buy now, pay later” offers. Don’t consider “low monthly payments”, consider “how much will this cost me in the long run”.
3. Develop a plan for spending money. A plan doesn’t restrict you, a plan sets you FREE to spend according to your plan. If you don’t make a plan, you will most likely find yourself spending more than you bring in (or in ways you do not intend), which inevitably means “debt”.
4. Understand ownership. It may be in “your” bank account, but as a Christian we know that it not only comes from God but ultimately belongs to God. Use it accordingly. Put God first. Tithe.
5. Keep track of spending. How are you going to make adjustments unless you know exactly where your money is going? You need to keep accurate records. The results may surprise you and show you some areas where you can make changes.
6. Adjust your lifestyle. A daily stop at a coffee shop adds up a whole lot. So does eating out. If you drive, plan your trips so you don’t drive more than necessary. And do you really need cable TV? If it means the difference between going into debt or getting out of debt, just how much can you do without? You might surprise yourself.
7. Pay off small debts first. It will encourage you and give you incentive to keep going. Also give at least a little on your larger debts, it will let your creditors know you are trying and doing something about it.
8. Don’t think “if only I had more income, I wouldn’t be in debt”. In almost all cases that is not true. People with high incomes are in great debt. True, you do need some measure of income, but MOST ALWAYS the problem isn’t income, it’s expenses.
9. Don’t be afraid to get some help. A professional (financial advisor) or perhaps even your pastor would be glad to help. But you need to do the asking.