Whether you feel debt-free living is just a few paychecks away or you feel retirement will always allude you, this post is for you.
I’m a stay at home mom of four in southern California. We’re debt free. No, we weren’t born into a celebrity family nor did we win the lottery. It’s simpler than that. We spend fewer dollars than we bring in each month.
At the end of the month, after you’ve finished paying bills, are you wondering where your money went? The first step to getting debt free is figuring out where your money is going. Good money goals get achieved when you have a strategy. You can do this! When your financial goals become your achievements, what an exhale that will feel like – debt-free, vibrant living!
Take a few minutes to look through all the credit card bills and withdrawals you’ve made this past month (looking at the last 3-9 months is even better).
Food is often the area where people most spend the most money (and happily, it’s the easiest one, in many people’s experience, to cut drastically without lessening your quality of life by much).
Tally up what you’ve spent on groceries, fast food, restaurants….any amount that has been spent on the food and drink you consume. What does that look like this past month? How much does that look like over the last few months?
We went from spending $1500/month to $233/month on food for our family of six in Southern California, and we surprised ourselves with the fact that we’re eating tastier than ever. (You can learn about that more by clicking here.)
Do you know what we decided to do with what we’d saved on that silly grocery bill? We decided to max out our contributions to my husband’s retirement accounts for the year and we still have leftovers to take our family to Europe. (Norwegian airlines has some amazing prices for tickets from the US to Europe.)
Once you’ve tallied up where your money is going each month, decide if those are needs or wants. If they’re wants, is there something you want more? What if you nixed those wants, in order to save the money, to spend on what really matters to you. A fast food burger is so forgettable. If you’re spending $8 per lunch per day of the work week per year($8 * 5 * 52 = $2,080), is there some other way you’d rather spend that money?
What would you do with the money that you’re currently spending on paying off debt?
Dream a little.
List what matters most to you. If you were looking back on your life, what would you hope you’d be spending your money on that is more meaningful and unforgettable? Use that to spur you on to get passionate about saving money and spending less! You can do this!