One of the
struggles goals my husband and I have is to become debt free. I was raised by a resilient single mother who made sure to let us know that getting out of debt is always possible, and that debt isn’t always bad.
My husband and I have numerous types of debt including my student loans, vehicle loans, personal loans and credit card debt. Besides the credit card, my student loans have the highest interest rate which is so discouraging and frustrating, but unavoidable at this point. The personal loan was used to pay for our wedding, and we currently have both of our cars financed.
I have taken it upon myself to get us free of debt long before expected, and I will not rest peacefully until it is all paid (just kidding, I sleep hard).
Some things we do in order to achieve that goal are:
- Overpay every month. We don’t overpay every loan currently, but we do on most. For example, one (10 year) student loan’s monthly payment is $50, and we pay $125. We also overpay on both of our vehicles and of course on any credit card debt. We do this by interest rate: student loan is about 7%, both cars around 3.5%-4%.
- Any extra money goes toward a designated debt. Our entire tax return went toward debt, though I don’t remember which at this time. I like to think of this as “money we never received”. That thought process allows us to not miss any money at all, or overspend immediately after receiving it.
- We don’t go out to eat frequently, in fact, it is very uncommon for us. It has been such a money saver and health improvement for us. It isn’t uncommon, however, for my husband to have lunch meetings and have to buy food for those, but those are much cheaper than us eating dinner out 2 times a week and other meals on weekends.
- Groceries! We are pretty darn good, if I may say so myself, about what we purchase in the store. We skip most aisles which allows us to avoid boxed cookies, crackers, snacks, and other expensive impulse buys. We also cook our meals from scratch. Rather than spending $13 on a box dinner, we will make it homemade for $4.
- Entertainment. We don’t have cable, we utilize Netflix and Amazon Prime, and we don’t go to the movies except for special occasions like Starwars Episode VII.
- We don’t leisurely shop. We purchase new clothes as needed here and there but we don’t buy new wardrobes every season or anything crazy like that.
- Buying used and DIY. One of the largest time consuming aspects of our lives is DIY. We save so much money by being patient, searching and browsing, and purchasing great deals on used decor and furniture. From there we update them to be how we want them and love our not-like-everybody-else’s-rooms. (I HATE room furniture sets. I think they’re so matchy and uncreative!)
I’m comforted that by living more conservatively we can get ourselves debt free before the expected time, and by doing so, save ourselves money on the interest of those debts!
If you have any techniques, please share! I’ve become addicted and have started challenging myself about how much I can chisel away.