The number one secret to get out of debt is very simple – Just ask someone who has been there. Someone like me.
Today, the average family now devotes one-fourth of its spendable income to outstanding debts. Over half of us spend 110% of our disposable income trying to manage debt. And who can keep up? We no longer measure ourselves against the family next door, but against the star on the screen or the model on the magazine cover. Today, almost everyone is relocating to SoHo in New York City!
Or at least that’s the way it seems on Instagram.
Contentment is the key to live a debt-free life. After battling debt for almost four years, I want to share with you today some of the lifestyle adjustment approaches that really help me to combat debt. I am sharing them with you because they serve as powerful tools that will help you to get out of debt fast and they are mostly overlooked.
All these approaches might not work for you due to the country and some certain circumstances but I believe some will definitely work and also, if you put your creativity to work, you can adjust any of these to suit your current lifestyle and situation.
Spend Less On Phone Services
One of the fastest ways to get out of debt is to reduce your spending on phone services. If you live in a country with good mobile phone network coverage; if you have adequate cell service, then disconnect your home phone.You also need to recheck your network provider’s plans, so as to downgrade to a cheaper package.
Here’s a Mint Mobile review which details how you can save BIG on your cell phone bill.
Live With Less
You need to adjust yourself and be able to live with less. A lot of people have a house full of things they don’t use more than once or twice a year. The 80/20 rule makes it clear that you use 20% of the things (including furniture, electronics, kitchenware, clothing, gardening, etc.) you own. While the remaining 80% just take up space and seldomly are even seen. So, why not have a massive garage sale? The benefit of this is that you use the money to pay some of the debt and you keep the vital things to yourself. Another great way to get out of debt.
If you are having items sales, advertise the higher quality items on social Networks or your local newspaper to get better prices. You can also list your items on classified ads site. A good recommendation to get buyers quickly is Craigslist.com.
Find alternatives to home entertainment
If you are looking for fast ways to get out of debt, you need to reduce the cost of movies. Going to the movies can break the bank quickly, especially for a larger family.
But, you need to use your creativity to reduce your spending on home entertainment. Just think about it, renting a movie costs the same regardless of how many people you pack in front of the tv.
You can downgrade your digital TV subscription to a cheaper bouquet to save on entertainment. This is a no brainer if you are deep in debt.
Cut Off Unnecessary Spending
You need to cut every act of unnecessary spending. Unnecessary expenses like magazine subscriptions, newspapers, manicures, pedicures, mobile Network Services (i.e. Ring back tune subscription, SMS tips, etc.)should be canceled. Shift your spending from ‘want’ to ‘need’. Your aim is to get out of debt not swim in it.
It’ll be a big sacrifice, but you’ll be free while your friends are still broke and living paycheck to paycheck.
Buy in bulk
Buy expensive groceries in bulk. Examples of these items are meat, bread, cheese, etc. I advise you to have a monthly grocery budget for the additional need of regular grocery stores. Make sure you don’t have your freezer full of things you’ll never eat. Keep it lean and freeze things that will last a long time.
Boost your income
Get temporary work or a seasonal or temporary part-time work to boost your income (if you have the chance).You can find a friend that you can trade services with. For example, you can lease your hair-cutting skills, photography, babysitting, pet sitting, and handyman. Also, you can lease your skill online visit a site like e-lance, freelancer, or odesk!
Practice creativity in spending
You can practice creative spending by planning your errand effectively to reduce the cost of gas and cab. Skip the soft drinks and the extras and stick with water. You can also share a large entree or have small appetizers instead of costly meals. If your parent lives nearby, having dinner with them can go a long way.
Another great way of practicing creative spending is by packing your lunch regularly and also make your coffee at home, instead of buying it each day. Find means of reducing your utility bills. Set limits to spending on festivals, haircuts, etc. Use exercise videos or blogs instead of paying for the gym.
Give home-made gifts, baked goods, rather than expensive presents. Switch from expensive boxed cereals to oatmeal, eggs, and fruits. Avoid window shopping!
Though the money saves from the individual item may be very little but when you add it up, it amounts to a lot of money. So, spend wisely.
Avoid Hosting Expensive Parties
Avoid hosting or attending in-home parties where you feel pressure to purchase. Your focus is to find ways to get out of debt and avoid ways of getting into it.
If you live on a nice lot with a big yard, agriculture is a very good idea. You can have a small vegetable garden and raise animals like chicken, turkey, rabbit, quail etc. for your domestic consumption. You’ll need to check the local laws if you decide to harvest wildlife, but as far as a garden is concerned, you can just go ahead and start planting!
This will not only save you money from vegetable and meat purchase but it will also give you the advantage of exercising. A real win-win.
Give and share
Yes! Don’t raise the eyebrows. You read right. ‘Give And Share’
I know you will be wondering. Like ‘why should I give when I am in debt?’ but believe me, giving gives you a feeling of unspeakable joy and peace, especially in a times like this. It makes you see yourself doing something greater than yourself, a purpose greater than this world and all the temporary goodies it offers.
In his wonderful book, The Spiritual Economics, Prosperity Process, Eric Butterwork wrote: ‘If ever there is a lack of any kind, whether it is needed for employment or for money, or for guidance, or even for healing, something is blocking the flow, and the most effective remedy, Give!’
This is a great inspiration. A German proverb says: ‘charity sees the need and not the cause.’ So the question is how can you help? Your cash or your time, your knowledge or your books?
Now go-ahead to do what you feel led to do.
Wrap It Up!
‘A man in debt is a man caught in next’ so the saying goes. A debt-free life is a hassle-free life, though there are good debts but that’s is a topic for another day and I would never encourage getting into debt if you are not truly sure of what you are doing but the truth is that personal debt is bad at least for most people.
As simple as it may sound, getting to your financial dreamland can be hindered by bad debts and so you must devise means of getting rid of them.
Over To You
So, what is the other advice, tips, strategies, techniques or methods that have worked for you? Please share with us in the comment below. Believe me; I sincerely value your opinion more than mine.
And don’t forget there is love in sharing!