Make 2019 Your Debt Free Year!

If you have set a goal to take control of your finances, get out of debt and start saving, 2019 is your year. As 2018 draws to a close, consider the following tips to cultivate personal financial freedom in the upcoming year.

image.pngExpenses

  • Check out the Dollar store for household cleaning products. They even carry a few name brand items.
  • Eat at home instead of eating out. You’d be surprised at how much you save.
  • Started shopping at a grocery discount store or buy in bulk.
  • Put yourself on a spending freeze. Jordan Page from FunCheaporFree.com can explain the details. During a spending freeze, you buy only the absolute necessities like bills, gas, and fresh produce. Eat what is in your pantry, freezer, and fridge. Don’t spend money on entertainment or clothes during that time.
  • Buy used at thrift stores, garage sales or your town’s community Facebook page. Just because you need something, doesn’t mean you need it brand new.
  • Renegotiated with service providers to reduce your monthly bills. Believe me, you are able to renegotiate your cable and internet bills, even if you have to give up a few channels.
  • Cancel subscriptions like Sirius Radio, Kindle Unlimited, and magazines.
  • Do your level best to turn on the air conditioner only when you absolutely have to.
  • Unplug any electronics you aren’t using.
  • When it gets cooler throw on an extra sweatshirt and a warm pair of socks before turning up the heat.
  • Run your washing machine and dryer during off-peak times.
  • Sell any extra cars. You’ll save the payment. If the car is already paid for, you’ll save on gas and insurance. Or use the paid off car and sell off the one that has a note on it.
  • Trim your phone plan.
  • Instead of buying a Christmas present for everyone in your extended family (like your adult siblings), draw names. Have the kids draw names too. That way you don’t have to buy a present for each of your nephews and nieces. We have saved a ton of money doing this. Each Christmas we draw for the following year. It allows to the giver to shop the after Christmas sales for the next year. To save even more money, set up rules like a spending limit of $25 or the gifts can only be handmade.

image.pngClothing

  • Endeavor to have a no spend year on clothing. Shop in your closet. Wear those pieces you have hanging up that barely see the light of day. If you absolutely have to buy a new blouse or pair of trousers, shop at your local thrift store or jump online to buy it from someplace like ThreadUp.

image.pngEntertainment

  • Stop getting your nails done every other week. Consider how much you are spending every month just for this one service, including tips. It adds up.
  • Limit your coffee kiosk trips. Make coffee at home if you can.
  • If you aren’t using it, cancel your gym membership. Don’t keep paying, hoping you’ll go. However, if you are using it, good for you!
  • Take advantage of free ebooks. Bookbub sends out daily recommendations for free ebooks based on your preferred genres.

image.pngDebt

  • Check your credit card interest. Are you paying the lowest you possibly can? Have you asked your credit card company to lower your interest lately?
  • Start a debt snowball. Pay off your smallest debts first and as you pay each one off, roll over the amount you were paying on debt A and add it to the payment of debt B. So if you owe $500 to the dentist (and pay $50 a month), and $1000 to the doctor (and pay $100 a month), do your best to pay off the dentist first. Then add the $50 you were paying a month to the $100 you are paying the doctor to pay off the doctor faster, and so on. You would be shocked at how much you pay your debt off more quickly, doing this.
  • What about refinancing your mortgage? The extra work might be worth it.
  • Refinance your student loan debt. If you have a stable job and a good credit score check out LendEDU. This tool lets you compare student loan refinancing options from 12 companies to see how you can potentially lower your interest rate.
  • If you are struggling to get a handle on renegotiating your debt, you can get BILLSHARK to do the heavy lifting. You only pay if they actually save you money, sharing the amount of the savings.

What expenses have you been able to cut to get yourself out of debt? Share with us in the comments below.

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