1. Emergency fund is a must!
Per Dave Ramsey’s baby steps I funded a $1000 emergency fund. While more is always better. In the past I would just hope for the best when it came to unexpected expenses. The
$1000 relieves so much anxiety and prevents any further debt being needed for emergency expenses. I remember being so stressed about needing tires in the past but knowing if I need something there’s already money set aside for it feels so amazing and reassuring.
2. Sell sell sell!
There is so much money just sitting around your house. Put it to work to chip away at the debt. Facebook Marketplace has been an awesome way to get my emergency fund filled up quickly. Facebook Marketplace has also been great because you avoid all the fees associated with selling things online. Even with the fees I list things on eBay as well. I always use the eBay shipping labels for the added savings on shipping. Also make sure when applicable use Media Mail it is way cheaper. There are tons of other online and local selling options but these are the two I have had the most luck with. Have a garage sale we all have plenty of inventory just sitting around the house.
3. Brush your teeth!
There is no money in the budget for dentist visits. So brush twice daily and floss! Keep those cavities away! Nothing can put a halt to the debt repayment like some preventable expensive dental work.
4. No eating out!
This one is difficult because it is just so easy to swing into the drive thru and grab some delicious food and go. There is so much money to be saved by cooking your own or even getting some prepackaged its still cheaper than eating out. $8 for lunch turns into $40 a week real quick. So either budget for a few meals eating or stop it all together.
5. Cut the subscriptions!
I get it there is so much to watch and listen to nowadays. It all costs $9.99 a month. To save some money I switched from using Apple Music to Spotify with a 6 month trial. While not a huge amount it all adds up and is another step closer to paying off the debt. I still have Netflix but I have cancelled Starz, HBO, and Showtime to open up more money for debt payments.
6. Have someone you can talk to!
This may be one of the most important items on the list. I was keeping my debt from my spouse for awhile but I eventually opened up and told her. Now I can talk to her about it openly and it feels amazing she has even chipped in. Having someone to talk to about the journey to being debt free is so relieving. You are not alone stuck with this burden. Just talking about it to someone else has been so stress relieving.
7. Find a side hustle!
Finding a side hustle can speed up repaying debt tremendously. I have started delivering for Postmates when I feel like it. It is not a ton of income but it’s something. Find a part time job if time permits. Have a specific skill find some freelance work locally or online. This one in the current climate can be tough but do your best. More income is the key to being debt free quicker.
You need to account for all of your income. Every dollar has a purpose. No more freely spending money that is how we created this mess. Budgeting will also keep you on track so no unexpected surprises money wise. No more overdrafts we have a plan! Create it and update it as needed. This is not set it and forget. We are building a plan that fits our needs.
9. Have a plan for paying your debt!
Whether it is the debt snowball, debt avalanche, debt lasso, or whatever. Get a plan and stick to it. Map out how long it will take to pay off your debt. This might be overwhelming to realize how long it will take to pay off your debts but living with debt for decades is even more overwhelming. Open up some spreadsheet software and map it out update it as needed. I created a spreadsheet that maps out all of my biweekly debt snowball payments until I’m debt free.
10. Focus on the debt!
I know it can be tough to stick to it. You go from living freely swiping your card for whatever you want to living frugally. The urge to splurge on your wants will exist. Just imagine if you just sacrifice for little while. You can be debt free and able to pay cash for whatever you want with all the added cash’s that you have been making payments with. The goal is to be debt free as soon as possible so lock in!