First, here's a friendly reminder to go vote on the poll! :)
Now to the real post--I just found a Top Ten Tuesday blog hop and thought this would be a perfect time to give it a try! :) So here is my list for the week.
1. Start with the truth
First things first, you have to start telling the truth about your financial situation. Usually the first one you need to tell the truth to is yourself and/or your spouse. I've found that a lot of people don't actually know the number. It's time to add it all up friends, and face the truth. No more vague numbers. The sooner you know what you're really dealing with the sooner you'll move into action.
2. Get on a Cash Budget
Set yourself up on a cash only budget. Even if you pay off your credit card in full each month or you think you'll spend the same amount--chances are you'll save! Statistics show that nearly all of us spend more when using a piece of plastic over holding those little paper bills. Get yourself set up with cash so you can SEE your money coming and going. It'll also help with #10. If you'd like some ideas on how to set it up, check out this post or this one.
3. Hit it with all you've got
Here's where you get to fight, hit, kick, punch and yell at your debt! They've been winning long enough, now it's your turn to fight back. Get serious about paying off your balances, the more you pay each month the more determined you'll be to keep it up--and stay OUT of debt!
4. Know your weakness
There are some places I just can't go right now. First of all, malls aren't a usual hang out place for me currently---it's just not wise! ;) Target--no go! Basically any store with cute clothes, home accessories, crafty projects, and anything else other then groceries--not going for a while. If you're serious about getting out of debt, it's important that you identify what your spending weaknesses are. My husband's is eating out. ;) Once you've realized what these areas are, you'll know how to say no to them with more strength and determination. Avoiding these tempting things will help you save tons! :)
5. Wait for the deal
No more impulse buying allowed! It's time to start putting off purchases until you can pay for them. Often times all those I-can't-live-without-it items will be on sale before you know it! A little patience will save you loads of cash in time.
6. Go green
Not only is it better for the environment, it's better for you pocket book--that's a win-win!
7. Take it when its free
Want to read a great new book you just heard about? Check your library or borrow it from a friend. There are SO many things that are free, just doing a little research and you'll find all sorts of entertainment for free, food, household products and more. Have you ever checked out the free section on Craigslist? You have to be QUICK, but if you are you can score some great finds! :) Do a little google search for what you're looking for before you buy it.
It's time to let out that inner crafter in you! Don't let the Do It Yourself words scare you. This can be all sorts of things. If you're good in the kitchen start looking at ways you can make things from scratch to cut your families budget. I've done some of that and have learned all sorts of new things! Here's my instructions for homemade baby food and a bulk cooking day to make for simpler dinner time prep. You can also learn how to can or freeze food properly. Not a kitchen guru, how about making homemade cleaning supplies? Here is a post that will lead you through the steps for laundry soap and dish washer soap. There are also so many great ideas for crafty things you can make or fix yourselves. Get a little inspiration online if you are looking for some ideas! This can be one of the most fun parts of getting out of debt--let you imagination take over!
9. Be a Team Player
Getting out of debt is a team effort if you're married. You will have to work together to be successful. The closer your goals are to each others the easier your process will be. Make it a project you can both focus on and put effort into making happen. Both of you will have a part to play, so figure that out in your relationship and get to it!
10. Learn to say NO
This is by far the hardest part. No one wants to say no to themselves. Adults want to have the freedom to have what they want, when they want it. It's hard to see other people buying and getting things you just can't have for a while. But here is what keeps me motivated and on track, "Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else." -Dave Ramsey. We've had to make sacrifices to get where we are and you will too. I'm not gonna lie, I don't like it, it's NOT fun! The fun day will be when we can live stress free of bills and have the cash to do/buy what we like! :) That's TRUE freedom, I find a lot of American's are living in a false sense of freedom (living the way they want to, while having piles of debt). And, we're back to the beginning--start living in the truth.