Here’s a nice site: Well Kept Wallet — lots of ads and promotions but underneath it there’s a really great story of a couple who got their shit together and got out of $52,000 in debt. My favorite tip is having an emergency fund:
You might be wondering, “Why is having an emergency fund important”? Well, if you don’t have any money in the bank and an emergency does happen, how are you going to pay for it? For most people, credit cards become the funding source for those emergencies. If you are trying to get out of debt then you need to put a buffer between you and debt; that is exactly what an emergency fund does.
I have to remember this because, in my zeal to pay things off, I am often left with nothing in the bank. Then an emergency happens and—crazy me—I take out a cash advance to deal with the crisis. That just compounds my mess.
So oddly I need some patience—even as the interest rates rack up more fees. I need to keep a cushion of cash so that I can pay for things from a debit card rather than a credit card and have funds to deal with the occasional crisis. This also helps me get accustomed to paying for things with the money I have on hand now rather than what I anticipate having later. And, of course, that is what one is supposed to do.