Post contains affiliate links…which is kind of a bummer because if you buy something off of Amazon I might get out of debt sooner…
The first rule of writing is to write what you know. You know what I know about? How not to get out of debt fast. Here are the best tips I have learned over the past ten years or so on how not to get out of debt fast.
Buy a brand new vehicle.
If you want to get (and stay) in debt, be sure and always buy brand new vehicles.
Back in 2012 Apollo was at his very sickest. I ended up driving over 4,000 miles back and forth to Seattle Children’s Hospital. Our 1995 diesel van was having some major issues. In fact, it had refused to start for me more than once; the most memorable while I was in Seattle trying to leave the hospital while my friend Tami had my kids at the zoo.
Chuck and I searched and searched for a used 15 passenger van with a sliding door but couldn’t find a single one for sale in WA, OR or Idaho!!! Out of complete desperation, we purchased a brand new van and even that had to be brought in from another state.
I am disappointed to say that yesterday we made our very last payment on the van a year early…which will really set us back in the Stay in Debt for as Long as Possible category.
Crash a vehicle that has no collision.
As a special gift for our anniversary this year I crashed our small car on the freeway. We had no collision because it was an old, cheap car. This meant that when it was totaled we were suddenly in a bind, desperately needing another car. After about two weeks of running the teens to school and work, we purchased a used car that smells strongly of stale cigarettes.
Pretend Red Box is Netflix and Never Use Your Local Library.
We have been members of Netflix for years. This is actually a terrible way to get out of debt. For $18 a month (we have no cable or satellite or streaming) we can have and watch as many DVDs as we like. In order to stay in debt, I sometimes rent a movie from Red Box and then keep it a full week. This way I get to wrack up daily bills with no effort at all!
Have a dozen kids.
I recently read a post called Kids Aren’t Expensive, But That Other Thing Sure Is. This is a post I would have loved ten years ago. I could have written it myself ten years ago…in fact, I probably did write something very similar.* I used to wax eloquent about how kids were not expensive and how, with a little hard work and planning, raising kids could be simple and affordable.
That was before I had several kids with special needs. The reality is, we have been crippled financially by expenses health insurance doesn’t cover such as hearing aids, plane tickets, meals and accommodations when you have to travel out of state for surgery (and time off work), summer camp for Mordecai, special sensory toys, and destroyed property.
Don’t get me wrong, I would (and probably will) happily spend every penny I have on my kids, but it is expensive.
*Here I wrote about how we could afford to homeschool with a large family. Notice it was written in 2011, before we realized how sick Apollo was and before Kalina was diagnosed with hearing loss.
Don’t meal plan.
If you want to stay in debt as long as possible, be sure to never, ever meal plan. Be sure not to check out my posts about grocery shopping and meal planning. They are guaranteed to help you save money. Instead go to the grocey store several times per week buying things on impulse, then grab take out on your way home.
Do Not Seek Financial Freedom.
Whatever you do, if you want to stay in debt long-term, make sure you do not read or use any of Dave Ramsey’s materials. Taking a Dave Ramsey class at church caused us to pay off a credit card rapidly thereby putting into motion a giant Debt Snowball and reducing our debt.
I hope you find these tips on getting into and staying in debt helpful. If you have any great suggestions, please add them in the comments below!