I admit I am still in debt. Keep in mind that I had graduated from college less than a year ago, and magically I owe less than $20K. People always asked me how I can owe so little despite being in college for roughly five years.
Currently, I am living quite comfortably, but it had been bothering me that I am paying roughly a grand towards debts per month. Yes, I understand that many people say that’s nothing compared to their obligations, but this is how I feel towards mine.
Once I received a free day from my full-time job, I decided to finance my debts – between student loans, credit cards, and auto-loans; the total was around $35,000. Afterward, I cradle myself in the corner of the room for three hours.
When you face your actual loans, then you accept the notion that you’re in a hole. The first thing you must do is put the shovel down and admit that your life stinks. Plus, it would help if you did something about it to gain financial freedom.
You need to sit down and list out every monthly expense that pops up in your mind or do a two month trial time frame by saving all your receipts. It hard to look at the numbers and realized that you had been spoiling yourself, but its not or never ladies and gentlemen.
Food – Often enough, we don’t have a meal plan, and it will result in fast food – any day, every day. Unfortunately, that can add up. To decrease this, you need to create a detailed weekly meal plan by using grocery store sales and coupons. Set a limit amount of money you are willing to spend on groceries and settle at that number even if it meant consuming cup ramen on Thursday night because you decided to spend fancy on Tuesday morning.
Entertainment – It’s not necessarily a bad thing wanting to treat yourself, but similar to everything. There should be a limitation on how much money you want to spend per month. Set up a saving where it’s only for weekly entertainment.
Bills – Phone bills are the biggest scam in the world. It’s just my opinion though. You want to call everyone from car maintenance to cable tv bills and negotiate for a better deal. It is a low and dirty method, but threaten to cancel, and companies will suddenly have out-of-this-world deals. Then again, paying two hundred a month for two phones is shady itself.
Home Care Items – You can make DIY with nearly anything nowadays by simply googling or Youtubing. Although, be cautious when doing a DIY because it may end up bad.
You want to stick to your new budgeting method, instead of staying away from it. To adhere to your budget, I find it best to pay mainly with cash instead of a card – particularly credit cards. Another tip is to pay off your smallest debt first before attacking the largest one – disregarding interest rates. It will feel amazing eliminating it. Also, you want to cut the card after you pay it off to decrease the temptation.
3. Selling items
There is a limitation on how much you can slash your budget. For example, you can live on $50 worth of food for a family of four – if you can, that’s a miracle itself.
You want to clean your house and sell all the items that you never touch. Do not fall for the phrase – maybe I’ll use it in the future because you most likely will not. You want to sell the large items on Craigslist, and smaller items can be sold on eBay. A reminder – Ebay charge stuff, but it can reach out to more people.
4. Increasing Income
Increasing income can mean two things:
First, you can ask for a raise from your current job.
Second, you can start side hustling. There are many different types of side hustlings from walking dogs to starting a blog. Of course, some will bring instant dollar bills while others take time to build up, but eventually, your hard work will pay off.
5. Sticking by the Good Habits
Old habits are hard to break – Of course, everyone had heard of this phrase.
In a sense, that is true. Breaking a routine is difficult. For example, if you found a fantastic Chinese place, most likely, you will stick to that place and refused to visit new ones.
I’m not telling you to break your bad habits, but try out new ones. You want to adjust your habits instead of going at it with full force. For some people, rushing towards it work, but for many of us – we cave and that’s okay.
With the already good habits – embrace it.
It may seem like a lot of work now, but in the long run – everything will be worth it.