One thing that I’ve learned over these past few months is, everything effort isn’t going to result in monumental changes. We live in a microwave society. Things are expected to happen now and in a hurry. This journey has taught me a sincere lesson in patience and perseverance. I see more results in our debt pay off plan when I make small concentrated changes, rather than when I try to bum rush our debt like an out of control crowd at a concert.
I’ve always been a dreamer and planner. If I dream of something significant, I begin planning when I wake up. That’s just me. This task has truly shown me my strengths and weaknesses. It has allowed me to come to terms with them and given me the focus required to move forward comfortably. I write this as a preface to say that our plan is working. Slowly, and not without a few hiccups but it is all coming together.
I know that some of you are on this journey along with us. Hats off to you! There is nothing more appealing than financial freedom. The true benefit in all of this is that we are developing lifelong skills that will help to keep us out of debt once we become free. I’ve prayed for patience time and time again, this challenge is my answer. So here are the 5 small steps that we are taking to help us achieve huge savings.
1. Clean up your inbox
On a daily basis I get several promotional emails from companies that I have purchased from previously or signed up for their mailing list at some point. Each day I take a few moments to unsubscribe from those that have arrived and aren’t essential. What do I mean by essential? If it isn’t related to one of my businesses, I unsubscribe. Shopping at places like Old Navy, Macy’s, and Target aren’t needs, so they have to go. The less temptation to spend money I have, the more money I can save to pay off our debt and build our savings. Having the things you want dangled right in front of your face makes for a tough situation. Eliminate the temptation and stay on track!
2. Stick to a budget
A budget is the single most important part of paying down debt and financial freedom. How can we get out of debt and build wealth if we don’t understand our money? We do a monthly budget…every month. This helps me stay on track with our spending and due dates for bills. I won’t glorify this part. It does get tough, especially when our money is funny. However without a budget and seeing things on paper, I’m sure that we would be in a terrible financial space. The same space that led us to this journey. If you haven’t started budgeting, start today! You’ll learn some new things about yourself in the process.
3. Use coupons and saving apps
There are so many ways to save on everyday expenses. Food, medication, clothing, travel, everything. I’ve made a conscious decision to never buy anything at full price again. If I don’t have a coupon for it, it’s not on sale, or I can’t receive a rebate for it, I don’t buy it. It’s really that simple! I enjoy nice things, just like the next person but I refuse to go broke. My husband and older boys have “discovered” thrifting along with me. Not only are we saving money but we are teaching our children about spending their money wisely and repurposing.
4. Meal planning
Ok, we haven’t started doing this one yet BUT my good friend does this and it has helped her save thousands which she has applied to her debt. I don’t really have a good reason for not doing this yet, so I won’t even begin to try and explain it. I do plan to incorporate this during this month. Once I do I’ll fill you all in on our progress. Do you meal plan? How is it working for you?
Well there you have it. A few small changes that we are using that you can utilize also to help you achieve your financial goals. Let me know what other changes you’ve made that have been of benefit to you.