There are ultimately 2 ways to eliminate debt – you can either make more money or spend less money. That sounds incredibly easy as a concept but can be a bit more tricky to actually implement. For me, I incorporate both into my life.
- Evaluate what you have – you can easily downsize, declutter and sell off some things to put directly towards paying off your debt. Nowadays it is so easy – you can sell in online forums like Ebay, Craigslist, Mercari and Facebook Marketplace. There are so many more options also available. Find the one that works best for you. Anyone you can do it!
- When you shop – save! If you shop online there are programs like Ebates, Swagbucks etc… You can earn money, points, and more. But you can also save in stores with apps like iBotta, Walmart Savings Catcher, store app incentives programs and many more. You can also clip coupons. Ideally you can institute several of these strategies together. But don’t worry – if you don’t have time or don’t want to clip coupons you can still save on every single shopping trip!
- Save without trying – I seriously don’t know how people live without a smartphone. I use mine for everything. Is it possible to save without trying? Absolutely – I use apps like Acorn, Digit, Stash – these apps all work a little differently but ultimately they periodically move small amounts out of your checking account. These small amounts creep up quickly. For example – we have 5 vehicles and an RV. My Digit account remains untouched (mostly) all year long and at the end of the year I have plenty of money painlessly put aside for all the vehicle taxes.
- If I really want to focus extra hard on eliminating debt – I don’t allow myself to use a debit card. I go back to carrying cash and paying for everything in cash. I don’t own a checkbook – haven’t written a check in years. So it is either debit or cash. Using a debit card is very easy and a hard habit to control. Fast food restaurants, spur of the moment trips to the grocery store, giving in to children’s whining are all easier with a debit card. If you have to pay cash you automatically are forced to evaluate – do I really want to part with that tangible cash? Most often – NO!
- Evaluate your current bills – call your cell phone company and see if there is a less expensive plan to meet your needs; do you need a plan or would pay-as-you-go be a better option; possibly change providers… Cable – do you need all that you have? Would a dish be better? Do you need either at all or would Netflix, Hulu and other programs best meet your needs? Entertainment – Do you check out programs like Groupon, Restaurant.com and Living Social?
The list could go on and on. Ultimately – just about everything we do has an opportunity to be modified. When utilizing all these programs I try to focus on the programs that also give back such as Nationwide Debt Direct Giving. And lastly – seek out help when you need it. There is no need to struggle and Nationwide can definitely help you meet your goals.