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Are you in Debt? My guess would be YES. Why else would you be reading this article? Another thing I would guess is that you are looking for a way out, right? I know, it’s hard; maybe you are looking for a magic bullet that might be the answer to getting out of debt. Yeah, I’ve been there.
The thing is, there is no magic bullet to getting out of debt. I should know, I looked for it for a long time. And I never found one, because there isn’t one. It’s not until you realize this; that you will have a chance to overcome your debt. It’s going to take a whole lot of work, determination, and perseverance, but it can be done.
And you know what? It is so worth it!
So, here is my story (the short version). Years ago, I was reading every article (like this one) I could about getting out of debt. I knew I needed to do something, and that I didn’t want to live from paycheck to paycheck. I knew I wanted something better!!
The thing is, I had to stop reading about it and start to do something about it. I knew what to do; I just wasn’t doing it.
What to do when getting out of debt
Ok, so here is the deal. If you are having difficulty paying your debt, my guess would be that you are currently living from paycheck to paycheck; Right? Or maybe you are not even making ends meet at all.
If this is the case then there are only two things that you can do to get out of debt. One, reduce your spending and two, earn more money. Today I’ll focus on reducing your spending. You can read the articles below for more on earning extra money.
How to get out of debt
Reducing your spending is a must if you are working on getting out of debt. I know, it’s not fun, but it must be done. So here are 5 ways you can reduce your spending. Don’t worry, this won’t be forever. But you do have to make sacrifices now to get where you want to be, debt-free.
Ways to reduce spending
I know that you can’t cut groceries totally out of your budget, but there are things you can do to considerably reduce the amount of money you spend. Your grocery budget is the most flexible “need item” in most people’s budgets.
There are many things you can do to reduce your spending on groceries. Meal planning is a big one. Planning your meals around sale items and groceries you already have on hand can save you a bunch of money every week.
Other things you could do to reduce your spending is by using coupons, sticking to your shopping list and using grocery rebate apps such as Ibotta and Saving Star. You can read how I Slashed My Grocery Budget In Half to get more tips on controlling your grocery budget.
Need help with meal planning? You need to check out the $5 meal plan. This program is great because the meals provided cost less than $2 per serving so the $5 monthly fee will be well worth it. Try it out for free for 2 weeks, you have nothing to lose.
Get Rid of Cable
Another way to save a bunch of money is by getting rid of cable. I know, I hear you. This one was really difficult for me to do too. It took me a long time to finally get rid of cable. And you know what, I really didn’t watch much TV, to begin with.
I really don’t know what it is that made me think I would have a hard time living without cable. And once I was out of debt, I did not go back. There are plenty of cheaper services out there that you can use to watch TV.
There’s also Amazon Prime, you may already be a prime member to take advantage of free shipping. Why not use it to watch TV too. If you already have a Prime membership, then this is a FREE option, take advantage of it.
Get Rid of Services
Along with cable, there are many other services that you can get rid of to reduce your spending every month. Take, for instance, music streaming services such as Spotify. What about gym memberships and magazine subscriptions?
All these other services have free alternatives. Take for instance music streaming, again if you have Amazon Prime, you could be streaming music for free with Prime Music. You could also use other services such as Pandora for free. You may have to listen to an and here and there, but you’ll be saving money every month.
Instead of paying for a gym membership, why not get outside for a good workout. And you can read articles online instead of paying for magazines to get delivered to your door. Finding free alternatives will help you feel less deprived.
Dining out and Entertainment
Dining out and Entertainment can really take a big chunk of your monthly budget, especially if it is a regular occurrence. Again, there are cheaper alternatives that you can do without feeling deprived.
Why not invite your friends over for a potluck dinner instead of going out to eat. Everyone can bring a dish so it’s not a huge financial and time burden on you. This way you are still getting the experience of gathering with friends without spending so much money.
Instead of taking the family out to the movies, why not have movie nights at home? Or instead of taking your kids to a water park, why not go down to the beach for the afternoon with a picnic lunch. They will have just as much fun and it’ll save you so much money.
Spending money that you did not intend to is a big no-no. Have you ever gone down to Target for one or two items and left with a cart full of stuff you did not intend to by? Who hasn’t right?
These types of stores (not just Target) want customers like you and me to spend more money. I mean it is good business marketing, but not so great if you are getting out of debt.
You can read 6 Surprising Reasons You Spend More Money at Target to learn how they suck you into spending more than you intended to.
Don’t fall for it, when you need to go out to pick up a few things. Only buy those few items, it can be so easy to walk out with a few hundred dollars worth of stuff you did not intend to buy that you don’t even need.
So every time you go shopping, make a list of the things that you need to pick up and stick to your list!
More articles that will help you control spending in your journey to getting out of debt
Getting out of debt can be difficult. There are things you are going to have to give up to get there. But there are also things that you can do to make it a bit easier. Looking for free or cheaper alternatives can help to make giving up these things easier so you aren’t feeling as deprived.
Of course, once your debt is paid off, you can start to introduce some of these things back into your life. But my guess would be that you’ll have gotten used to your new thrifty way of living and continue on your journey of being a saver and not a spender.
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