Many people feel that “money” is holding them back from seeking out fulfilling jobs, a healthier lifestyle, or spending time with loved ones. Money is not holding people back–people’s decisions about money are holding them back.
Changing your financial situation is not always fast, and often involves some kind of sacrifice, but I promise—it is worth it. Change your mind about it right now. Be determined to make the changes you need to make. Own them.
Every time you feel like you are trudging along, think about your choices and picture your new life. It is a lot harder to “push debt to the back of your mind” when you see the direct connection between your debt and the life you want to live.
Financial freedom feels so much better than that new pair of shoes, that new TV, or that pizza you are about to pay 15% interest on. Plus, taking control gives you action and purpose. When you are actively “doing” you experience all the good feelings of “taking care of business,” of having a plan. Doing feels a lot better than being put-upon and harassed.
Olivia Snyder outlines 4 helpful ways to reduce spending in order to pay off debt. Let me say that again, you reduce spending to GET OUT OF DEBT! Do not fall in to the trap of reducing spending in one area to have more money to spend on other things!! Get rid of your debt then build a savings, first.
1. Cut Grocery Spending
There are lots of helpful tips in this section. You should find a least one new thing you can do right away. Also, she gives you a blank template for making a weekly meal plan and grocery sheet.
2. Rethink Your Car Situation
Snyder uses a lot of Dave Ramsey’s techniques, which I also highly recommend. If you are serious about taking control of your debt, get his books–you can even find them at the thrift store sometimes. Can you reduce or get rid of your car payment? Be completely and totally honest about this. Can you work around one car, carpooling, and cooking some dinners for friends/babysitting as payment? Can you get rid of your car payment and take on a less fancy, used but reliable, car instead? She also gives tips on revolving trading in order to reach the car of your dreams!
Please read her advice on creating a budget you can live with. It’s good stuff.
4. Dine Out Properly
I took a lot away from this section. I really enjoy going out to eat. We are foodies; we love new food adventures. Not going out to eat feels like a real sacrifice to us. Snyder gives better ways to do it, like drinking water and using coupons/Groupons.
Pick something–one thing–to start implementing today. If you free up an extra $20 a week, and put it towards your highest debt first, it helps.
Have any other tips? Please share. In this economy, we need all the help we can get!!