How to Stay Out of Debt. Staying out of debt is usually a matter of spending less. Of course, it's not always that simple in reality! Some people manage to be debt free by following a few simple rules. You can, too. It will just take some practice to establish good financial habits.
Spend less. Today's easy credit tempts many into spending what they can't afford. The golden rule to staying out of debt is don't buy something unless you are sure you can afford it. Know what your income is and what your bills are. Make a budget and stick to it. Know how much money you have for what.
Pay cash. Debit cards are handy but can make you spend more than you can afford. Know what you can spend. Pay cash if you can. If you don't have the money, then you probably don't need it.
Ignore credit card offers. Use credit cards only in emergencies. If you are using them to get airline miles, only spend what you can pay off when you get your bill. The interest rate on a large balance will not help you to get out of debt, but will only dig you in deeper.
Pay off credit cards. Always pay over the minimum, and pay monthly. Large balances and high interest rates are bad combinations. Use a zero balance credit card and try to pay off the debt in the six month time period before the offer ends.
Buy on sale. Don't pay full price. Memberships in discount clubs like Sam's Club can pay off if you need to buy larger items. Buying in bulk or larger quantities can be cost effective for a larger family or things that are used often.
Be realistic. We live in a consumer society that makes everything attractive. Ignore the siren calls. If you don't need it, don't buy it. If you can't avoid spending, don't go to a certain store. Invest in a hobby or something that will keep you busy and satisfy that desire to have something new.
Cash is still good. Use that instead of credit cards to stay out of debt.
Do not have more than one or two open credit cards.