You’re broke and tired of all these bills. Stop making excuses. Getting out of debt can be tough and a little encouragement and inspiration will go a long way. If you start with your smallest debt first, then you’ll see progress more quickly. Living free from debt is a worthy goal that requires change and hard work. Don’t just accept debt as a part of life! Live below your means, create a budget, pay down debt, find accountability, and then celebrate as you pull of your financial goals. This plan works – you can live debt free!
Adjust Your Lifestyle
You must immediately adjust your lifestyle to below your means. This is actually a simple concept in that you need to spend less than you make. Get creative and find ways to live on less. Take your lunch to work, skip the coffee shop, turn down some of the weekend invites and skip a few mall trips. Also, refuse to take on anymore debt. In other words, don’t buy anything if you can’t pay with cash.
Create a Budget
You’ll quickly learn that a budget is your friend! A budget helps you to plan, save and work toward your financial goals. Budgets tell your money where to go rather than wondering where it went.
We never plan to fail but often we fail to plan. An accountability partner helps you to stay on track with your goals. If you are married and have the goal to live free from debt, perhaps you and your spouse could hold each other accountable. If you are single, share your goal with a friend or family member and set up checkpoints to discuss your progress. Accountability often provides you with the much-needed support and encouragement to keep you stay on track. No need to go this thing alone!
Smallest Debt First
Pay off your smallest debt ASAP. If you have one less thing to pay down, then you’ll be motivated to keep going. Plus, you’ll have one less check to write each month which is quite freeing. Here are a few ideas to make a little extra money to help you pay off that smallest debt quickly.
- Sell something you no longer need or use
- Stay home more and you’ll save on entertainment
- Sell some of your clothes to a consignment shop
- Have a yard sale
- Ask for more hours at work
A reward system makes paying down debt a little less painful. Set a few benchmarks as you work toward your goals with incentives to keep you inspired. When you hit these mini objectives, then celebrate! Do you want to go for coffee with a friend, try a new restaurant or buy a new pair of shoes? Enjoy something that is reasonable and fun for you! A little celebration will help spur you onward.
Thank you to Space Age Federal Credit Union for these tips. Members of Colorado Free University are eligible to become members of the credit union. Learn more about Space Age here…