How to Brainstorm Your Way Out of Debt With These 11 Alternatives

Take a new approach: brainstorm your way out of debt! Changing the way you think changes everything, making it easier to pay off debt.
It’s no surprise that the typical approach to paying off debt focuses on, well, the debts themselves — their interest rates, what order to pay them in, etc — and often on ways to make extra money or reduce expenses.

But getting out of debt (and staying out of debt) is really about changing behavior. Change the behaviors that got you into debt in the first place, and you’ll have the hardest part licked. That’s where brainstorming your way out of debt comes in.

What it means to brainstorm your way out of debt

Brainstorming your way out of debt means taking a new approach to the expenses that crop up. Whether those are unexpected things like needing a new transmission for your car or more typical things like getting a flu shot, changing the way you think about getting the things you need and want changes everything.

The usual method

The usual way of buying something goes something like this:

1. See something you want or need
2. Maybe shop around a little or look for a deal
3. Buy it

Folks who are beginning to get a handle on their money do things a little bit differently:

1. See something you want or need
2. Shop around a little or look for a deal
3. Figure out if you have the money for it now
4. Buy it now if it fits within your budget, or plan ahead to buy it in the future

That’s a whole lot better than the first approach, but you can go further to really change your behavior for good.

(As a bonus, you’ll also reduce clutter, get out of debt faster, and find it easier to build future savings and investments — all by making one little painless behavioral change.)

The brainstormer’s approach

Brainstorming your way out of debt goes like this:

1. See something you want or need
2. Ask yourself questions
3. Take time to evaluate your options and make a decision

I can tell you from experience that short-circuiting the buying process leaves a whole lot more money in your wallet — money that you can use to get out of debt faster. Most importantly, this approach actively helps prevent you from using debt as a “solution”.

So what are the questions you can use to brainstorm alternatives? Ask yourself things like this:

  • Do I have the money for it already?
  • Is there something else I’d rather be doing with that money?
  • What are 3 ways I could put off this purchase?
  • How could I solve this problem for free, even temporarily?
  • How could I solve this problem or make this purchase for less?
  • Who do I know who could help with this?
  • Who might have other ideas?
  • If I don’t spend the money, will anything really bad happen because of that choice? (meaning, will I or a loved one die? Is it a dangerous situation?)
  • If I don’t buy this right now, will I remember that I wanted it tomorrow?
  • Am I just bored, or spending out of habit?
  • Am I considering buying something out of fear? If so, how realistic are my fears? Could someone be taking advantage of me?
  • Etc.

Of course, you don’t have to go through the entire list each time.

But the larger the potential expense that you’re looking at, the more questions you should ask. The same is true if you’re in the habit of making frequent purchases.

Brainstorming your way out of debt boils down to this: Stop. Think. And then buy, if you still want to and you’ve got the money.










The Brainstorm Questions

Sign up here for your free wallet-sized copy of the questions that can help you brainstorm your way out of debt!

Plus, you’ll also get useful tips each week on getting out of debt.



Privacy Policy

2 thoughts on “How to Brainstorm Your Way Out of Debt With These 11 Alternatives

  1. Dear Jackie,
    I LOVE YOU, you are so WONDERFUL to WANT TO HELP OTHERS in finances! I find every article so rich in useful information, and an actual direction in which to achieve the goal of becoming debt free, your not just leading anyone on, your actually teaching in how to accomplish this!
    This is WHY I LOVE YOU!!!!
    THANK YOU, FROM ONE HAPPY LADY TO ANOTHER❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *