Living debt free when you earn $25,000 or less takes discipline, hard work and a little bit of luck.
I went back to college to finish up my degree at the ripe old age of 30 and I was close to $15,000 in debt.
When I graduated in December of 2002, I was $31,000 in debt on credit cards alone.
Fortunately (in some ways) my circumstances allow me to live rent free.
A few short days after graduating college I was able to land a job in my new career field, journalism, as a sports editor for a newspaper earning $7.50 per hour.
Since then I have spent a total of eight months unemployed, held three newspaper jobs including my current position and have yet to earn over $10 per hour.
With hard work, some luck and sacrifice, the mountain of debt went away this year and I am now debt free.
My gross income this year is on track to be an exciting $15,000. (Tip don’t not work for a newspaper if you want to make money.)
Ways that I’m successfully staying debt free include: Coupons at the grocery store.
I save $10 or more a trip. If a consumer is able to use coupons that knock a $1 or more off the purchase of two or more items it should be done. I prefer to do this rather then buy store brands. In some cases the coupons make the name brand items cheaper than the store brand.
Check you cellular phone plan.
There is no sense in paying for minutes you are not using, and if you are texting more than talking, then get a plan with unlimited text and fewer minutes.
Go with the large deductible on car insurance.
Unless you are prone to accidents, going with a $1,000 deductible on car insurance can save you a bundle. However make sure you have good credit so if something does happen, you will be able to get a loan if needed, to take care of the situation.
Another rule is use common sense.
Don’t chase the latest and greatest in technology if you can’t afford it.
I still have not graduated to a flat screen television and the DVR age. My now old fashioned television and VCR-DVD combo is doing the job until the day they croak.
Clothing is another expense that can be minimal. Consignment shops are great way to save on this need.
Other common sense tips are shut off all electric items not being used when your not at home; If your going to eat out order water instead of colas; cut out the morning coffee at the quick stop, instead make your coffee at home and walk when you can instead of driving, this will save gas and improve your health, and shop the dollar store. There are many great bargains at stores like Dollar Tree.