Our story on becoming debt free didn’t happen over night. And it didn’t just fall in our laps. We got intentional, we got serious, and we sold a bunch of stuff we didn’t need.
If you are looking to get rid of your debt this is a all or nothing commitment. The idea is you work harder, live on less and get out of debt as fast as you possibly can. If you are still working on your debt in four or five years (baring no unforeseen disasters) there is a problem.
A few tips that helped us:
- eBay: There isn’t much more exciting than selling something you no longer need on eBay. If you have never tried, I PROMISE it is user friendly. If you can send and email, you can sell on eBay. Many items like books and DVD’s have the information all ready to go , you just describe your specific copy. I pulled $500 from our paypal account to add to our down payment when we bought our home. That money was just from stuff we no longer needed or loved.
- Yard Sales: Being a shopper or a seller, yard sales are the way to go. If you are trying to get out of debt I am willing to bet you have lots of “money” sitting around your home in the form of something you no longer need. Plus it helps de-clutter!Yard sales are also the place to shop for the family trying to get out of debt. You never know what you will find but I guarantee it will be way less than retail!
- Coupons: I hear stories of these super coupon cutters and how they get everything for free. I have no pointers as I only wish to be so coupon savvy but this site tells you where to find all the best deals each week.
- Envelope system: Designate a specific amount of money for areas such as eating out money, clothing money, even grocery money. When that envelope is empty for the month, you are done. Make do with what you have. More details about this here.
Remember this is a short period of time. Stay focused, eye on the prize. When you are debt free you will be able to afford more, go on vacation, or make your hobby become your job.
Making sacrifices for a short time may help you to realize there are things you can live without for the long term too. Very few millionaires get $50 hair cuts, pay retail for major purchases, or buy brand new cars.
My husband lost his job in September of this past year. We were debt free and had an emergency fund, making the situation much more tolerable. He didn’t have to rush into the first job that came along and thankfully he was able to land a great job a few months later.
Being debt free changes your perspective on things. You worry less and give more…because you can.
Share your tips, how do you live frugally?