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I am officially so over being in debt.
It makes me sick to look at a credit card statement and see how much money has been taken from me in interest charges (a 22% interest rate really hurts.)
I hate feeling stuck or trapped because of my debt. If I wanted to simply pick up one day and move to a different state and try to find a job when I got there, that would not be an option. I have payments to make every single month on a specific date, and so I have to keep a reliable job. I can’t follow my drifting heart without doing some serious damage to my credit, and not paying back what I have already spent.
So I’ve decided to escape this mountain of debt as quickly as I can, so I can have the freedom to direct my life the way I want it to go. Here are some of the things I am doing to get out of debt:
1. Working a second job.
I currently work full time at a bank throughout the week, but I decided that wasn’t enough. I had too much free time on the weekends that I felt could be better spent earning more money to throw at my debt snowball. So I found a job that I could work on the weekends too. This mean that some weeks I am working 7 days a week, up to 50 or so hours a week. I didn’t just settle for a minimum wage job however. I wanted this sacrifice of my time to be worth it, so I found a job as a sales associate that pays a few dollars over minimum wage with the opportunity to earn commissions as well. I am tired, but I tell myself that it is only temporary, and so worth it when it comes to paying off my debt.
2. Watching what I eat (Meal Planning).
By far, the biggest variable expense in my budget is food. Eating out is definitely my weakness! I enjoy not having to think about what to cook, not having to actually cook, and not having to clean up afterwards. I love to savor a good meal at a restaurant. Unfortunately, the amount of money restaurants charge is simply outrageous for my budget. So I am doing things like creating a list of meals that are easy and cheap to make (I love this super easy meal-planning method), making extra portions at dinner to take to work for lunch the next day, and eating as many leftovers as I can stand.
3. Living on a limited budget.
Since starting on this goal to become debt free, I have learned what it really takes for me to be content. Ever since I started denying myself a few little pleasures (like eating out for lunch, expensive date nights, etc.), I discovered that I wasn’t any less happy than I was before. Some of my favorite evenings with friends has been when we spend hours playing board games and sipping on a few glasses of wine, laughing the night away. Not only do we get to really enjoy each other’s company, we get to save some serious cash in the process. Consider what a nice dinner costs ($40 at least), two movie tickets ($20 at least), cover charges to get into dance clubs ($10 a piece), and you’ve easily just gone through $100 dollars in a night. Save these evenings for special occasions, or a once-every-couple-months thing, and it will make them all the sweeter.
These are just a few of the big ways I am working hard towards debt freedom. I know that each of these methods will get me closer to being debt free, and that day will make all of these temporary sacrifices worth it!
What are some things you are doing to become debt free? As Dave Ramsey says, how are you living right now, so you can live like no-one else later? Let me know in the comments section below!