Getting out of debt is not easy or quick.
But if it was easy, everyone would be doing it…am I right?
With an average household debt sitting pretty at $15,950, most Americans AREN’T getting out of debt. But I like to be different, and hopefully if you’re here you do to!
Every day, I give up things to get out of debt. Most of them are small, not really missed, like brand-name groceries, most new clothes, and new vehicles. But, some of them are big things that I really, really want.
Today, I’ve rounded up 5 things I’m giving up to get out of debt, in hopes that you will understand that there is a bright side to everything.
How does this list help you see the bright side?
It’s simple: Because even though I’m giving up expensive versions of these 5 things, I’m not giving them up completely. Instead, I’ve come up with some pretty cool ways to save $1,000’s and still enjoy things like vacations, a data plan, a new kitchen, and more!
With this list, plus resources that I’ve linked to below, you can continue paying off debt without sacrificing too much!
A New Kitchen
My kitchen is small. I have exactly 5 square feet of counter space. But, it is functional. I have a fridge, stove, cupboards, and even a dishwasher.
Would I like a bigger, better kitchen?
But as it stands, my kitchen is safe, healthy, and I can cook food in it. Really, I can more than cook food in it. What I have is much better than many people have, and for that I am thankful. In less than 3 years we will be out of debt, and you better believe that I’m going to get a new kitchen.
Until then, I will be happy with the one I have.
Update: We finally redid our kitchen, because we scored an amazing deal that allowed us to knock down 3 walls, put down new tile, new cabinets, granite countertops, new lighting, an island w/cooktop, and wall ovens for less than $3,000! Post coming soon to detail exactly how we did our $25,000 kitchen remodel for less than $3,000 – plus, how you can do it too!
I need a vacation.
Don’t we all?
But, without some serious cost-saving strategies, a tropical vacation in some exotic location is pretty far out of reach while we’re paying off debt. So, even though I would love a new bikini, a flight to somewhere luxurious, and outrageously expensive (but great) food, that just isn’t possible if we want to hit our debt payoff goals.
So in the meantime, we’re taking staycations, we bought season passes to our local Six Flags, and are going camping often. We usually go at least once a month with a group of our friends who like camping, and who also have kids. Plus, we bought a pop-up camper so I can work on the road and generally be a little happier while we camp.
If staycations and camping aren’t your thing, then you should look into ways to use credit card rewards to fund them, use Digit to save for them, and use any of these strategies to save money on food while you’re there. Or, if timeshares are your thing, check out this cool way to save.
A Data Plan
You could argue that a cell phone isn’t necessary, but I’m here to tell you that in this day and age, it is. But, I don’t need some crazy expensive data plan. Or even an expensive talk and text plan. I use republic wireless where I pay $10.00 a month (plus taxes). Of course, they have an pretty affordable $25 a month data plan, but I just established that I don’t NEED it, so why would I spend the extra $15 a month?
Of course, when we’re REALLY cutting expenses, or just living large, I can add or get rid of my data plan with the click of a button!
My Free Time
Case in point: this blog. I am a freelance writer, Pinterest Marketer, take on dog sitting, and even make money from this blog. (is this really a surprise?)
I don’t really see it as giving anything up, because I really love blogging, but it does require a significant time commitment. Something that I struggle with continually is balancing family with this blog and other money-making activities (Sometimes known as a “side hustle”)
However you view it, exchanging some of your free time in exchange for a side hustle (which you ultimately earn money from) is a great example of something viable that you too can give up to get out of debt faster. Many, many bloggers do it, and publish their income reports, but if that’s not for you, check out my Pinterest Board: Making Money for thousands of ideas
A bit of my moral compass
Some of you know that I was fired from my job after being there for ten months when I went out on maternity leave. I went back to the job after, but all of my time at the job started over.
It’s crappy and I could literally write for days about it, but I have since lost all respect for the company. After I came back to work, several people were given FMLA leave who had not been with the company for a year – after the reasoning I had been given was “If we do it for one, we have to do it for everyone.”
But, this company pays me better than any other company I’ve found yet. Of course, I’m always keeping an eye out for something better, but for the time being I’m sucking it up and being happy that I’m paying off debt.
6. BACON. Just Kidding. No one would ever give up bacon :-)
Like I said before, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. If you are in payoffdebtasfastasyoucan mode you’re going to have to give things up. There is no way around that. Also, you know that delayed gratification will help you to reap long-term rewards.
Paying off debt isn’t easy. In fact, it’s downright hard. But you can do it!
If you need more inspiration for your Get Out Of Debt Journey, check out the following resources:
- 21 Ways To Make Christmas Affordable
- How We Ditched Our Budget & Started Communicating
- Our Favorite Savings Hack (+ 5 Free Tools That Will Do It For You)
- How We Paid Off $24,000 of Debt on a $30,000 Salary
- Our Net Worth Updates
- Our Budget Updates
- Resources to make extra money
P.S. Make sure to read the other half of this post, “5 Things I Won’t Give Up To Get Out of Debt”
*This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosures for more information.