My why for becoming debt free is so I can alleviate stress. I hate worrying over financial matters but for many of us it is a common occurrence. Most of us are no stranger to debt. We go into debt to buy homes and cars, and to get things that we want. These things might make us happy when we get them, but paying for them isn’t so much fun.
When times are tough, it can be difficult to make payments on the things we need. And when we run up a lot of debt for unnecessary things, it can get out of control quickly. It’s enough to make us long for simpler times, when we didn’t have as much but weren’t buried underneath a mountain of debt.
But if you catch the problem early, you can turn things around. It will require a change in your spending habits and attitude toward debt, but in most cases you won’t have to make big sacrifices. And the payoff is a life with much less stress – something money just can’t buy.
Here are some fairly simple ways to keep debt under control and, eventually, eliminate it:
- Create a budget that tells you how much you have coming in each month and what you spend it on. Be honest – no one is keeping score. In order to make a change, you need to have a realistic picture of the current state of your finances and where your money is going.
- Look for things you can cut out of the budget completely. It doesn’t matter if they’re large or small, just go through and look for the things that you can easily live without. It could be that cappuccino that you get on the way to work every morning, or that monthly car detailing that you could do yourself, or anything else that wouldn’t make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things.
- Find ways to cut back on luxuries. If you go out to dinner with your spouse twice a month, cut back to once a month. If you have an expensive cable package, consider getting one with fewer channels. These measures will save you money without leaving you feeling totally deprived.
- Redo your budget with the above adjustments included, and see how much you will save. Then reallocate those funds toward paying off your debts.
- See how much you can shave off of your budget by utilizing coupons and other discounts. Clipping coupons and taking advantage of sales can save you a surprising amount of money at the grocery store and many of the other places you shop. Keep a record of how much you save, and put that amount toward paying off your debts, too.
If you take these simple measures, you’ll barely notice the difference in your day-to-day life. But after a few months, you will notice a marked decrease in your debts. And less debt equals less stress, which makes life so much more enjoyable.