Staying debt-free may call for a slight adjustment of priorities and a bit of an attitude change.
For example, shopping for the latest fashions in clothes might not be the most reasonable approach in a financially tight situation; are there really so many people who would pay attention to whether your outfit is from this or last year's summer collection? Shopping out of season and looking for bargains is a good way to stay debt-free at no real cost.
Long-term planning is another way to stay debt free. Even if you are still too young to think about retirement, it could be a smart move to start saving for the future. Pensions should take priority over college education for the children, as there are a number of options for student financial aid that are unavailable for pensioners.
More generally, it is a good idea to open a savings account to have something set aside for a rainy day. Just organise an automatic transfer of a certain amount from your salary every month and forget about it. In times of need, the accumulated sum will certainly come in handy.
Also, maintain your car well so that it serves you for a longer time as you could save serious money from unexpected repairs if you look after your vehicle.
One of the most important ways to avoid getting into debt is to make it a priority to clear your credit card balance regularly, as the interest on these can easily get out of hand if you only pay the minimum amount while continuing to use the card.