When you have debt, it can feel like a giant weight tying you down. Your debt can overwhelm you and become the centerpiece of your life in a way you never wanted.
While it may seem like you have to sacrifice everything great in your life to the debt gods, that’s 100% not true! You can have a wonderful and amazing life while you work towards paying down your debt.
The single biggest thing to remember every day is that you’re already living your life. Just because you have debt doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold.
Every day you wake up is one more day you have here on our lovely green and blue planet. Just because you have debt in your life doesn’t mean you can’t also have fun and awesomeness in your life!
This is not a trial run, people. Debt may be a part of your life, but with a little rearranging of your finances, so too can travel, good food and big adventures.
So let’s get down to business (to defeat the Huns!) and start making your life with debt as great as it should be.
Turn Up Your Everyday
One of the best ways to start saving money is to eat at home. The numbers just don’t lie. While a plate of enchiladas at a restaurant will run you $8-$10, you can spend the same amount of money and have enough food for numerous meals.
However, if you hate to cook or are short on time, cooking suddenly becomes more of a burden than heading through the drive through. I personally hate cooking. I don’t get it. It doesn’t seem cool to me to try new recipes, or to improve on a dish I already know how to make and see if I can make it better. I just don’t have it in me to care.
Yet, my time in the kitchen has become somewhat sacred to me since starting to get serious about paying down my debt. I cook almost exclusively at home. I knew that I could shave some serious bucks off my spending if I started to cook at home, so I turned one of my least favorite ways to spend time into one of my favorite.
I cook with my boyfriend almost every time we hang out. One of our favorites is homemade veggie pizza, but we do taco night, scrambled eggs with salsa and avocado, baked sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. We play some music, make fun of each other’s lack of cooking skills, and bam! We get to have a great date night, eat good and healthy food, and save money. It’s a win-win-win. Rather than being a chore, cooking has become an entire experience that I enjoy.
Reward Yourself in Better Ways
Delayed gratification is a thing, people. A very real and very powerful thing that you can use to your advantage during your debt payoff.
For every $25 you put towards your debt, save $5. Set a timeline that you’ll do this: three months, six months. However long you think you can do it, do it! Then take that money and reward yourself with it.
Don’t just spend your money on things like candy at the checkout, or an $8 Target t-shirt, and justify it as something you deserve because of how hard you work, or how much money you put toward debt each month. Save it and spend it on something completely amazing!
You do deserve nice things. It’s just…do you want your nice thing to be an eighty cent candy bar that’s gone in 10 minutes, or do you want it to be a weekend away with friends or family?
Plus, you can reward yourself responsibly, too! Pick a reward by shopping with us, and earn cash back on the purchase. That’s definitely a win.
Don’t Limit Yourself, But Know Your Limits
You want your life to be totally rad and full of good times and good people. It’s important to keep that in mind as you’re out there fighting the good fight against your debt.
You don’t need that daily Starbucks, but when your best friend of 15 years gets engaged, you’ll want to be at that wedding. Knowing what you care about spending your money on is the biggest part of this puzzle.
People think frugality means giving things up, but that’s not what it’s about.
The truth of it is, frugality is about prioritizing your spending. Do you want to have to miss your friends wedding because you decided to eat lunch out three times a week?
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It’s easy to say your friends or travel or debt payoff is a priority for you, but look at where your money is going. If you spend it all on drinks, clothes, or music, and aren’t actually funneling it toward your values, it becomes clear where your priorities are.
Know your limits – minimize your daily spending so your big spending can be meaningful.
How do you live life fully while paying off debt? What are your favorite ways to reward yourself?