I came up with a list of some fairly easy tips to save money, and increase the amount you can put towards your debt payoff goal. You may be thinking, I have no extra money to pay towards these bills. I’m living paycheck to paycheck and just can’t seem to get ahead. If you are serious about living debt free, you really need to dig deep here. These are some things I’ve recently cut out of my personal budget to achieve my goal of being debt free:
1. Weekend drinking/outings – $40 a week – that bar/club can wait a few months. So can those 2am food runs after the bars close. Go hang out with your cheap friends for a while. You do not need to go out every weekend. Pick one weekend a month if you must and be wise about what you consume.
2. Dining out at restaurants– $40 a week – sharpen up your skills and cook for yourself; dining out is for rich people who clearly wouldn’t be reading this page, nice try.
3. Lunch at the cafeteria – even just a $5 a day ends up being $25 a week you could be saving, and a lot of you probably spend more than that.
You’re going to think I’m crazy for this one:
4. Driving to work on cruise control – seriously. I upped my average mpg from 34 to 38. On my 26 mile commute to and from work every day, it saves me a whole gallon of gas each week. That’s like $3.60 around here. Plus, I’m less stressed because I’m avoiding road rage. And hey, that’s almost $200 a year!
4B. Sell your car – I’m saving about $400 a month now!
5. Stop going to Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, etc. – if you’re like me or any of my friends, you cannot leave any of these stores without spending at least $100, even if you go in to just pick up a thing or two. They set them up to make you buy more than what you go in looking for. Don’t do it.
6. Put those vacations on hold for a while. “But I deserve a vacation!” Oh really, for what? Working 40 hours a week just like the rest of us? Take a few days off of work and stay home. Enjoy your own city, clean the house, lay on the couch and watch every episode of your favorite show, whatever you want. You’ll save money, and you won’t need a vacation from your vacation to ease back into daily life.
7. Call your insurance company – when I recently moved, my car insurance jumped $400 a year, and I only moved a mile down the road! I called my insurance company and told them I was switching. Gave them a competitors quote and they bumped me back down to my regular rate. I made $400 in 10 minutes…awesome! Even if your rates didn’t change recently, just call and tell them you are thinking of switching, they my be able to “recalculate” your quote and give you a much better price. It’s worth a shot!
8. Start using what you paid for – I (unfortunately) bought a full year gym membership recently. I’ve been going a little but I just started taking advantage of the they offer. I started going to the yoga classes and love it! I have a lot more tips about this topic of using what you pay for soon and will post the link here when it’s up.
9. Quit paying Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts $25 a week for coffee and donuts -this is definitely not a necessity. Eat a bowl of cereal and make your own coffee.
10. Trips to the hair/nail salon, are costing you serious money. Aside from the regular hair cuts every six or so months, you should be staying away from these places. You will be much more beautiful when you’re no longer stressed about money.
Some of these will be harder than others. Just remember that you do not need to follow these tips forever. This is only temporary until you pay off your debt and can get ahead in life. Some of these I will probably continue to follow for a while since I’ve become obsessed with where each dollar goes. But I don’t want to be totally boring forever.
Money doesn’t grow on debt.