I’d like to introduce guest author, Big Honkin. Big Honkin and I are friends in the “real world” and I’ve asked him to contribute a series of articles to No Credit Needed. Big Honkin is at the same place I was about 3 years ago: He’s ready to get out of debt. Big Honkin has joined the No Credit Needed Network. Click here. Without further ado, Big Honkin and the beginning of his story… (I’ll have a few comments at the end of the article.)
Big Honkin Debt Reduction: Big Honkin Decisions
Honkin (hawn’ – kin) adv. – an adverb used to describe the adjective big. The term “big honkin” may be replaced with “very big,” however, scholars maintain that the phrase “very big” does not convey the actual bigness of something that is
ex. I can’t eat anything else after that big honkin meal we just had.
So, I’m Big Honkin, and I want to reduce my debt. I’ve known NCN off line for a while now and as he got excited about his debt elimination, I began to get a vision for being able to do the same.
The problem? I had no idea where to start. As I logged onto No Credit Needed and listened to the No Credit Needed Podcast, I found that NCN was talking about things that are a few years down the road for me. I would seek for tips that he may have had to help me get started on the journey into debt free living, but he was already there, and now he’s talking about how much he is saving and where it’s all going. That’s all good and well for him, but what about me? What about Big Honkin?
The first issue I had in getting started was that it seemed that I was always behind on everything. Car payments, electric bill, water bill, phone bill, name it, and it was late…consistently late.
Up to this point in my life, I always though the answer was more money, or bigger paychecks. Then, I sat down and worked the numbers and realized that I was making enough in a month to pay my bills, buy some groceries, and have a substantial amount left over. What then?
Well, then comes the first step in my trip to a debt free lifestyle. Get caught up. How? Honestly, this requires a little biting of the bullet and just doing the work to get caught up. I had to look and see what I was spending, where I was spending and how much I really needed to be spending. What I found is that I had to cut out a few things for a little while. And you know what? I could do without the things I cut out in my life. What things?
1. Hobbies. I am a hobby obsessed geek. All of my friends know. My family knows. Everyone where I work knows. While hobbies are a great diversion, I fell into the trap that a lot of people fall into. I let my hobbies become too big. As I made the decision to quit spending for a while on my hobbies, I had money to put towards bills to help get caught up.
2. Entertainment. I love my movies and DVDs. I love my TV shows. All of these things cost money. Now, I think it’s important to have entertainment in your life. The problem is, I let entertainment be too much in my life. There are some TV shows during which I refuse to answer the phone. So what did I do? I decided to make a list of movies that I really wanted to see, which ones I would like to see, and which ones that if money were no issue I’d go see. Then, I decided to only see the movies that I really wanted to see, and only see them once. (I am a movie repeater, I will see a good movie three or four times…in the case of one of my favorites several years ago…17 times!)
I decided to put buying DVDs on the back-burner for a while and spend that 15 to 20 dollars on bills. I mean…that’s practically a water bill. As far as the TV goes, I asked myself..do I really need 500 channels? The answer is no. And you know what, I don’t miss any of the ones that are gone.
3. Going out to eat. I do this…A LOT!!!! To the tune of almost $100 a week on eating out at restaurants. So, I decided to brown bag it a bit to work. Be willing to shrug off laziness and cook supper in the evenings. (I’m a good cook, and I enjoy cooking.) The difference…amazing.
Overall, I had to make the decision to cut some things out. I found out that I can live without these things, and I also have a plan to phase some of the hobbies and stuff back into my life without breaking my bank again.
So, I’m caught up on my bills and working on taking the next step. Getting a budget into place. Any ideas?
As you can see, Big Honkin has already begun to make changes in his lifestyle. Comments, suggestions, and ideas are welcome! How did you get started? How did you manage that “first budget”? How did you “get ahead” so that you had money in the bank BEFORE the bills arrived?