I’m sure you’ve heard the statistics about the amount of consumer debt the average North American family has, right? In Canada, for every dollar of disposable income that Canadian households have, they owe more than $1.70 in debt.
Whenever I hear the issue of money come up among my friends and co-workers, it is always to say that they don’t have enough of it. They complain about their credit card bills and talk about how high their mortgage is.
To be clear and upfront with you, I currently have some debt related to a recent epic trip I went on. I’m currently doing whatever I can to pay down this debt within a few months. Luckily, I no longer have student loan debt and my car is paid off. Here are 3 things I’m doing to get debt-free:
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Getting Clear on the Why
Something that helps me spend less and save more is writing down my goals. Knowing that I want to save money for a trip or to be able to own property one day helps me when I am tempted to spend money on unnecessary things.
At least once a year I make a vision board filled with pictures and words to help me visualize my goals. The phrase “debt-free” or some version of it has been on my vision boards on more than one occasion. I have photos on my board related to how being debt-free and financially secure (by my own definition) feels like. To me, it feels like freedom. It feels like being able to do the things I love to do with the people I love most.
Tracking my Spending and Saving
Knowing exactly how much money I’ve spent each month helps me see the “leaks.” By using a money-tracking app I can see which categories I’m spending too much money in. Like, maybe I need to eat out less and cook my own food more often. One app that I use is EveryDollar. I create a monthly budget and can even sync my bank account to it so everything is much more easily tracked.
Actively Seeking out Support from my Community
I’ve recently found blogger Sarah Von Bargen’s Facebook community, where we discuss money and debt related issues. Sarah’s blog Yes and Yes has tons of blog posts and free eBooks to help you out when it comes to spending less and saving more money. Sarah emphasizes the importance of spending less money on things you don’t love, not on deprivation.
If you search for money-related groups online or in person, I bet you’ll find like-minded people who are in a similar situation as you. These groups can help you feel supported as you get out of debt.
If you’re seeking to get out of debt, it may be a good idea to consult a financial expert. If you need further assistance, there are debt relief services to help you out.