If you turn on the news or watch a show like Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey, you may think it is difficult to be debt free. However, it is actually pretty  easy to be debt free as long as you follow these important steps below. All it takes is a little effort, some close monitoring, and you should be okay. Read below to learn how to be debt free.

Steps to Being Debt Free

Spend Less Than You Earn: This may seem like common sense, and it is. Sometimes, it is also easier said than done. However, this step is the ease for everything that follows, so if you don’t consistently spend less than you earn, you will never be debt free. And it must be consistent – it is not enough to spend less just one or two months; you need to consistently, month after month, spend less than you earn.

Monitor Your Accounts: How do you know if you are spending too much? How do you know how much debt you have? It is essential that you develop a system to monitor your financial behavior. There are many ways to do this. The most basic way is to use a spreadsheet and input all of your account balances. Then, you can update it as you get your bank statements. However, you could also use computer software or online programs to help you get a real-time snapshot of your accounts.

First, you should check with you bank. Many banks offer online solutions to monitor your total financial health. Second, you could try a program like Quicken, where you input all your accounts and update the balances regularly. Finally, you could use an online program like Mint or Adaptu to sync all you accounts and have them in one place.

The bottom line is that you need to know how much money you have, how much you’ve spent, and where you’ve spent it to have a chance to save and be debt free. You will never be debt free if you don’t know where your money as gone.

Budget: The last step in learning how to be debt free is learning how to budget. Once you know where all your money is going, and what your balances truly are, you can make a plan. Look for unnecessary spending and put limits on your spending in these areas. This is where a program
such as Mint or Adaptu really shine, because they can help you calculate your spending and alert you if you’ve passed your limits.

You can look to areas like shopping, dining, travel, vacations, etc. Find areas where there are excesses and cut. Then, use that money to pay off your debt. You could also look at increasing your income, and using the extra money to go towards paying your debts as well. Either way, with a clear picture and a budget, you can learn how to be debt free.