We have been working on eliminating debt for the past few years. Albeit, we would be a lot further if we didn’t take vacations or take on another car payment, but honestly, I think we have done pretty well. I have had a few people ask me for advice, so I thought this would be a great topic for todays blog post!
So, if you are sick of not having money, read on and I hope I can help!
First off, I highly recommend reading Dave Ramsey’s book: Total Money Makeover. This book is what started me on paying off debt. Dave is who my husband listens to in the car. Dave’s daughter Rachel is one of my hero’s. He is all about good stuff. You can get the book from Amazon here.
Secondly, you need to figure out where your money is going. I suggest going through your bank account and taking some notes. Where are you spending your money? Sonic? Amazon? The gas station? Those little purchases add up over time and they tend to end up your extra money in no time, so see where your money is going. This tends to be a big eye opener.
Next, you need a budget. How much do you have to spend on gas and groceries and medical monthly? Write it down and stick that amount. Out of grocery money before payday? Guess you better dig through the pantry and see what you can do! You need a budget so that you can tell your money where to go and so you can ensure it’s not going where it shouldn’t be. I highly recommend separating your money into envelopes (gas, groceries, entertainment, etc) but if you don’t like carrying a bunch of cash, make sure to keep tabs on where you are in your budget throughout the month.. or pay period. That’s how I budget because we get paid bi-weekly. Find what works for you!
When you are trying to get rid of debt, the key is to get busy and do it fast so you don’t run out of juice. Basically, you need to either spend less money per month, or bring in more income.
Spending less doesn’t have to be crazy. Here are a few things we’ve done:
Have a no spend month. Spend the entire month only buying what you need. Groceries, gas, etc. No eating out or extra shopping.
Cut cable or satellite! This is one of the big things we did to lessen our bills. We did have to pay to cancel our contract, but overall it was still cheaper to do that then it would have been to pay $160 a month for another year.
Evaluate your grocery bill. Dave says to eat Beans and Rice and Rice and Beans. I eat low carb so no thank you. However, you can still lower your bill. Lay off the processed stuff that is full is sodium and chemicals and make homemade. I’m 87% sure millionaires don’t eat hot pockets anyway. Ditch pop and bottles of water and pop tarts, and focus on spending less! I love shopping at Aldi because it keeps my costs low. Also, I like to use Wal-Mart grocery pickup. Then, if I have to use Wal-Mart, at least I’m not in there buying a bunch of random crap I don’t need.
Bring in more money! This doesn’t mean you have to get a second job or go to work if you are a stay at home mom, but a little side hustle never hurts. Sell crafts or cookies or babysit for your friends. Have a yard sale or a facebook sale to get rid of random crap. It’s amazing how much we accumulate but don’t use. Turn that crap into cash and use it to get closer to your goals.
Ok, I think that is about enough of my Ted Talk for now. I love this topic and could go on for a long time, but again READ TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER. It’s a game and life changer.
Are you working on debt payoff this year?
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