At the end of 2015 my Husband and I were in debt. Within a couple of years, we racked up our credit cards due to wedding expenses, an unexpected car accident and just plain living beyond our means. We decided we needed a plan to end our debt.
Create an Emergency Savings Fund
Before we can start on our debt free journey we need to create an emergency savings fund. This is so important, so we don’t feel tied to the credit card when an emergency happens or an extra expense. One of the things I’ve read over and over that you need to build those savings first. I didn’t understand the necessity of it. Until I paid a large chunk of a credit card down with some extra money that I had earned only to have to charge it back due to an emergency.
Cut up all Credit Cards
There is nothing like the temptation of a credit card in your wallet. I can’t count how many times we have been at a store and saw something we wanted and said to each other, “Well we can get it, because we have the credit card.” Maybe, you don’t need to cut them up because you can just put them in a drawer and forget about them, but if not and you find yourself going back to that drawer cut them up! It doesn’t even matter for emergencies. We are building our emergency savings fund so we don’t have to rely on a credit card. Not having an emergency savings fund is what started us into this debt in the first place.
Paying off the Lowest Credit First
We have multiple credit cards to pay off. Instead of spreading the amount that we have to pay off, we are focusing our attention on the lowest balance first. This will help us with not feeling so overwhelmed and see progress.
Round Up to Nearest hundred when making payment
We will be rounding to the nearest 50 or 100 when making a payment on all our cards. That way we are paying a bit towards other credit card balances while focusing our main payments to the smallest credits first. This will help with interest rates instead of just paying minimum payments.
Finding extra side jobs to help pay off debt
I have had my side job of making jewelry on Etsy for five years now. I hope to continue to expand my business and consign my jewelry as well. I’m also working on Blogging and earning extra income from my blog. My husband continues to write and play amazing music. He has an EP on Itunes. Also, I will continue to declutter and get rid of unwanted and not needed things by having yard sales and listing on Facebook groups. I’ll admit I have a walk-in closet full of clothes and our home is basically full of my stuff and I also have things from my childhood in storage. Does anyone want any beanie babies? (Seriously, I’m not kidding.)
No Spending Months
With getting rid of things, it also means no buying more things. I love shopping. I love clothes and I love electronics. So, no extra spending means no spending on new clothes, games, or movies. I’ll let you know how we feel about those no spending months as the year goes on. However, I’m looking forward to the extra money that will be in our pockets once we are done paying down those bills.
No eating Out
Usually, during the week my husband and I are pretty good about not eating out. We live in the middle of “nowhere” and it’s hard to just up and decide to go get food after a long day of work. We are guilty of dining out on the weekends, sometimes for lunch and dinner both Saturday and Sunday. Which adds up. Now, I will say, I don’t cook (dodges angry glares). We both work full-time jobs and I clean the house every week and take care of all finances, my husband is the cook. However, I have to say I would like to help more in that department if it means that we eat healthier and save money.
Since we are no longer eating out that means that we have to save on the food we get at the grocery store. We are currently subscribed to our local newspaper and I’m clipping coupons where I see fit. I also use apps like ibotta, Cartwheel, and Receipt Hog to help save and get money back.