To continue on from my last post in “our debt series” I already talked about how we got into debt. I talked about what debt looks like and the impact it has on daily living. Getting started on paying off debt is really about hard work, dedication, and a desire to not stay in debt. Here is the way we paid off $20,000 in 1.5 years with 4 Ways We Conquered Debt. Although our momentum has slowed down a little bit, our desire to be debt free still stands.
4 Ways We Conquered Debt
#1. We increased our income.
A the time when we were paying off large amounts of debt, I was working way more than I wanted to. However, I saw the impact my extra income was having on paying off debt. There were long hours involved, but we were able to knock off debt quickly, which seems to be the most motivated part of paying off debt if you ask me. Tip: 6 ways to earn extra money from home!
2. We decreased our living expenses.
Once upon a time, we had two car payments. However, we have a rule in our house that we’ll only have one car payment at a time. Dave Ramsey says no car payments whatsoever, but we haven’t been able to reach that level of awesomeness yet. I have to admit that we do not own a home, we rent. This is because–
- We have a large debt to income ratio.
- We know that we want to really be able to afford a home when the time comes to buy again.
3. We really cut back.
When it comes to conquering debt, there are just some places you have to cut back. Saying no to Sunday dinners with the rest of the family were one way we cut back. Saying no to big expensive family vacations was another way we cut back. We also never try to keep up with everyone else from a financial standpoint. We realize we’re doing the best we can with what we have and that has to be good enough for now.
Be sure to read: 10 Extreme ways to save money
4. We always buy used.
Even when we buy cars, we never buy a brand new car straight off the lot. Buying used has worked well for us. I buy our kids’ clothes used, we even buy shoes used, and dishes used. When it comes down to it, these materialistic items that everyone buys only last for a short period of time. Why not save the difference?!
Conquering debt is not easy. Especially because it feels as though you get one thing paid off and something else happens. It’s so important to make a financial goal and stick with it. Another piece of advice I have for you is to not get discouraged by the progress of others. Look at our story: we paid off $20,000 in 1.5 years, but our momentum has slowed down. As long as you are moving forward and making some type of progress, you cannot go wrong.
Come back next Monday to read about 4 Ways We Changed Our Budget to Become Gazelle Intense!