Out of Money and In Debt: Tips, Tricks and Traps

Let’s face it, we live in uncertain economic times. Today, people are worried about just getting by and also about what to do when they are caught in debt but out of money. Let’s explore some different money tricks and traps we can use to fight back against debt.

Out of Money

If you’ve found yourself out of money and it feels like the world is closing in around you, you may think you have no options. But that’s your perception, not reality.

In reality you have many options when you are in debt but out of money. Granted, the options may not be fun or joyous but they are options nonetheless.

Two Primary Options When You Are Out of Money

You have two primary options when you are out of money.

  • Increase Income – If you can add more income to your life on a consistent and regular basis then you can eliminate your out of money condition. Unfortunately searching for new income often takes optimism, enthusiasm, and a willingness to reach out and try hard in the face of uncertainty.

    Those are traits that are found in short supply when you are out of money, feeling stressed, feeling like you are out of options and are desperate to make the money troubles go away.

  • Reducing Expenses – If you can eliminate your financial obligations it will allow you to extend what money you may have on hand or coming in, longer. Reducing expenses is also emotionally tough since it can amplify depression and hopelessness.

    Think about it like this, if you turn of the air conditioning on a hot summer day, turn of the lights to reduce power use, cancel the cable television, and sell the car to reduce expenses; how hopeful are you going to feel just sitting in the dark?

    Out of Money and In Debt
    Trapped Out of Money and In Debt

    Out of Money Tips and Tricks

    I’m just going to be brutally honest, when you find yourself out of money, your available options, well, suck. They are not fun, they all seem less than ideal and you feel there must be other things you can do besides increasing income or reducing expenses.

    Well there is, do a little bit of both.

    You can look for a second job maybe, adding hours at work, or just working harder. At the same time you can carefully evaluate your expenses and cut back where you can to reduce your obligations.

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    While canceling the television package seems totally unreasonable, there are different options for consuming entertainment today. With an internet connection and some time to hunt down shows, you can watch many television shows online for free.

    Cut Driving Expenses

    Need to cut down on the money you are paying for gas? Drive smarter.

    Here are some really simple commonsense tips you can use to have to fill up less often.

    1. Observe the speed limit. – Driving fast uses a lot more gas.
    2. Turn on the cruise control. – Maintaining a constant speed requires less fuel.
    3. Clean out the car. – If you remove all the excess weight you may be carrying around in your car and trunk, it will take less fuel to move the vehicle around.
    4. When you can, turn the car off. – Idling uses up to a half gallon an hour. If you are sitting with the air conditioning on it can cost about four cents a minute. – Source

    Watch TV for Free

    Ditch the cable but keep the internet.

    These sites will help you to watch your favorite shows:

    • Hulu – Many popular shows and clips are available so you can watch TV online for free. They even offer a paid package with more options.
    • The network. Let’s say you like to watch shows on HGTV for example. Just go to the HGTV site and start watching for free. Maybe you enjoy watching NBC Nightly News or Big Brother, Ice Road Truckers, hey are available online for free as well.
    • Netflix is not a free service but for a reasonable small monthly fee you can watch loads of movies and television shows. It’s worth checking out. My Netflix account gets a solid workout.

    Find a Second Income Fast

    If you are looking for a local retail job to boost your income, I like SnagaJob as an easy place to go. They might not be glamorous jobs but they are additional income.

    A look at what was available right now in just one zip code in Rockville, Maryland found 174 jobs open.

    If you are not working now and need more full time employment, don’t forget about temporary employment companies. Do a search for temporary jobs or temporary agencies in your area and call them all. Find out what you need to do to become registered with them and sent on job assignments. A temporary job is a good way to get a local employer to know you and get your foot in the door.

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    Get Smart About Buying Stuff at the Grocery Store

    Manufacturers will bribe and pay you to use their products. They do this with coupons. If you are not couponing wisely right now, you are throwing money away. We’ve cut our grocery bills in half just by paying attention to coupons, sales, and store policies.

    We’ve already written about couponing a bunch and there is a lot of good information on using coupons right here.

    Put Them Together

    So by dropping cable, driving smarter and adding a part time job you can easily shift your financial situation about $500 a month in your favor.

    The most likely solution for tipping the financial scales in your favor will involve doing a lot of these little things and collectively they will add up to a huge savings.

    Out of Money Interventions

    Frequently it takes more than just out of money tricks to pull back from the financial cliff. This is most often because people have allowed themselves, through denial, to not take action soon enough.

    The most logical hammer to drop is to consider bankruptcy. You see bankruptcy is a well defined solution that gives you the power of the court behind you. And if you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy it is a quick and legal fresh start. Within a few months your debt will be gone and a new financial life will be waiting in front of you. You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and go talk it all over with them.

    If bankruptcy becomes the path you take, then learn the lessons from your recent path and try to avoid them as you move ahead with your new and happier life.


    You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

    Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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