Since being married we have made it our duty to go into our future debt free so that we are not carrying the weight of our past along with us.
My husband came into our relationship with $8100. I started our relationship with $2500. So together we sat at $10,600 in debt, newly married and starting everything with a blank slate.
It’s all easier said than done and I can write a play by-play but the ways we have been able to eliminate debt is simple.
- We eliminated unnecessary bills: Bought our RV (Own=no payments); this eliminated a big electric bill, along with high rent. No Cable. No fancy phone plans. No Netflix. No Internet.
- Grocery Shopping: Making a weekly menu and using up the ingredients day by day to ensure less waste. We’ve done 3 days to a week, depending on the situation. Eliminate eating out.
- Needs VS. Wants: Only buy NECESSARY items, if you won’t be uncomfortable or dead without it, it’s not needed. Luxuries are just that and to me debt=no luxury. (Mind you we travel seasonally so that alone is pretty luxurious to me)
- Account Management: We have 6 bank accounts, it may sound crazy but money dispersed is a lot harder to spend than a big pot. 1-Grocery Budget 2-Savings 3-Son’s Savings 4-Bills 5-Personal Money 6-THE BRAIN. All money goes to the brain weekly and gets distributed with what our budget is to each account.
- Budget: It’s probably the most important thing of all, though we all hear it growing up and know it’s the best thing we can do, few ever actually figure it out and stick to it. IF you’re trying to get out of debt and want to know where to start, it’s with your budget. Figure out your bills (things you HAVE to pay monthly), figure out your income monthly, assess what you need for groceries(this can be a guess or you can trouble shoot unless you already have a grocery budget established). Then you’ll need to figure out what’s left over and where you want that money to go. If you want a savings or if you want it to go right to debt.
Once you have figured out what money you have left over after necessities you can see how much you can start throwing into debt, savings or whatever suits your fancy. It may be a small amount at first but anything is a start. Over time you will find ways to save money and see places you may be able to pinch a few dollars here and there to help.
This isn’t to say you can’t buy things you want occasionally ; however it must be when your bills, grocery and any other “MUST PAY” things are taken care of. Sometimes the wait is half the fun.
Be patient, be consistent and don’t give up.
From 2014-2016 we have been able to eliminate $8,600 worth of debt.