Can you imagine waking up being free of debt, with no more insomniac nights over climbing charge card balances, no more ball-and-chain of debt running your anxieties, and no chance of threats from feared collection agencies?
It’s no secret that millions of people are afraid to answer their phones for fear of it being debt collectors.
As a matter of fact, some folk’s phones ring off the hook all day long.
Guess who’s calling them?
Debt collectors using robocalls and actual employees, that’s who.
This creates an unbelievable amount of stress and tension in the household, leaving many people feeling hopeless with no way out.
The good news is that with the proper strategies, techniques, and discipline, you can eliminate your debt.
How long it takes depends on many factors, and they all involve how much money you make, save, and invest.
Having a good defense or offense is a proverb employed in the world of finance. The meaning is that you either need to be saving more or making more money.
Today, you’re going to discover 10 Ways To Become Debt Free that will affect your budget positively.
Let’s breeze through them…
Creating a budget will help you to stay on track and make sure you have enough money each month to pay your bills and have money for anything extra that may come up.
Budgeting is not just about restricting spending and living a cheapskate life. It is about insights, wisdom, informed decisions, action, and sustained discipline when it comes to your household financials.
To give you a perspective on the importance of budgeting, I will provide you with some examples that relate to common everyday expenses of which you should be aware.
Did you know that reducing your consumption of coffee can make you $100,000 richer in thirty-five years’ time?
Did I get your attention?
Oh! How you might ask?
Well, that is possible if you begin to save the four or more dollars you spend on those pricey drinks each day at your favorite coffee shop.
If for the sake of necessity you insist on a morning beverage, making your own coffee at home is cheaper, or a smoothie that is healthier for you.
Eating out at restaurants during break periods can cost a lot of money. However, if you make it a habit of packing your lunch, you would start saving the five to ten dollars you spend at the eateries.
A major way of wasting money is through emotional buying. Look around your home and you will spot some items you bought, that you truly never needed.
So, before spending, try to make sure your aim is to get the things you really need.
Things bought emotionally never add value to your life in any way.
Those items may appeal to relieve stress, but this is only a temporary distraction, because when the thrill is gone, whatever emotional pain you were feeling will resurface front and center stage.
Emotional buying could cause tension in your relationship if you have a significant other that you live with.
Taking Advantage of Compounding Interest
You should educate yourself on the power of compounding interest as it relates to investing because it could pay off huge dividends. And the earlier you start the better.
Because you’ll have a longer time frame for compounding to take place.
For example; a 25-year-old person would have more time than a 55-year-old if they both started taking advantage of compounding interest on the same day.
By the time you are old enough to retire, your money would be sucking in huge interest to your advantage.
According to Wikipedia, Compound Interest is the result of reinvesting interest, rather than paying it out, so that interest in the next period is then earned on the principal sum plus previously accumulated interest.
The stock market is one of the best vehicles that take advantage of compounding interest.
A word of warning, if you plan on using the stock market as a vehicle to grow your money, you must do a lot of research and decide on what type of trader you’d like to become, such as a Micro-Trader, Intra-day Trader, Fundamental Trader, Buy and Hold Trader, Swing Trader, Day Trader, and etc.
You do not want to dabble here and there, because that’ll set you up for failure and financial ruin.
If you want to grow your money using the stock market, pick a discipline, and then go all-in on mastering that type of trade by modeling a proven system.
Never put all of your eggs into one basket.
If you plan to become a stock investor, only use a portion of your money to do so, because this will prevent you from losing everything.
Living Below Your Means
Living below your means, as a method of saving money, does not imply starving to save or permanently denying yourself the items you desire most.
When you live below your means, you’re practicing the principle of delayed gratification.
For example; if you plan on purchasing a luxury vehicle, why not choose a less expensive brand?
Another example is for you to take a ten-day vacation, rather than a two-week excursion.
You may be saying to yourself that we only live once, so why not buy what I want from the get-go?
Delayed gratification doesn’t mean you never purchase the things you desire.
The goal is to get out of debt first or drastically reduce it before stacking on more.
Otherwise, you’ll continue to dig yourself into a deeper hole.
It’s better to purchase that luxury vehicle or go on that 10-day vacation after getting your finances under control.
In addition, make sure the money you would’ve spent on extras such as the luxury vehicle or the longer vacation goes into your savings account.
I caution you to not spend the extra money on other things, otherwise what’s the point?
Insulating Your Home
Proper insulation of your home does assist in saving money. Research suggests that about 46% of the amount of energy you use is channeled toward keeping your home cool or warm.
Now, if your home is not properly insulated it could lead to you using more energy and paying higher utility bills.
If you use things like a double-glazed window as a means of insulation, you will be using a lesser amount of energy.
Older homes tend to have more cracks and places where warm and cool air are able to escape, which of course drives up your electric bill because of having to run your heating and cooling units for longer periods of time.
In a nutshell, you would then be saving the excess money you would have given to the energy company in the bank.
I understand that all this may not mean much to you now if you are a college student in debt.
However, I advise you to note these tips while I show you a few ideas for reducing those college debts and living expenses…
2)) Controlling College Debt
Due to the ever-increasing cost of education, having cash in surplus as a student is almost like having a fantasy.
College students always make jokes about the variety of ways they’re able to prepare ramen noodles.
It really isn’t funny.
Most students are lucky if they’re able to maintain a sizable positive balance in their bank accounts after all the bills have been paid.
However, I have found a few tips that can help keep your head up financially as a student.
Miscellaneous School Expenses
Eating out as a student can be quite expensive. It costs around $5 per day or more to do so in eateries.
I highly encourage you to limit the number of times you pay for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because this is one of the fastest ways to save money almost instantly.
For example, if you spent $10 per day on food 5 days per week, that adds up to $200 per month.
For an entire year, that’ll come out to $2400.
And that’s being conservative.
One solution to combat this is to buy groceries and prepare your meals to avoid eating out all the time and hitting the vending machines.
Otherwise, you’ll continue to leak money right out of your bank account.
Although it is fashionable to drive to school, it can really tap into your budget.
Add the cost of fuel to parking fees.
Also included is the mileage and wear-and-tear on your vehicle.
Repair and maintenance costs are outrageous nowadays.
If you’re able to, rather than driving to school, you should check your school’s website for bus schedules and carpool programs.
These programs can definitely help you save extra money.
Better still, if you live within a trackable distance, try walking to school.
Walking to school will improve your overall health by improving your cardiovascular system, which will burn extra calories.
See, you can get fit and save money at the same time.
If for any reason you cannot attend school from home, you can share an apartment with others so you share the bills involved, because living on campus can be expensive.
However, you need to exercise caution, as there is every possibility of inconvenience.
For example; are you into watching TV shows and movies?
The prices of traditional video services have skyrocketed in recent years, even for basic channels.
There are some video service providers charging as much as $175 and up per month for basic channels.
That’s pretty pricey, wouldn’t you say?
Fortunately for you, there are video streaming services that charge a fraction of what traditional service providers do.
Simply subscribing to one of the video streaming services can save you a ton of money.
Control Credit Card Spending
If you have a charge card, do not go beyond its limits as that can destroy your credit score.
Yes, I know it is necessary to have a card to assist in building your credit score even as a youngster.
Honestly, it is not a good habit to spend money emotionally to fill a void. Only do so in the event of an emergency.
However, if you cannot match the total bill, try paying above the minimum amount or go for debt consolidation.
Tip: Consult a financial expert anytime you plan on doing anything that affects your financial well-being.
Get a Snapshot of Your Daily Expenses
To know how much you will be able to spend, subtract the cost of tuition and items for schooling from the total amount you have.
Then divide the remaining by the number of days you will be spending for the session.
Now you have a picture of what your daily expenses should look like.
Using an online loan calculator can help you manage your college loans better. One such website is FinAid.org.
Sadly, many people on a daily basis find themselves getting into Credit card-related problems.
And to make sure you do not join them, I will be showing you ways to help prevent credit card catastrophes.
3)) Avoiding Credit Card Disaster
It does sound great when we hear about the recession being over from Economic professionals.
However, banks are heralding that defaults in credit cards would get worse as it has presently reached an unparalleled record.
The cause of this has been credited by a report from Reuters to the rate of unemployment rising over a 26-year high of up to 9.7%.
Depending upon when you’re reading this, that percentage will fluctuate up or down.
Sadly, the unemployment rate is predicted to increase to more than 10%.
Fortunately, there are proven ways to safeguard yourself from this downward spiral.
Firstly, you need to do away with those credit cards. They have a way of sinking you into debt.
Rather, take out a debit card from your bank or brokerage company. This forces you to take out money that you actually have from your account.
However, you need to control your spending habits, so you do not overdraw yourself into becoming a debtor to your bank.
And some banks charge outrageous fees when you overdraw your account.
Things could get complicated with multiple cards. Attempt to have only one or two at most, in which you should only carry when you intend to purchase needed items.
This is a safety precaution as buying by impulse has driven many people needlessly into debt.
If you haven’t yet developed the financial discipline, I recommend leaving your credit cards at home, unless you’re traveling a long distance or abroad, only to be used as a backup source.
You could have your credit card company set your limit on the low side, as well as the rate.
Allowing a high limit is a good recipe for buying by impulse for those who have no financial discipline.
Never allow more than you can pay back in full at the end of the month to be on your card.
Apart from safeguarding your card balance, it also prevents you from paying interest, as many firms do not place a rate if you keep up such a habit.
Do not fail to keep an eagle eye on changes in the terms and policies of your card. Watch out for changes regarding minimum payments required of cardholders and interest rates too.
If your card interest rate increases, it’s on you to seek out a lower-interest card or contact the current credit card company and negotiate it back down.
You do not need to place high interests on your shoulders. Remember, maintaining a good credit score helps to qualify you for lower interest rates.
If you have a bad credit score, you’ll almost always overpay for certain items.
Do you have reward cards? Then you should exercise some caution with them. It is reported that some holders use these types of cards to their detriment.
This happens when they take more than the worth of the card due to their lack of attention on fees and rates that accompany their credit card.
In this section, I provided you with a few examples to give you some ideas for how you can reduce costs, save some money, and avoid credit card disasters.
Next, you’re going to learn a few methods on how you can save on gas.
Yes! It will really shock you how much you have been shelling out that you could have been putting into building your financial ark.
4)) Hidden Gas Saving Methods Revealed
There is a relationship between the brand and model of your car and its gas efficiency. In that vein, trying to hybridize a gas guzzler will always prove to be an impossible task.
However, putting the following steps into action can bring about the most cost-effective rate of gas consumption.
Save On Fuel
Make sure your car tires are inflated to the recommended pressure. A regular check should be carried out on them using a tire gauge.
You can get a digital tire gauge for less than $10. Having one will also help you determine when your tires have lost some pressure due to drops in the temperature.
I recommend purchasing a portable tire inflation machine that plugs right into a cigarette lighter because it could come in handy if you’re in a remote location or even at home.
Tip: Many of the reputable tire service centers will inspect and properly inflate your tires at no cost in the name of building goodwill with potential customers.
Remove unnecessary items from your vehicle, especially if they’re heavy.
The reason is that more weight burns more gas due to the engine having to work harder to propel the vehicle.
So, take out items like boxes, tools, golf clubs, etc. in order to reduce your vehicle’s overall weight.
Air filters become dirty over time, the more your drive. Regular inspection and replacement when dirty should be your priority.
This is because you will be using more gas if the filter gets clogged with solid materials.
As much as air conditioners come in handy for cooling us down, they should only be turned on when needed.
This is because they contribute to reducing the number of miles per gallon your vehicle gets.
Your vehicle’s A/C unit has a motor that causes it to burn more gas when turned on.
Driving conservatively is also a good practice.
Did you know that constant acceleration and braking lead to more gas usage?
When possible, reduce your speed. Modern vehicles have overdrive and run at about 65 mph.
So, find out the revolution per minute of your car's ‘safe spot’ and stick to it as much as possible while driving.
Your vehicle is designed to make use of a fixed amount of gas over a certain time when idling.
Although it may be hard for you to believe, it is proven that driving with your windows closed does save you some gas.
Driving with your car windows rolled down only increases the amount of turbulence. In addition, that means more gas usage too.
Keeping your windows rolled up increases aerodynamics.
Another way to save on gas is to take the time to research the best driving routes.
Never assume that the shortest route is the best. There could be several stops to make even though the route may be shorter.
Avoid heavy traffic and roads with several traffic lights.
Finding the best routes nowadays is easy because there are countless apps that provide these options in no time flat.
Your ultimate goal is to reduce your gas station visits, which of course means you’ll keep more of your money in your pockets.
As you continue to learn more ways how to reduce the expenses associated with driving, you should explore your options on how to make money online right from the comforts of your home…
5)) Proven Methods that Generate Cash Online
Saving money in an attempt to get out of debt will only get you so far and can take a long time, depending on your unique set of circumstances.
One of the fastest ways to dig yourself out of the hole of debt is to simply make more money.
I don’t have to tell you that this is easier said than done, without following a proven system.
While there are countless ways to make money online, the following are proven:
WAY #1: Email Marketing
WAY #2: Affiliate Marketing
WAY #3: Publishing Kindle e-Books
WAY #4: E-commerce Stores
WAY #5: Create And Sell Information Products
WAY #6: Create Online Courses
WAY #7: Blogging
WAY #8: Membership Sites
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways for a beginner to make money.
At its most basic level, to get started with affiliate marketing, you simply chose the affiliate program you wish to promote, grab your link provided by the merchant, place it on your blog or website or send promotional emails that include it; and you get commissions anytime someone buys from you through your affiliate link.
Of course, there’s a lot more that goes into affiliate marketing, but that’s an overview.
As you work towards generating extra money to pay down your debt, you must avoid creating more of it.
This is what I’m going to talk about next…
6)) Avoid Accumulating More Debt
Stop using your credit cards to purchase frivolous items you don’t need. Don’t buy something if you cannot afford to pay in CASH!
If possible, do not take out any more loans before you settle your debts.
When you’re in debt, it’s easy to fall into the mindset of, “I already owe all this money, what’s a few more thousand dollars going to do?”
This type of attitude is a form of self-pity and denial, and it will not serve you if your goal is to get out of debt.
I understand how painful it can be when you see the balances steadily going up with no end in sight.
The bottom line is the more debt that you rack up, the longer it may take to pay it off.
But give yourself a big pat on the back for reading this guide, which means you’re brave enough to acknowledge your financial situation.
Because you can’t fix issues until you’re honest with yourself and admit there’s a problem.
When it comes to getting out of debt, your mind is your greatest asset, because it will allow you to connect the dots by drawing a virtual roadmap that leads to the things you desire in life.
If you want to become wealthy, you have to develop a millionaire’s mindset, because you have to believe to achieve.
That is what I am going to show you next.
7)) Mastery of the Mindset of Millionaires
People who believe in the law of attraction feel that what you think about can have a direct impact on the type of life you lead.
This means your imagination can command a life of success or failure.
Developing the millionaire mindset involves reprogramming your thought patterns, ways of thinking, as well as your habits, and the kind of company you keep.
The Way You Think
As much as birds of the same feather flock together, you may acquire the mindset of the people you hang around, for good or bad.
Sadly, you may need to break away from some friends who are bent on negative thinking if you’re serious about developing a millionaire mindset.
Actually, you’re going to have to start surrounding yourself with a new set of success-minded folks.
Let me be clear, this is not about thinking you’re better than anyone else.
Everyone knows that we become the company we keep, which is why you must surround yourself with a combination of successful people and those who are striving to become successful.
To begin developing your millionaire mindset, you could attend in-person seminars, and webinars, join virtual masterclass groups, listen to audio, and watch videos related to topics such as personal development and wealth creation.
A proven method of developing a millionaire mindset is through autosuggestion. For example; you’d keep telling yourself how successful you are as if you’ve already accomplished this.
If you apply the autosuggestion technique correctly, your mind isn’t able to differentiate what’s real or imagined.
Leave the work of making your desires a physical reality to the power of your mind.
The more you practice autosuggestion; your mind will connect the dots that could potentially generate million-dollar ideas for you to cash in on.
This is the path of a creative mind.
Believe that you are the sole architect of your success. Never give that power to your employer, your childhood circumstances, or your present challenges.
Of course, this is easier said than done, but you have to try.
Do your best to not hold any animosity or regrets. Your mind is the sole engineer of your success. Take this responsibility and work with it like an army of ants.
Enjoy every path you take with the millionaire mindset and break away from those who may want to divert your attention and keep you down with them.
Remember the old saying?
“Misery Loves Company.”
Use and improve your inner conviction to become great. However, never live in the illusion of perfection. Be humble enough to accept your shortcomings and keep learning from them too.
The millionaire mindset is the blueprint for a successful life. However, you must first employ its power toward molding good money management skills.
Now, let’s see how millionaires manage their money.
8)) Better Money Management Through Debt Control
Having a good method for arranging your bills can go a long way toward properly managing your finances…
Using a spreadsheet program or financial APP is the easiest way to keep track of finances.
Don’t complicate this, because you don’t need to mess around with all the confusing software out there to manage simple household bills.
In a spreadsheet or financial App, list all of your weekly, monthly, and yearly expenses in the order of their due dates.
Then on a weekly basis, like on a Sunday, look at what bills need to be paid.
Pay the bills and record the amount paid, the date, and the balance.
If you perform this simple task week in and week out, you’ll drastically reduce your stress levels and pay your bills on time.
Side Note: A spreadsheet or financial software is beneficial in terms of providing you’re a snapshot of your finances.
The other benefit of paying your bills on time is the positive impact this can have on your credit score.
Power Tip: If you have multiple copies of the same bills (assuming you haven’t gone paperless), shred all but the latest copies received. Because holding onto a stack of the same bills gives the illusion that your financial situation is worse than it really is, even though it may be bad.
Always check your bills for accuracy, because the last thing you want to do is overpay. Believe me, these types of errors do occur, but if you’re not paying attention, they can go undetected.
If you insist on receiving physical copies of your bills and managing them using old-school methods, then I suggest that you use separate folders for your different types based on the frequency in which you pay them (e.g. weekly, monthly, yearly).
A good practice is to write on the folder the name and due date of the bill. When the invoice comes, write on it the check number, the amount paid and the date it was paid before committing it to file.
After the bills have been paid, try to file them immediately into their various folders. Also, arrange the folders sequentially for ease of retrieval.
All canceled checks you have must be domiciled in a particular folder in the company of the statements of the bank.
Then write the dates in the folder.
You may also want to make a different folder for bank statements and “For Income Taxes.”
Once things like medical bills and real property taxes bills are paid [these bills can be deducted from your tax returns], keep them filed in “For Income Taxes” instead of the paid bills file.
Also, tag one folder “Investments” and use it in housing all paper-works that emerge because of 401(K) or IRA for each year.
For each month, you must have a folder for all receipts. Put these folders in a box with the date of the year clearly marked on the box. For each year, start a new folder system and a different box for storing them too.
It’s a lot of work, but doing this regularly has a lot more advantages for you. For example, it helps you keep track of your spending habits.
The evil of overspending is mainly disastrous when you are not keeping records. In addition, you will be able to determine your cash inflow and outflow.
This will help you in case you want to take on a project. You need to first determine the cost to know if your present financial status can carry the weight or not.
Getting organized this way is a good step toward wealth creation.
It’s not sexy, but it’s a necessary step in managing and reducing your debt.
There is no such thing as becoming debt-free without managing your finances because the two go hand-in-hand.
The folks that are able to keep their wealth make money management a priority.
Speaking of wealth creation, I would like to introduce you to the real estate business.
It’s been responsible for making many ordinary people millionaires. Although real estate investing has become a lot more difficult than it used to be, those willing to adapt to the changes have the potential to make a fortune.
Are you ready?
9)) Real Estate Money-Making Secrets
Do not be fooled by adverts with the promise of providing you with a get-rich-quick program.
Falling for such claims is a recipe for disaster. However, the real estate business is full of rewards if only you exercise patience and are willing to become a landowner or renovate a property to sell (a.k.a. flipping).
The real estate business is making millionaires each year as investors put their money where it is bound to appreciate either by selling the property or becoming a landlord.
To startup, you need to search for the kinds of properties that appeal to you. There are usually great offers on foreclosures and short sells.
You could do the search for a good property in the company of a skilled realtor or on your own.
Make sure when it is time to buy a property on foreclosure you investigate the property to determine the amount of work needed to revamp it before going into the bargaining proper.
There are many skills involved in landing a good deal on foreclosures.
If you are not skilled, try employing a realtor with a track record of success. You really do not want to pay more for less.
A good skill to have is the knowledge of what cash flow stands for. Briefly, it is what is left over when you subtract expenditures on a property from your revenue. You must fight hard to keep a positive cash flow all the time.
In addition, you need to have a good understanding of your credit report. Keep track of your credit history and do everything within your power to improve your credit score so you’ll have a good financial standing if brought under a microscope by loan lenders.
Try to keep debts as low as possible.
To kick-start your real estate business you may need to get a loan from a financial institution you know and trust.
If doing so is not possible, try learning how to buy a property using other people’s money (OPM).
Note that in all purchase contracts of a property there are hidden charges. You can get a good understanding of this if you meet with a knowledgeable banker.
One way of staying at the top of your game is by looking into opportunities outside the real estate box.
One such is Green construction because there is a possibility they can sell for more than those traditionally constructed.
The long and short of the real estate business is either buying low and selling high or collecting rent from your tenant(s).
Anything outside that may just be another way of talking you into real estate investing, rather than a new method of money generation through real estate.
Make note of your business plan with a focus on the future of your investments. Stay glued to this plan into the future.
Remember, there is no “get rich quick” plan that has and will ever work for anyone.
10)) Powerful Steps to Bouncing Back From A Recession
Being prudent financially is a proven way to stay afloat during harsh financial times.
However, just being so at such times is never enough. Making frugality a way of life is a disposition that shows the value of income.
It is never synonymous with poverty. Rather, it helps you to provide a good cushion anytime the need to handle some financial burdens such as unexpected surprises like car repairs, home repairs, emergencies, etc.
This type of lifestyle also provides for things like going on vacations with family and friends.
You see there’s no deprivation.
What You Ought To Know
Just in case you are not in the know of what your expenses are for each month, try keeping a record of every receipt for the space of 1 to 3 months.
Classify the receipts into things like clothing, groceries, bills, gas, eating out, movies, etc.
The next step is to figure out where you need to cut down on costs.
Frugal people are those who make use of coupons on purchases. Use a few of the many Apps to find rebates and coupons to use where applicable.
These apps remove the frustration of finding rebates and coupons, unlike the old-school methods that required you to physically clip them from newspaper ads.
The end results will justify all the time spent doing so.
You can visit local thrift stores to save even more money. You can also get some good deals if you keep checking local consignment shops for superior-quality items.
On the flip side, you can make money by taking all of your unused and old essentials to your local consignment shop.
Apart from the fact that you save money when you save energy, it also helps promote a healthy environment too.
For example; turn off all the lights in the morning as you leave for work. Also, reduce the heater temperature and sleep under thick blankets to keep warm.
To help extend the life of your washer and dryer, make sure all your laundry is done in a day.
Doing so will save the energy those appliances would have used if you were to do your laundry in multiple small batches.
You can save a lot if you are able to put a stop to online impulse buying, for items you don’t need.
I could go on, but let’s wrap this up…
And there you have it, you just learned 10 Ways To Become Debt Free along with a few examples to give you some ideas to get you thinking.
And if you start applying what you learned immediately, it won’t be long before you start chipping away at that mountain of misery.
However, before you start your debt-elimination journey, let me warn you: Inaction and denial are the enemies of progress.
This is a fairly common mistake that plagues even the strongest-willed person.
The problem is, when financial problems are ignored, debt continues to go up.
Fortunately, this is easy to avoid. All you have to do is be aware of your need to take control of your debt, which you’ve already acknowledged just by reading this short guide.
And then start taking action on what you’ve learned.
Mounting debt is the cause of many divorces and arguments among couples.
Debt is also responsible for all types of health problems such as high blood pressure, stress, ulcers, depression, migraines, heart attacks, etc.
In these tough economic times, the hope of reducing debt may be the furthest thing from your mind or you may feel as though this goal is impossible to pull off.
Take comfort in knowing that if you buckle down and take control of your finances, you’ll begin to see that you can pay down or pay off your debt.
It may take some time to do so, but the sooner you start the faster you’ll get there.
If you choose to let your debt defeat you, then you may go to your grave owing a lot of money to a lot of people and institutions.
I’ve repeatedly stated that it’s easier said than done throughout this guide because I know how difficult it is to save money when you’re already struggling.
But you have to try because you owe it to yourself to do your best by creating the best life you can.
This guide touched on many different topics.
I recommend that you invest in more detailed training on specific topics that interest you the most if you want to master those subjects.
So go ahead and get started by applying the tips that relate to your unique situation and which make the most sense to you.
Good luck on your debt reduction journey!