Oh, the word sacrifice. It doesn't exactly ring of warm fuzzy feelings. Does it?
But remember this is a short-term sacrifice for the long-term gain of being debt free. When my husband and I were paying off debt we cut out so many things. And you know what? We really didn't miss them after a while.
So here are five things to cut out when getting out of debt. But, since I'm not a meany butt I will be sharing with you some alternatives that will save you money. (Meany butt. Yeah, I'm a grown person with children. Sure.)
1. Eating out
You knew I would say that, didn't you? All the bloggers do. But it's true. In 2016 the average US family spent $250 a MONTH eating out. That's $3,000 a year. That's a huge chunk of change that could change your debt trajectory.
So, decide that you're just not going to do it. But give yourself some other things instead, like permission to eat off paper plates every once in a while. Make super simple meals and take them to the park. Use a crockpot liner so you don't have to scrub your slow cooker after every use.
You don't have to be a house elf and feel like your tied to your stove.
Again. You saw that coming. Bust considering the average satellite bill is $130 you can save more than $1,500 a year!
But I am going to confess something. I love TV. I love it. I also love reading (I read 72 books last year!) But TV man, that's my jam.
So while we were getting out of debt I stuck with Netflix. Now I have Netflix and Hulu and I spend less than $25 a month! I can still watch shows commercial free (the next day with Hulu.) and I'm not paying outrageous cable bills.
Right now you can get $25 cash back from Ebates when you sign up for Hulu! It's basically like getting two months for free!
Now, my husband is a HUGE football fan. We live in Alabama where championships run rampant and so it was tough for him. But it was still worth it to be debt free.
3. New kids clothes
I have three boys. There are rough on clothes. There is no point in me paying top dollar. So I hit up the consignment sales, thrifts stores, and swaps to get good deals on used clothes. And then I repair what they wear out. I have put so many patches on pant legs. My kids don't look sloppy. They look cute. But I'm not buying them new things so they can look like a child Instagram model.
Have you signed up for things you don't need? Whether it's monitoring software you never use, an Ipsy bag you don't love, or magazines you never read, kick them to the curb. Sure, it's fun to get a surprise package each month, but that stuff adds up FAST.
5. Extracurriculars your kids don't absolutely love
Extracurricular activities are EXPENSIVE. Last summer I was dead set on my kids doing swimming lessons. My middle son hated them. I decided to take a break and stop paying for them for one summer. While swimming lessons save lives, if your kid refuses to get in the pool there is no point.
Same goes for piano your child doesn't practice for, basketball they don't enjoy and any other extracurricular they don't actively participate in.
NOW, I know these things are important. Kids need to learn music and how to be coached and gain life skills. But if they are miserable, why pay top dollar for them to participate. WhHy use up your gas and time and money and energy when they could be doing something more fulfilling with their time?
Okay, I would love to know what you cut out while getting out of debt? Leave me a comment below and tell me.
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