Debt Reduction Tips from Zen Habits

Ten Key Steps to Get Out of Debt

1. Canceled the credit card
2. Eliminated non-essential expenses
3. The spending plan
4. Cash and online bill payments
5. The emergency fund
6. The debt repayment plan
7. Debt is my first bill
8. Rewards
9. Increased income
10. More increased income

All of these are expanded on at Zen Habits but this is a good list to build from. Number eleven that I might add would be Choose a less expensive place to live. Meaning that I happen to have chosen to live in one of the most expensive places in the US, the Bay Area. Our housing prices are ridiculous, our gas is the most expensive in the nation (but I don't complain too loudly because Euros and Japanese have it waaaay worse) and everything is an hour or two apart. But, on the plus side, we do have the ocean, redwoods and only a passing understanding of how much winter really sucks.

But I've got more than a passing understanding of how much a debt load can suck. As well as I've got an understanding of how awesome it feels to make that final payment on a car, motorcycle or credit card and to get a statement with $0.00 balance. Or, even better, overpaying just a little bit and getting a check back from those people you've been paying for so long.