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 | February 11, 2014

    #Save just 1% of your income this year and grow $250-$500 in savings by the end of the year depending on your salary: http://ow.ly/tvMwQ

Saver Stories View all »

Involving Kids in Family Finances

Written by | April 19, 2019

 

One of the best lessons we can share with our kids is about money. By middle school, kids should have a good understanding of how money works as well as the importance of saving.

Read more...

When You Start Small, Saving is Easy

Written by Lila Quintiliani | August 12, 2019

When Attiyya first got married, she and her Marine husband had just graduated from college and were focused on paying off student loan debt. They had both attended private schools and had sizeable loans. Then three months after the wedding, the couple found out they were pregnant with their first child.

The first year of their marriage, says Attiyya, was a balancing act between paying down debt and saving for the future.

Read more...

How Smart Financial Decisions Can Create Opportunities 

Written by | November 22, 2019

Written by Stephen Ross, America Saves Program Coordinator | November 22, 2019

Of the many stories Military Saves shares, most describe how someone was in dire straits financially and worked their way out of it with the help of Military Saves. This time we want to highlight a different kind of story. This is a story about how responsible financial decisions can build on one another to create opportunities you thought only the super-rich enjoy.

Read more...