If you as a parent can get out of debt by the day your kid starts college, you’ll have more cash on hand to help pay college bills. Boom. Less debt for your kid at college graduation!
If you can get out of debt years before your kid starts college, the process will be easier on you—plus you’ll have more cash on hand during those pre-college years to build up your kids’ college savings. (Every penny you save in advance helps.)
Either way—you’ll dramatically increase the chances that your child will eventually graduate from college and begin adult life debt-free.
(This is an astounding, generous, momentous gift to give to the kids you love!)
Today I’m featuring 4 amazingly easy steps to get out of debt.
I hope you’ll schedule a family meeting this week where you’ll introduce the idea that your family could take small, manageable baby steps to get out of debt.
Then next week, take just one more small baby step on that journey.
Then keep going, week by week.
These steps come to us from best-selling author Dave Ramsey.
These steps to get out of debt are so easy, you can fit them on a post-it note.
4 Amazingly Easy Steps to Get Out of Debt:
Step 1: List your debts from smallest to largest, with the smallest debt at the top of the page.
Step 2: Make only minimum payments on all your debts except the smallest.
Step 3: Pay as much as possible on your smallest debt. (Sell some of your stuff if necessary! Make a game out of it!)
Step 4: Repeat until each debt is paid in full.
Can getting out of debt really be this simple?
You might think you’d want to do something complicated, like pay the highest interest debt off first, but (unless it’s a student loan—see below) I encourage you not to do that.
According to Dave Ramsey, what you really need is a series of quick wins that’ll build your excitement and give you momentum to keep going. If you pay off your smallest debt first, and then take all the money you were paying on that small debt and pour it into paying off your next debt—and then continue doing that until all your debts are paid off, you will quickly begin to win at debt reduction.
Two of my friends paid off $60,000 in debt this way, and they told me afterward that the process hardly made a ripple in their day-to-day family life.
Would you like support on this important journey?
If you’d like the kind help of a small group of men and women like you who are all on the journey toward becoming debt-free, use Google to find a Financial Peace University course near you. It’s just 9 lessons—and it can be life-changing. Just google the words “Financial Peace” along with your zip code.
If your debt includes student loans (or student loans you’ve cosigned), do this.
1. Adjust the strategies above and pay your highest interest student loan off first. (That’s likely a private student loan that you’ll want to get free of as quickly as possible for many reasons.)
2. Take a huge leap toward getting free of student loan debt by reading two articles I’ve written on this subject:
Whether you get out of debt or not, I can help you get your kids through college debt-free.
Clear, step-by-step directions for this are in my book:
It’s a reference book, so nobody reads the whole thing cover to cover. Pick out what you need to read in it using the fast-paced, 10-minute video instructions here.
You can see more than 180 reviews of this book on Amazon by going to:
(Tell your friends.)
You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCH, here.
You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCH, here.
Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.
And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.
Take a step on this right now. Get regular, inspiring help from me—every Monday morning.
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Do you have specific questions for me about debt-free college and career for your kids?
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What about you? Might you try to get out of debt before your kids head off to college?
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Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26, their parents, and the professionals who serve them. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free, ready to move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, Parents Magazine, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.