If you’re looking for proven ways to control your debt
As young farmers and college graduates, my husband and I know a thing or two about proven ways to control your debt. We’ve spent a decade getting out of it.
After 5-6 years of college and graduate school, I had racked up thousands of dollars in debt. A short while later, I received my first payment statement. But that wasn’t all.
Since I was done with school, I was also entering the adult world. We had just bought our first farm with a house on it to live in. We were planning our wedding and buying animals to put on our farm. Not to mention fencing in those animals and building shelters.
Not only were we busy…we were spending a lot of money and racking up more debt.
Luckily, there was a very dim light and my husband is VERY GOOD with money. He’s very good with budgets and has amazing determination when he puts his mind to something. This post is dedicated to him in hopes that it will help you, too.
In this post, I will:
– Share 7 proven ways to control your debt.
– Provide valuable trips and tricks in order to save money and pay it down on debt.
– Cheer you on and give you hope as you begin your own journey towards successful money management.
This can be a difficult topic to tackle because money can be a sensitive subject. I’m going to share examples from my own journey in the best way I can to help you succeed. Let’s begin.
1. Keep Track of Your Money with a Budget
When you have money coming in and going out, it can be difficult to keep track of.
My husband and I both had good jobs after college but we still wanted to pay off our debt as soon as possible. So, we decided to get some part time jobs. I’ll go more into that in a little bit.
But what it meant for our budget is that we had more money coming in to keep track of. And since we were busier, it did mean that we would have more fast food or gas receipts from running around.
So, keeping track of the receipts by entering it into a budget template became really helpful to us. We could keep track of exactly what money would come in and go out so we could plan how much to put down each month on our debt.
2. Find a Second Source of Income
Ok, now for those extra jobs. How in the world did we do this?
Our main jobs had us working around 40-60 hours per week. So, whatever we found had to be flexible. Jobs we could work at very odd hours of the day. We were literally working around the clock.
For us, they were great opportunities that were brought into our lives through our main jobs. Both of us because online instructors through the local community college.
I began teaching fitness classes through the YMCA early in the mornings.
Plus, after our cows had calves, we had sales from animals that first year, too. These are just a few examples and there are many more out there. To find a second income, you need to be open to new opportunities and relationships.
There’s so many flexible ways to make more income. You can even start your own from your hobbies! The possibilities are endless.
3. Sell Unwanted Items Around Your Home
Look around you. Do you see a lot of stuff you don’t need?
Boy, do I ever. You don’t need maybe half of the stuff in your house. But someone else might and they’ll pay good money for it!
There’s many free online places to post your items for sale. I have used:
– Facebook Market Place
– My Own Facebook Profile.
You can also sell via word of mouth, which is my favorite way. Selling to someone you know or can talk to personally is usually a no fail way to sell anything.
A few sales tips:
– Take good quality pictures.
– Write three positive things about the item.
– Include the price.
These are the main things people will ask for so you’ll want to include them in your sales pitch.
4. Use Extra Money onto your Debt Payments
So now, you have all of these extra money from sales and jobs. What’s next?
Well, you’ll want to make sure you are aware and understand the terms of your loans and if you can put more down on them. You’ll also want to notice interest rates. Pay the loans with the higher interest down first.
We always took the loans that were hurting us the most and paid them off first. Some of the farm loans are 0% interest, so we didn’t bother paying them off until we had some other loans paid off first.
Make a list of all of your debt and organize it from biggest to smallest. As you pay off loans, use the same money you were paying on the loans to pay off the next one. Before you know it, you’ll have them all cleaned up.
5. Change Your Mindset to One That Loves Money
You might laugh at this one, but it’s true. You have to love money to manage it.
I wasn’t always this way. I didn’t always love money. But over time, I have learned that it can do amazing things for your lifestyle. It can help you GIVE more to others. There’s so many GOOD things to see about money.
Loving money is not a bad thing at all.
In our family, we all have bank accounts as well as cash storages for emergencies. We also dabble in the stock market for our retirement fund.
It’s not about living with a lot. It’s not about having a lot and needing more. It is about using money as a RESOURCE to live the life you want to after you pay off your debt. You have to have money to pay off the debt, so focus on that first and you’ll be golden. Over time, you’ll fall more and more in love with having it around.
6. Set Money Aside to Spend First
When you set your monthly budget and paying off debt is your first goal, plan out all your expenses you know you’re going to have.
Then, assign pieces of your income to your expenses. You have to pay your bills. Then, what’s left?
Your debt. Loan payments. Decide how much of whatever is left from your income or your side jobs to put towards your loans. Take a moderate approach or a risky approach, depending on what you have left to live on. If you’re good at being disciplined, you can be more risky with paying off debt.
7. Avoid the Shiny Objects…Stick To Your Goal!
I get it. It’s so hard to save money and budget to pay off money already spent.
When I was paying off my student loans as a young adult, there were so many temptations. Other couples and friends our age were going out and having fun, spending money eating out, going to concerts and events, etc.
But we didn’t do that because we were determined. And we had each other. Having an accountability partner can really help, so that’s another good tip I have. Find someone who is going to keep you well on track and not allow you to spend your hard earned money on something shiny.
Together, our life now is not without debt. It’s hard to grow a business or a farm without debt. But we do live very comfortably and are used to managing it.
7 Proven Ways to Control Your Debt Before It Destroys You
These are life long and life changing money saving tips. Notice I never said, “Get rid of the credit cards” or “Pay Cash for Everything.” I don’t believe that’s a sustainable practice.
You don’t need to be afraid of money. You need to learn how to MANAGE it.
There’s one thing to keep in mind with controlling debt. That is to paying it off in a very timely manner. If you use a credit card, have a plan to pay it off each month. If you buy something big with a loan, have a plan in place to pay it off within five years.
When you have a control on your debt, you’ll have control of your own lifestyle. You’ll have the freedom to do whatever you want to do.
I hope this post with 7 proven ways to control your debt will help you to do that. You work hard and stay determined – And you’ll be so surprised at yourself for achieving your goals.