Different colored credit cards laying over top one another.

First Step to Destroy Debt: Stop the Bleeding

By USAA Educational Foundation

Being in debt and falling behind feels awful. But here’s some good news: if you’re committed to getting out of debt, this program can help you get there. In six practical, proactive steps, you can destroy debt and work your way to a whole new financial feeling! Below is a video that walks you through the first step: stop the bleeding.

 

 

To get out of debt, you’ve got to stop adding to it. Whether it began with unexpected needs, or too many wants, it’s time to call a halt. Here’s how: 

Avoid new debt 

To avoid new debt, pay with cash or debit, never credit. It’s that simple. Going out? Take cash only. A PX or BX Black Friday Sale? Debit, or forget it. A cash-only diet will bring you into closer relationship with your bank balance – and that’s a good thing. Use your bank’s mobile app, set low balance alerts, and carry cash for routine purchases. In short, only spend real money that you actually have. 

Evade tempting debt

Remember those needs and wants? Work on recognizing the difference - and know when to run! Delete the shopping app you’re addicted to, or steer clear of the coffee shop you can’t resist. And, when a “gotta-have-it” moment hits, put a freeze on it – even if it literally means freezing your credit cards in ice. Sometimes waiting for a card to thaw out can give you time to firm up and summon a little will power.

Eliminate penalties

Finally, it’s important to eliminate penalties that can add to your debt. Even if you can only make minimum payments, keep at it. Don’t let a single dollar go to extra penalties or fees due to late or missed payments.

That’s it for step one: stop the bleeding. Check out the rest of the steps to eliminate debt on YouTube.


Are you trying to save money? Let Military Saves help you reach your savings and debt reduction goals. It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save. We'll keep you motivated with information, advice, tips, and reminders to help you reach your savings goal. Think of us as your own personal support system.

TAKE THE PLEDGE


Struggling to get out of debt? @USAAEF has 6 steps on how to get rid of debt. Check out the first one here: http://bit.ly/2F3IhC4 @MilitarySaves

Tweet this now

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Guest Blogger | May 28, 2014

    A #credit score may be used to decide the terms you are offered or the rate you will pay for a #loan. Learn more at http://ow.ly/C7EDv

Saver Stories View all »

Savers Pledge Leads to Savings Success

Written by Super User | October 13, 2011

My name is Rob and I am a Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve. My financial success is a huge result of the Military Saves Campaign.

My journey began five years ago after marrying my wife, Lisa. We entered our marriage with no savings plan in sight, carrying debt and living in a tiny apartment. After seeing an advertisement for Military Saves, we decided to grab the reigns of our finances and implement a positive financial plan.

Read more...

Naval Battalion's Effort Yields Team Success

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

Construction Battalion Five, DETAIL CHINHAE would like to share our campaign success story with you!

Currently we have 23 members on our Det, (all of whom have registered with militarysaves) and out of them 16 are planning for retirement by saving and investing money in the Federal Thrift Savings Plan.

Read more...

Building Wealth by Setting Goals

Written by Super User | April 24, 2013

My name is Allison Mecadon and I’m a Youth Coordinator with the Virginia National Guard Youth Program. My husband, Tom, is an M-Day Army National Guard Member (an M-Day member is one who performs weekend drill, but is not on full-time duty).

Read more...