How to Be Debt Free in 2016

MoneyTips 12/18 Blab Overview

How to Be Debt Free in 2016
January 7, 2026

Some people swipe credit cards haphazardly during the holidays and accrue debt with little thought to the aftermath. It is also common for folks to blow their year-end bonuses on big ticket items before ever receiving them. People get swept up in the emotions of the holidays without considering the financial ramifications.

In an effort to help curve these spending habits and assist folks in eliminating debt in 2016, MoneyTips took to on December 18th for the latest installment in the MoneyTips Finance Friday discussions. Host Justin Simon was joined by sage financial experts Miranda Marquit and John Schneider of the Debt Free Guys. Watch the full replay below for all of their insights.

Miranda Marquit is the financial blogging expert behind, and the author of the book Confessions of a Professional Blogger.

John Schneider is the co-owner of, a website dedicated to helping others get out of debt.

Here are some of the excellent tips they shared to become debt-free and stay that way.

Question #1: How Can People Keep Their Credit Cards in Check and Reduce Debt for the Holidays?

Miranda asserted, “One of the best things you could do is start setting aside money ahead of time.” By stashing away cash throughout the year, you will have a depository to draw on to pay off credit card purchases quickly.

John stated, “My family, a couple years ago, decided that we were going to stop buying gifts for adults. Only the children need to get gifts.” Approaching the holidays in this fashion allowed John to pay off his debt and his sister to pay off her mortgage.

Question #2: What Lessons Can We Give People to Reexamine Big Holiday Purchases?

Miranda proclaimed, “One of the first things you need to do when you’re ready to get your finances in order is take a step back and really look deep inside and say, ‘What are my priorities and what do I want my life to look like?’” Once this has been established, begin to build your finances around that.

John told viewers how he and his partner had been living beyond their means. After realizing that he wanted to focus on travel and retirement, they were able to reexamine their financial strategy. “Focusing on those [priorities], even today, has kept us out of debt since then.

Question #3: How Should People Change Their Mental Approach to the Way They Spend to Lower Debt?

John and his partner were living in a basement while their friends were buying houses. Not keeping up with their peers prompted them to ask what they wanted in life and how to turn their situation around.

Miranda agreed that many people buy things only because they are trying to keep up with those around them. “Most of us are not keeping up with the Jones’s. Most of us are keeping up with the Jones’s debt.

The key is to direct your money towards the goals in life that are meaningful to you.

Watch the entire Blab for many, many more insights from these seasoned professionals and make it your task to get out of debt in the new year.

If you want to settle outstanding debts for less than what you owe, try our debt settlement tool.

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Steffanie | 01.07.16 @ 20:01
These are some great tips that I think will really help people out with their spending. I know I struggle some years not to use my card around the holidays.
Erin | 01.07.16 @ 20:02
Buying gifts for only the kids is a great idea that we have implemented in our family. The adults will occasionally get small gifts for one another, but it's pretty rare. It keeps things simpler and a lot cheaper as well.
Sarah | 01.07.16 @ 20:02
Great tips on being debt free. Being free of debt is something that all people should strive for.
Bobbie | 01.07.16 @ 20:02
I always find it hardest to not run the cards up AFTER the holidays because of all the great clearance sales. This year I'm on track since I'm refusing to go out to any stores.
Carla | 01.07.16 @ 20:03
We have no credit cards and are still drowning in debt. It isn't from overspending, but from medical bills. Trying to focus on keeping our house. Thank you for the tips.
Nancy | 01.07.16 @ 20:04
I don't us credit cards for gift spending. If I don't have the cash on hand to buy it, I don't.
Brittany | 01.07.16 @ 20:05
These really are some great tips . I started the beginning of the year by getting rid of all my credit cards and am now just focusing on paying them off.
Elaine | 01.07.16 @ 20:06
I don't use credit cards but this is still some great tips for me to put into practice to completely get out of debt.
Kyle | 01.07.16 @ 20:08
Lots of wonderful tips. I think buying gifts throughout the year helps a lot when it comes to softening the blow of the holidays
joann | 01.07.16 @ 20:08
Great suggestions, especially not trying to keep up with the Jones, or their debt. Only buy what you need, and stop using credit cards by saving for purchases, is great. If only it were a little easier to do that.
trish | 01.07.16 @ 20:12
This year we had no choice but to hit our credit card during the end of the year. Our end of the year bonuses still haven't arrived! Hoping they arrive soon, and we can take a huge chunk off of our debt. Will keep this article bookmarked!
Beverly | 01.07.16 @ 20:12
Some great advice. Our rule is the first time we can't pay off the credit in full it gets cut up. So far that has worked.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 03.09.21 @ 09:56