Debt – everyone’s favorite topic of conversation over dinner, right? Probably not.
According to NerdWallet, the average American household has over $15k in credit card debt alone. Add student loans, car loans, and other consumer debt into the equation and the amount of debt a lot of people are carrying skyrockets. The good news is, you don’t have to live the rest of your life drowning in debt. It’s not going to be easy (but nothing worthwhile ever is.)
You may also try these financial planning tips for newlyweds if you’re just starting out.
5 Things You Need to Give Up to Get Out of Debt
1. Your Free Time
One of the best ways to get out of debt it to start looking at your spare time from a different angle. Too often, we use our spare time as an opportunity to spend money. Even if we don’t go out with intent of spending, we usually end up doing.
Instead, start looking at your spare time as an opportunity to start making money.
There are tons of different ways you can make extra money in your spare time, and a lot of them can be done from home.
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10 Real Ways to Make Money Online That Aren’t Online Surveys
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The Top 5 Legitimate Survey Sites That Pay Real Money
Additionally, starting a blog in your spare time can be an amazing way to make money from home. I make a full-time income blogging, so it’s definitely my favorite! If blogging is something that sounds like fun to you, then make sure you enroll in my free blogging course for beginners. Just enter your details in the form below to sign up.
2. Eating Out
It’s nice to dine out every now and then, but did you know that Americans now spend more money at restaurants than they do at grocery stores?
With the average cost of a restaurant meal being almost $13 (plus tip), this amounts to $65 per person, per week if you dine out 5 times. Considering that a healthy meal that feeds a family of four could easily be made for $10 (or less), you’ll save a lot of money by making your own meals at home.
Meal planning makes it really easy to start cooking your meals at home.
If you’re into the Paleo diet (or if you just like eating meat) you also might want to check out Paleo Plan. They offer awesome meal plans (plus a ton more) and they offer a free Paleo Starter kit so you can check them out for free before you commit to anything.
Additionally, make sure you download the free Ibotta app, which gives you cash rebates on hundreds of items at the grocery store. Get a bonus $10 just for signing up.
3. Your Cluttered Closet
If your closet is overflowing with clothes (but you still have nothing to wear!) don’t worry – I was there! Then I discovered ThredUp. I decluttered my closet and made some extra cash by selling my old clothes – win-win! In the process, I also found that I no longer have the problem of not having anything to wear. It seems like the less I have, the easier it is to choose an outfit 🙂
You can join ThredUp here, and you’ll get a $10 bonus credit.
4. Mindless Spending
According to a survey done by Visa, the average consumer spends over $1000 a year on “mystery spending.” All of those small purchases you make, but don’t remember – a candy bar at the grocery store, a frappuccino at the Starbucks drive-through, a bottle of nail polish at the drugstore – constitute mindless spending. Being mindful about every purchase you make will make a big impact towards reducing your debt.
5. A Keeping Up With The Joneses Mentality
Keeping up with Joneses usually means keeping your debt up, too. Too often we fall into a comparison trap, looking at pictures on Facebook or Instagram of all the vacations, fancy cars, expensive jewelry, designer purses that our friends or acquaintances have. We start getting the mindset of “if she has that, I want it too.”
As soon as you stop trying to keep up with the Joneses and start practicing gratitude for what you have, then you’ll go a long way in reducing and getting yourself out of debt.
For more information on getting out of debt, read:
Mystery spending sounds like a real drain on the finances. Your list could help a lot of people.
#3 is so true! Those mindless expenses add up quickly! We try to be very intentional with our spending and saving but we can still let those expenses sneak up on us and I always regret it at the end of the month. Thanks for the reminder!
Very true – $4 or $5 every day may not seem like much, but over the course of a year, it can really add up! You’re welcome 🙂
Charlotte Burkholder says
It has to be the little things sometimes that add up. I don’t consider us to be spendy people, but there are places we could possibly cut. Would you like to share this at a linkup? http://pursueyourproject.com/family-joy-blog-link-35/
All those little purchases definitely add up! Sure, I’d love to!