Finances / Minimalism

Paying off debt sucks, but these things help it suck less.

Over the last few years I’ve been determined to get that disgusting, nerve wrecking, life sucking, student loan debt left over from community college out of my way. I didn’t even finish my degree!

I heard great things about the Dave Ramsey program. In fact, I knew a couple that got out $45,000 in debt within three years following his plan. So I sipped the Kool-Aid and checked out The Total Money Make Over from the library.

I rearranged my whole life to get out of debt. After a year of feeling like a toddler hanging by a floaty in the deep end, I did it! I was and still am debt free! No credit card/car/student loans payments! 

The toughest thing about managing debt and living life, was the living life part. Unlike married couples I talked to about the Dave Ramsey plan, I was, well, unmarried. Which meant, they had someone to get excited with while chipping away at debt and more importantly, accountability. I wanted an accountability partner because who would know if I took a $120 Target trip? Not my invisible spouse, not my debt collectors. Just me.

jayz

If you have a hard time managing money and want to get out of debt these tips might help! 

Downsize – One of the best decisions I made to get the debt ball rolling was moving. I found some lovely roommates looking for someone to take up their spare room for a fraction of what my rent was. My monthly bills instantly went down $750. Ching-a-ling.

What else can you downsize? Phone bill, car insurance? Maybe share a Netflix or iTunes plan? Go to a different gym? Search the city for free yoga classes? Find a roommate? There a tons of ways to cut down monthly bills. Be creative!

Sale your crap – “If it’s not beautiful for useful, get rid of it.” I’m a big fan of the minimalist movement. I had too much stuff. When I was moving and couldn’t take everything with me. So I put almost everything on Craigslist. I sold desks, tables, clothes, decorations, even my bed. (The room I was moving in had a bed, so why did I need my crappy one?) At the end of the day, I made somewhere between $800-1200 in sales. I don’t know the exact number because when I made a sale, I went to the bank, deposited the money then made a payment on my loans.

Get help – Two words, finical advisor. God placed some brilliant people around me and I’m sure he’s done the same for you. I know a fantastic business man that shares similar beliefs, so we had a meeting. Which turned into several meetings. You know how I was all unmarried and lonely in my decisions? Not any more! And the only thing more difficult to face with poor money decisions than a spouse is a finical advisor.

Be consistent – As frustrating as it can be, being consistent is the most powerful choice to make in this process. It’s exciting to make big payments after you sell or cut down on bills, but be consistent with your original payments too. 

Celebrate – Did you pay off a gnarly $1,000? Buy a dress! Buy baseball tickets! You deserve a little splurge. Remember it’s okay to have a fun in the process, it doesn’t have to be completely life sucking. When you’re done really, really celebrate! Go on a trip! Have a party! Or whatever else will help you soak in the joy of being a free bird.

I love writing about saving hacks hacks, so I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I’ll be sharing more tips soon!

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