Saturday, March 14, 2009

Huge debts paid off quickly... others' experience

Here are some interesting articles on how to pay debt off quickly. The job market is tight now, so perhaps getting a 2nd job might be much harder.

It's not just about living within your means. It's about getting by with the basics and using the leftover to pay off debt. It's about making sacrifices and being resourceful.

  • Opts for basic TV service -- no premium channels (editorial note: we don't have cable)
  • Chooses a dial-up Internet connection ($9.95 a month) over high-speed service (editorial: we dropped the speed and dropped our cost)
  • Buys food in bulk to last for months. (Read "Secrets of superstar grocery shoppers.") (editorial: we do the same)
  • Takes his lunch to work. (editorial: we also do this, and have been noticing others doing it also)
  • Makes a budget for the holidays, birthdays, etc., and sticks to it.
  • Applies "extra" paychecks to debt (a biweekly pay schedule had provided a third check two months a year). (editorial: extra money that we have is money that we don't even include in the budget. It's for the mortgage)
  • Applies any bonuses toward his debt. (editorial: we do too)
  • Sets the thermostat in winter to 63 degrees. (editorial: we have babies, so we set it a bit higher!)
  • Sets the air conditioner to 79.
  • Buys compact fluorescent light bulbs to reduce electric bills.
  • Takes out $25 in "walking around" cash each week. When it's gone, he doesn't spend more. (editorial: I don't carry any cash and haven't spent a dime on anything for the last few years. I don't carry around any money because I am always tempted to spend it)
  • Keeps the credit cards at home.
  • Shops with a list and buys only what's on the list -- and avoids looking at anything else, including sale items. (editorial: hard to do.... but we try)
  • Keeps his car tuned up to avoid bigger expenses. (editorial: yes, we do this too. it also lets you avoid the bigger expense of having to buy another car because the one you have broke down)
  • Doesn't keep up with the Joneses. He says he doesn't care what they drive, where they vacation or what they wear. (editorial: yes, we make it a point to not care what others' have. Most of it is purchased on debt anyway, so really... do they 'have it'? ...or does the bank?)
  • Avoids buying coffee or food "on the go" but instead eats at home whenever possible. (editorial: hence, we keep no cash on us)
  • Stays away from vending machines at work. (editorial: yes!)
  • Doesn't play the lottery. (editorial: it's a tax!)
  • Buys broken bags of mulch and fertilizer at deep discounts. (editorial: never thought of this)
  • When shopping for appliances, buys last year's model. (editorial: we buy the floor model and get a huge discount... which also happens to be last year's model)
  • Budgets vacations and looks for coupons wherever possible.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Debt is like an anchor. In this environment, it keeps you places and doesn't let you go.

Free yourself!