You know how people say, “I love being in debt, it’s so peaceful and fulfilling”…yeah, said no one ever! Being in debt is dreadful and stressful. For a lot of people, it’s what keeps them up at night, wondering how they are ever going to get out of the hole. I’ve come up with some ways to get you started to becoming debt free.
Make a Decision
The first thing you need to is to decide that you are no longer going to accept living in debt. I had to make a mental decision that I was done living in debt. I made a change mentally and then took action by making changes.
Write it Down
Simple but effective, write it down. There is power in putting something you want in writing. For me, I wrote down the financial goals for my family and the order in which they were going to take place.
Start Selling Items
I am a person who despises clutter. I credit this to my mother who didn’t keep junk around the house or things she didn’t need or use. I’m glad I picked that up because it makes me money. I started going through my kid’s clothes and shoes that they had out grown and realized so many of the items were in excellent condition but just too small for them. I did the same thing in my closet. I sold boots, jackets, jeans, again, all in really good or excellent condition. It’s not just clothes and shoes that I sold, I sold a jogging stroller, camera, Coach purse, Magic Baby Bullet and so many other things. Look around your home and ask yourself if you can live without the item, if so, sell it and cash in.
Get a Second Job or Side Hustle
Increasing your income can play a huge part in becoming debt free. I personally have an Etsy shop called babymodern, you can find it here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/babymodern?ref=l2-shopheader-name. I make a good income doing this part time. You can get creative and sell many different handmade items on there. You can wait tables, work for Lyft or Uber (or both). I know someone personally who makes a lot of money driving with Uber. Your vehicle needs to meet certain requirements, but it’s worth looking into. You can babysit, mow lawns, clean houses, become a virtual assistant or tutor someone. I have done a couple of these and made extra money.
Grocery Shop with a List and Bring Cash
As I mentioned in my blog previously, I used to just go grocery shopping and buy whatever I wanted. Even though I had a list, I always seemed to stray. A big reason was that I used my debit card and didn’t have a budget that I adhered to. Now, I bring cash and spend only what I budgeted for. I make a list and I stick to it. It has helped us so much and I’m always so proud of myself when I get everything I need and still have money left over (doesn’t happen every time).
Cook at Home
Save a ton of money by cooking your own food. Not only is it a lot less expensive but much healthier. Bring your lunch to work. When making dinner, make a little more so you can have it for lunch then next day. Use the extra money you save from not going out to eat and put it towards your debt.
Cut up the Credit Cards
This is a hard one for many because it seems to take away a sense of security. If the car breaks down or if a child breaks their arm, the credit card is there to take care of the bill. But, situations like that are inevitable. You will be even more stressed because of the interest you have to pay. We followed Dave Ramsey’s advice and saved a $1,000 emergency fund. Before learning about him, we would have just put emergencies on the credit card. Now, we have the money to pay for an emergency and we won’t be stressed out when something happens. When we used a credit card, we seemed to use it all the time, and no, buying Christmas gifts is not an emergency. But, it was things like that that we used a credit card for.
Forget About the Jones’s
The Jones’s are everywhere. School, work, church, the neighbors or perhaps they are your friends. They’ve got the latest iPhone, new car, beautiful home and hair and outfits are always on point. But, looks can be deceiving and things may not always be as they appear. It may be that the Jones’s are debt free and have a fully funded emergency fund with paid off home. Or…maybe, just maybe, it’s a facade. They could be drowning in debt, stressed over the mountain of credit card debt and crazy expensive mortgage they can barely afford. Focus on your goals of getting out of debt and put blinders on. Don’t worry how everyone else is spending money they may or may not have. Keep your eye on the prize, a debt free life!
Keep your head up and stay committed to reaching your goals! Think about the life you will lead when you don’t have any more debt, how peaceful your life will be knowing you own everything and don’t have to make any more car payments or worry about paying student loans. It’s enough to keep me going 😉