There are a lot of things you can do to help yourself get out of debt sooner rather than later: create a budget, cut variable expenses, try to earn more money and many others.
I have done all of these things myself. I create a monthly budget. I’ve cut down considerably on eating out, entertainment, and frivolous spending on things that are unnecessary. I even work several jobs to increase my earning potential, but there are some things I will NOT do.
I will NOT live off of ramen noodles! Along those lines, I will absolutely not go dumpster diving for food. Yes, I have cut back considerably on my monthly grocery expenses, but I will not go so far as to harm my health just to save a few more dollars. I still eat a variety of protein sources: eggs, beans, beef, pork, chicken, etc. Obviously, I do consume the ones that cost the least more often, but I will not give up eating healthily and with a variety to speed up my goal of getting out of debt.
I will NOT live without air conditioning and/or the furnace. I do play a game with myself each year to see how long I can go before turning the furnace on, last year I made it to November 1st, but again, I will not put my health at risk. I live in the Midwest, it gets well below 0 degrees F during the winter and well above 100 degrees F in the summer. There are times where people are warned not to go outside for more than 15 minutes maximum in the summer. I do still want to be comfortable in my home in the winter and summer and that means using the furnace and air conditioner as necessary. I still try to be frugal, keeping it set rather low in the winter and higher in the summer.
I will NOT become a hermit. I still set aside some “fun money” each month to use as I please. It is not much since I’m trying to pay off debt, but it’s usually enough for a couple frugal activities with friends or family. As much as I want to get out of debt, I don’t want to neglect the relationships in my life by never leaving the house. I also think blowing off some steam by having fun helps keep me on the right track with my debt.
I will NOT resort to any money saving tactics shown on TLC’s Extreme Cheapskates. I’ve watched a few episodes of that show and the way people try to save money is absolutely revolting. I will not shower with my clothes in the tub, pee in a jar, or squeeze ketchup from restaurant packets into a bottle. The savings generated by most of these actions are very, very minimal and, in my opinion, not worth the time they take or the risks involved. Some of these actions are very risky to their quality of life and their health.
As you can see, basically I’m not willing to jeopardize my health or seriously damage the quality of my life to get out debt. I have made sacrifices and changed the way I view money and the sacrifices I’ve made are enough to help me get out of debt. Saving tiny amounts of money using the ways I listed are not worth it in my opinion. Ending up in the hospital because I tried risky ways to save money will only end up increasing my debt when I have to pay medical bills.
What are you NOT willing to do to get out of debt?
Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at Shoeaholicnomore.