Good Morning! I woke up this morning on a mission – to become debt free. It has actually been my mission for sometime but something always seems to get in the way – wants versus needs, guilt versus just saying no – you get the picture. When I got married 2 1/2 years ago, I came into our marriage with DEBT (credit card debit and school loans). Now, my hubby doesn’t believe in using credit cards – he pays cash and the only debt he currently has is a small car loan and our mortgage. I know some are saying that this is something that we need to work on together, right? I mean isn’t money and financial problems the root of many divorces today? Hubby simple said, as long as I can pay MY bills (those that I had when we got married) all is well. Okay, so in my head there was some permission given to continue to spend like I was. I was working full-time, had a good income, a hobby of my Thirty One business & craft shows – so all was good. Then I made that change from a regular income to an irregular income. Now, don’t get me wrong – I am still paying the bills but the truth is I am not making as much progress as I would like on my debt reduction. The main reason is that I am not TAKING CONTROL of my finances – they just sort of happen. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Here are some tips that I found that may help you (and me) to move a little closer to being debt free:
- Keep a spending diary. To me that was the receipts from my debit card since I very seldom carry cash. I know a definite No-No in Dave Ramsey‘s Financial Peace University class.
- Write a list before shopping and stick to it. Okay, so I am getting better with this. Impulse buying has dropped dramatically.
- Have a certain amount transferred from your checking to your savings automatically. YEAH! I scored one here. I actually have money transferred from both my Thirty One account and my personal account to a savings account. The trick is keeping it in my savings account.
- Work a part-time business, like direct sales, on the side and put that money towards debt reduction. So I have my Thirty One business and a part-time (1 – 3 days per week) at the local WaWa. Which is considered my part-time income to just put towards debt reduction when I use it all to pay bills?
- Pay your mortgage every two weeks instead of monthly. Okay, so I can opt out of this since hubby takes care of the mortgage. Of course, my dream is to not only help pay it but pay it off!
- Start a “clothing co-op”. This is great for families to swap kids clothes. They grow so fast and often only wear things a few times before they are too small. As for me, I am looking for quality consignment or thrift stores to do some shopping in. Since my weight keeps changing (going down), I hate spending full price on clothes only to have to shop again for new smaller ones. I have always been a jeans person but I am finding that I need to change it up a little for professional and business reasons. I know there are some who know me that are in SHOCK over this revelation.
So, now add these tips to help stretch that budget – personal and business – that we have been talking about. What are some of your BEST tips for taking control of your finances? Please share them with us.
Have a ThirtyOne -derful day.