As I read through Mary Hunt's Debt Proof Living book, I found what she called some basic principle of "Debt-Proof Living" to be good common sense and ideas that sometimes we forget from time to time.

In no particular order:
** You must never spend it all- Make sure you pay yourself first, even if it is $5 a paycheck. That $5 is less money wasted, money for a rainy day or an emergency.

** Pay Cash- Paying cash keeps you focused on where your money is going. Personally I pay with a check so I can keep better track of things, but the whole point is to be aware of your money and the value of what you buy and what you have left.

** Pay in full now or pay twice later - When you have the money to buy something with the money you have on hand; you are the owner of that item and it has value to you, But when you put the item on a credit card, you end up paying more than it is worth and in a sense, because you are still paying on it to the credit card company and you don't own it, they own it.

** No Debt - Unsecured debt is like a cancer, Mary says. At first it seems small and non-threatening, but it grows and grows until the debt overwhelms us and controls our lives. So eliminate the small things before they grow larger and harder to deal with. Procrastination has no place when it comes to debt.

** Living without debt is tantamount to a tax-free increase - When you don't have debt, you have extra money in your pocket, the money belongs to you and not the credit company. You aren't paying interest on money that is someone else's, instead you have others pay YOU interest on YOUR money.

** Develop a strategy - Make a plan for yourself, what are your goals? Write them down so you can see them on paper. Start with small steps, the feeling of accomplishment will grow so you can undertake larger issues. As you see your goals being attained, your will power will go stronger. A written plan allow you to see where you are headed and what you have accomplished so far.

** More money is not always the answer- It is understandable that if you have removed all the luxuries and the wants from your life to attain a goal and still can't cover the needs, additional money may be necessary. But before you start working another job or aiming for a better raise; Are you able to manage the money you already have or is that extra money going to prolong your debt as well?

Make sure you are living beneath your means as best as possible, that way the extra money is not a temptation to spend, but to invest or pay down debt.

** It's not how much you make, but what you do with it - How many times have we heard of large donations to places based on the meager salaries of teachers? And on the other hand, hearing about millionaires spend all their money and being broke and in debt? Your quality of life is going to be determined by you. No one else can tell you how tight your budget belt must be or what to buy, cause only you live your life.

** You must never keep it all - Money flows into your life through many ways; call it good luck, hard work or a higher power, but you must give some away. Nothing beats power of helping others with our money and time.

5 Comments

  1. Adam // Thursday, January 08, 2009 8:58:00 AM  

    Great article, I try to live within my means and especially "pay yourself first". That was drummed into my head at an early age.

    Yes, I have made mistakes with credit cards. But, I am paying them off and hope to be credit card free very soon!

  2. MysTery // Thursday, January 08, 2009 3:49:00 PM  

    Great post!

  3. Mrs. (not) the Jet Set // Friday, January 09, 2009 10:39:00 AM  

    Thanks for the book review! It sounds like a great book with sound advise.

  4. Jeff H // Friday, January 09, 2009 3:23:00 PM  

    Great tips to follow. Life is sure more enjoyable Debt Free!

  5. Jerry // Saturday, November 13, 2010 3:48:00 AM  

    These are good tips. I find tracking my spending is insurance I don't go beyond my budget. It's a hassle sometimes but it always leads to me saving more than I spend.