Maybe you’re sick of being tight on cash, or maybe you are really in a pickle and need to make a lifestyle change. Either way, let this summer be when you decided to make a change! The following are 10 ideas to jump start getting out of debt this summer. I challenge you to start today!
1. Be happy with what you have. If you have a roof over your head, food on the table, and you have the bare necessities covered, you’re doing better than most. Fill your lives with people you love, not things you love and you can’t go wrong.
2. Set an allowance that goes to a separate account automatically when you get paid. My husband and I started doing this and it ended all of our money arguments forever. When your set allowance is used up, you are done with spending until your next paycheck! For us, we use family money for our daughter’s needs, bills, groceries/gas, etc…but everything I “want” and don’t “need” comes from my allowance.
3. Be prepared for expenses that haven’t occurred yet. My laptop is dying a slow death, so I’ve been saving up cash for it for a couple months. When I go to purchase a new one, I will be paying cash for it instead of going into more debt. Our car will need new tires this winter, so we are starting to put money aside now. We don’t have much extra laying around to save, so it’s extra important to think about these things well in advance so they don’t catch us off guard!
4. Buy better, healthier food so you’re not tempted to go out. We used to eat the same few things over and over again. They weren’t that healthy and they weren’t that tasty, and come payday we were dying to go to the restaurant for something delicious. Now, we shop at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and try to mix up our menu every couple weeks. We recycle a lot of recipes we love and add a new meal every week we haven’t tried before to keep things interesting. We feel better when we eat organic, and the food we cook at home tastes so good we never feel like going out!
5. Be social and invite friends over for a potluck. Rather than dropping $50 at a restaurant on dinner and drinks, have a cookout! It’s summer so light up the grill and have everyone bring a dish to pass. Enjoy the weather and your friends and eat delicious food on the cheap!
6. Pick up a hobby that pays. I’ve always been lucky that my interests are things I could make side cash doing. If you love to do makeup, get a job at a makeup counter. If you just bought a new lawn mower, hire yourself out to do neighbors’ lawns. If you take great pictures, try taking senior pictures for teens in your community. It feels good to have a hobby that also pays the bills and it definitely helps you stay ahead on bills.
7. Cancel unnecessary expenses. We haven’t had cable for years because we don’t need it. If your phone company is charging a lot, try to share a line with a few friends or family members. We turn the air conditioning in our apartment off at night and open the windows instead to save money! Every little bit helps.
8. Develop a low maintenance routine. I used to cut and dye my hair every 6-8 weeks. Admittedly, I miss dyeing my hair! However, I know my money is better spent elsewhere. I keep my hair long and do the sombre thing every 2-3 months. I still get to have fun streaks in my hair, but it’s subtle and doesn’t need to be touched up regularly. I also splurge on shoes and jewelry if I’d like something new and spend very little on clothes right now. If I really want something new, I’d rather splurge on something that can be worn every day like accessories! If I need a new outfit for something special, I try to borrow something or get a deal with a coupon.
9. Downsize your living situation. Rent or a mortgage is probably your biggest bill. Try living somewhere cheaper if you can until you get back on your feet. Better yet if the utilities are included in your rent! That alone could save you hundreds in the winter.
10. Write down your goals. Everything becomes more real once it’s written down. Why do you want to get out of debt? For us, we want to start saving for a house so we need to nuke some bills first. We wrote this down a couple years ago and have never looked back!
I realize some debt is nearly impossible to pay off in a summer or in a year or maybe even five. But changing the way you live is something you can do today that will empower you to achieve your goals. Every time someone tells me I’ll never be debt free it just makes me want to work harder! I’d love to hear some ways that you use to save money or get out of debt. Please share in the comments below!
P.S. I’m linking you below to the (affiliate) links of some books that really helped me educate myself on this topic. Good luck!