“Debt is dumb.” This is one of my favorite quotes from financial expert Dave Ramsey. Anyone else hear of it? I feel like this plays on repeat in my head every time I’m at the store. Yet, as a family, we’re still carrying an enormous amount of debt.
“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” Dave Ramsey
Constantly having a dark cloud of debt following us around feels like I’m carrying an elephant on my back. The weight is, at times, unbearable. But life goes on, and we continue to allow the dark cloud to follow us.
At the beginning of 2018, we set a goal to pay off all our credit card and any outstanding debt this year. By doing so, we’ll be able to alleviate the financial burden of debt and open up our budget for things that are much more important.
10 Ways to Get Out of Debt:
- Create a budget. See here.
- Weed out the extras. A quick coffee stop, Chik-fil-A/McDonalds drive through, take out, movies, Shopkins toys – what do these all have in common? They are not necessities.
- Pay cash. Since we made the switch to cash, every time I go to the grocery store or we go out to eat, it hurts a little. It’s not as fun handing over a huge chunk of cash. By doing so, we’ve saved on various categories within our budget.
- Cut up the credit cards. See step 3 & you know why! If we have goal, it doesn’t make sense to set ourselves up for failure. Get rid of those credit cards! No more adding new debt!
- Find ways to save. Kids outgrown their clothes? The lawn mower won’t start? Head over to the local thrift store. It’s been quite the change for me, but I’ve been able to find some cute outfits for Ella at Savers. Last summer, our lawn mower broke & we were able to find a brand new one, barely used, for $50 on Craigslist. Now that’s a deal!
- Get creative. Have any creative hobbies? I love to make burlap wreaths & give them for bridal shower gifts. My mom just gave me my grandma’s sewing machine. Not only will I be able to repair/repurpose clothes, but I plan to make more household items. First up, aprons!
- Clean house. When spring cleaning your house, start by decluttering. There’s so much old stuff laying around that’s worth some $$. Craigslist & Facebook resale sites are good to make some extra cash.
- Put the kids to work. When my house is cluttered & messy, I feel disorganized, stressed & my mind is frazzled. Part of Ella’s chores is to make sure she cleans up after herself. It’s usually her toys that are laying all over. Get them on board & keep the house tidy.
- Get everyone on board. Paying down debt can be exhausting & mentally draining. Those first few mini debts, or quick wins, help keep the ball rolling. Once those mega debts appear next on the list, it may seem like it’s taking FOREVER to pay them off. To keep everyone on board, create a visual aide that everyone can see & put it in the most trafficked place in the house. Ours is in the kitchen. It’s our daily reminder that we have goals so make good choices.
- Stay motivated. Keep those visual aides everywhere & hold each other accountable. If you’re single, find a great cheerleader that will support you the entire way through & constantly remind you of your goals. Celebrate the mini wins & keep barreling through!
Paying off debt is a daunting task. I mean, having mountains of debt is normal. Everyone HAS debt so why should we be any different? Let’s be weird.