My husband and I started off our married life with quite a bit of debt. Student loans, car payments and credit card bills. When one day we decided we didn’t want to be debt carriers anymore we started making small adjustments to our expenditures. It really was stair by stair we climbed our way to greater financial freedom. These are some things we found along the way to be the greatest cost cutters.
1. Entertainment. If you are in the red this is an item you should examine first. You don’t have to sit at home and stare at the walls while getting out of debt or saving money. Quite the opposite actually here are some ways we have reduced our entertainment budget.
Cable? We don’t have it. We have been Netflix and Amazon prime subscribers for years. My husband is a big baseball fan but even he loves the savings of cutting cable. Besides we have been able to access games of the day and even the super bowl through our internet and Amazon fire which was a loved Christmas present from family one year!
Family outings? These are some of the most expensive days. Looking on social media it can be easy to feel behind everyone else and the adventures they have. Disney world, Great Wolf lodge, hotel stays, cruises clog our feed. What you don’t see is the bill for these adventures. People don’t post how much debt they are in, the second job they have to pay for it all or the physical exhaustion it all takes. Take your kids fishing, to the library or walk around your local hiking trails. God created many rich adventures that are free to spend your time with your family. And your are teaching your kids fiscal responsibility along the way.
Shopping. How many people do you know spend a Saturday at the mall. When you don’t need something you should stay away from stores. Period. You think “oh we will just browse” but it hardly ever ends up that way. Instead of shopping for hobby go through the things you have. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
2. Food. If you are in debt you should be eating at home. At least making an effort. My husband and I went from eating out many nights s week to cooking at home. It’s healthier as well. The downside is we have a substantial amount of dishes everyday but I’d rather spend my time washing dishes and feeling good about the dietary choices of our family than to have free time to think about not feeding my family well! Cooking more is hard, eating junk is hard. Choose your hard!
3. Gas. I used to think nothing of going somewhere everyday of the week. Now if I have errands I do them all in one day. I am intentional about only shopping once a week. And when the desire to run out and buy something strikes I make myself wait until my shopping day to buy it. Usually by the time the day rolls around I am thankful I didn’t start up the car and drive around getting something I just don’t need. Being busy does not equal productive. Spend your time, money and GAS well!
If you are going from using credit cards to choosing debt free living there is going to be some major adjustments to make. But I believe if you focus on these 3 areas at the beginning of your journey you will reap many saved dollars!
As always be blessed friends and be a blessing.