It is absolutely possible to fix your financial life, get out of debt, and not have to live on Ramen noodles. There are many different ways to pay down debt while keeping a lifestyle, and most of them require a real dedication to the art of self-motivation and management. Don’t be under any illusions though: getting out of debt is a task, and it’s one that can take quite a bit of adjustment. The end result, however, is well worth it. These simple tips will get your on your way to a debt free life, hopefully with a little less of Dave Ramsey’s rice and beans!
Find the Less Expensive Alternative
We live in a world of brand names, in which people will pay a premium simply for the name on the product. Now’s the time to get informed about generic brand alternatives. For instance, in grocery stores, the store will usually have a product which matches the name brand ingredient for ingredient, but without the premium to pay for the name brand or the extra shipping cost. Even products like liquor have brand and generic alternatives available. The same vodkas will, in different parts of the country, have as much as a US $30 difference in price simply because of the difference in shipping costs. Do not automatically think that higher price means better. It could be that you are just paying the manufacturing costs of an indiscriminate sales process.
Pay Yourself First
As Dave Ramsey and many other financial advisors advocate, pay yourself (put money away for savings) before you pay down any debt, even the most immediate of creditors. In this way you preserve your quality of life in the long run, and you have a cushion so that any other emergency that happens will not take you immediately back to square one.
Learn the Art of Couponing
Many online websites are dedicated to providing coupons and introductory offers from businesses. Also, do not throw away that Sunday morning coupon page just yet. Take a hard look at each of the coupons and start clipping. The newspaper actually still has a purpose, and it is to receive the coupons that come with it, so if you have stopped your daily newspaper, get it back, or buy a Sunday paper from the newsstand.
Pay Upfront for Things
Instead of paying monthly payments for large assets (outside of the house that you live in), learn to pay upfront for one large asset at a time and simply stamp down the feeling that you need everything at once. Wait another 6 months, then reward yourself again. You’ll enjoy whatever it is more and it’ll feel even better because you won’t be in debt for it.