After years of drowning in credit card debt and student loan debt, this gal started a blog 2 years ago in the hopes of chronically her journey to becoming debt free.
2 years later…
Well, shit!!! I am still in debt but at least my head is finally above water enough to breathe again. Ahhhhh.
Even though there is still a loooooong way to go for me to becoming debt free, my debt is dwindling little by little each month. If you can relate to being in debt (which according to an article published by nerdwallet.com most of you can) I would like to share some simple things that YOU can do NOW (God, don’t you just love the power of capping specific words) in order to get out of debt sooner rather than later.
1. Get Honest.
Though I am sure there is a more eloquent way of expressing this step, to put it simply this step sucks donkey balls.
Get honest with yourself. Get honest with your partner if you share (or are planning to share) finances. Find out how much you owe, to whom you owe it, and how much interest you are getting slapped with each month.
Yes, this means opening up that stack of mail you have been avoiding.
Yes, this means getting on the phone and trying to lower your interest rates.
Yes, this means being proactive about your money…or lack thereof.
2. Put Those Credit Cards On Ice.
Saw this trick in one of my fave guilty pleasure movies Confessions of a Shopaholic. Any credit card you have in the house, freeze it.
If by chance you don’t heed my advice, think of it like this: Credit cards are like the Kardashians. Evil, vile things made of plastic that do more harm than good for the American public.
3. Cut Off Your Cable.
This step sucks too, but only initially.
Do I miss my DVR? On Demand? Bravo? Yes, yes, and sweet Jesus, YES!
By shutting off the cable, am I saving money? Am I still breathing? Did life continue to go on? Yes, yes, and YES!
My husband and I shut off our cable last spring and we ended up saving an additional $70.00 a month. That is an additional $840 a year we can put towards our debt.
4. Staying In To Eat.
It is amazing to me how much it costs to go out to eat. I didn’t realize it was an issue for our household until my husband and I had an epiphany a few summers ago. We could not figure out where our money was going each month. When I went back a few months to review our bank records (step 1, getting honest) I was shocked to learn that we had been spending an average of $1,000 a month on eating at restaurants and going to bars with friends! Shocking and also embarrassing. Now we try to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner ourselves 85% of the time. That extra money we save goes to extra payments on our debt. You live and you learn.
5. Start Now.
When it comes to getting out of debt, it is a marathon, not a sprint. Unless of course you win the lottery, then getting debt free is a sprint. A beautiful sprint that ends up with beachfront property in Maui, and with a pool that comes with a pool boy named Fernando with washboard abs and an ass you can bounce a quarter off of…errr…sorry, got off topic.
Where were we? Oh yes, start getting debt free by making small changes in your everyday life.
If you go to Starbucks twice a week, change it to once a week. Then cut it down to just a monthly visit.
If you make it a habit to routinely go out to dinner with friends/family and order an appetizer, an entree and a couple of cocktails, cut it down. Opt for just an appetizer or entree and a water (alcohol is waaaaay more expensive at bars/restaurants, and people won’t judge you as much when you down a few drinks in the privacy of your own home). Not only are you cutting down on the price BUT you are cutting down on calories too. Win-win.
Instead of going to an expensive salon, try out a beauty school instead. This past fall, I got a great haircut for $10!
Prioritize what your “wants” are vs. your “needs”.
You will be feeling like a baller as your debt gets smaller.
Thanks for reading! Now go get honest with your bad self!