Alright, I think that I FINALLY have everything set-up, just like I want it. I have the blog, here at ncnblog, and the podcast, and the brand new ncn network, up a running. So, now I have MULTIPLE formats for getting out the message of debt freedom. I hope this is not “too much” for readers, listeners, and participants to keep up with. I think I have set things up so you can enjoy some or all of what I have to offer, and you can pick or chose whether to listen, comment, read, participate, etc.
So…this will be a rather long post, so hold on, baby! Dork!
You are broke. You are tired. You work hard everyday. You have nothing left in your bank account after paying your bills. What are you going to do? YOU are going to change. YOU are going to change your circumstance. YOU must make a decision to take a step (or steps) in the right direction. Really, it lies with YOU.
Now, when it comes to debt reduction, there are 2 MAJOR ways to increase the amount of money that you can put towards getting out of debt. One, you can spend less money each month on other items, and use that “saved” money to pay-off your debts. Two, you can make more money each month, and used that “earned” money to pay-off your debts. Now, I used a COMBINATION of the two when getting out of debt. I found various ways to DECREASE my monthly spending (less eating out, no dry-cleaning, cutting off satellite radio, decreasing satellite television bill,etc.) and I found various ways to INCREASE my monthly earnings (revise tax withholdings, use eBay, barter for items or services, etc.). Now, spend a few minutes and BRAINSTORM. List 5 things you can do RIGHT now to decrease your monthly spending, thereby increasing the amount you can pay towards your debts. I’ll give you 10 ideas to get you started. You come up with the rest on your own:
1. Lose some (or all) of your satellite or cable TV channels.
2. Raise your auto insurance deductibles. (BE SURE you have the deductible amount in your emergency fund BEFORE you raise the deductibles. YOU DO NOT want to have to borrow money for your deductibles.)
3. Have a continuing drug prescription? Check with your pharmacist or insurance carrier about discounts for generic and/or bulk supplies. I can buy 3 months worth of Lunesta for the 2 month charge.
4. Stop renting movies. (There are some really good TV shows on now, like Lost and 24. Plus, you COULD read a book… Or listen to my podcast!) Shameless PLUG!
5. Lose the “features” that you pay for on your home phone or cell phone. Do you use Call Forwarding? How about the supplied Calling Card? (I found a 1.00 charge for a calling card on my local bill, and I have never even SEEN the card, much less used it.)
6. Turn off unused lights and turn down the thermostat on your hot water heater. This can save money, and in the case of the thermostat, prevent nasty hot-water burns.
7. Need a ride. Share a cab, call a friend, or carpool.
8. Pack your lunch! PBandJ sandwiches are good enough for 3rd graders, and they are good enough for you, MR. Broke!
9. Brush your teeth. This will save on your dental bills, and people will like you more. Go, do it now, stank breath! (Dork!)
10. Coupons, coupons, coupons. Make a list, find coupons for the items YOU WILL USE, and use the coupons.
Now, we have made our lists of the things we can do, or begin to do, TODAY!!! If you think about it, you have just taken your first “step” towards debt freedom. I don’t care how much you owe, or how much you weigh, or how much you need to save, every journey we take truly does begin with one simple step! And, you just took it. You made a plan to save money, and you took some action to carry out that plan. Good job! 5 Stars! (God, I am cheesy).
So, you have some ways to “save” money. Now, let’s find some ways to EARN more money. Again, my list of 10. You will have your own.
1. EBay, duh.
2. Yard sale. Your junk? It could be someone else’s junk, by say, 10 days from now.
3. Get a second job (or third)… I never did this, because I am not that ambicious. I wish I were, but I am not.
4. Start a web site or blog, track your progress, put ads on it. (There are MANY MANY bloggers out there WAY more successful at marketing themselves than I am. Alas, I shall continue to slave away for 1 ad click per day.)
5. Ask for a raise. Sounds simple, right? When was the last time you did this? Hmmm..That’s what I thought. (Me neither…Man, I am preaching to myself now!)
6. Get a higher interest rate on your savings. Check out BankDeals for more info. Remember, interest is INCOME!
7. Have a hobby? Turn it into a paycheck! Simple, easy, fun! (This one is just a joke… Sounds like a 3 AM infomercial…) Seriously though, if you have a hobby, and would like to turn it into a job, it will take hard work, effort, and energy. If you are up to it, go for it!
8. Learn to barter. While not technically an increase in income, it does “create” a means of wealth outside of using money. Babysit? Mow Grass? Trade your services for other services, your time for other time. My wife will babysit, for free, for her friends, and they will do the same for us.
9. Clean out your closet, and donate your old clothes to charity. You can claim this on your taxes, AND you will fill better about yourself.
10. This is a unique one. Grow your own food. This may or may not be a frugal, money saving, or money earning idea, but I had to fill up the list. I THINK that you could grow your own food, say veggies, and come out with a “profit.” If you grow enough veggies that others like, you might be able to sell them, give them as gifts, or trade them. This is probably a regional tip. I might actually try to have a garden this year.
There you go, 20 tips, free of charge, for having MORE money available for paying off your debt. Now, the last tip. Ready? DON’T FORGET to actually use the extra money to pay off your debts. DO NOT waste this “extra” money. Remember, the borrower is slave to the lender, and you are “buying” your freedom, day by day, hour by hour, dollar by dollar.
GO, GO, GO, GO, GO!!!
(Oh yeah, go to your online bank, RIGHT NOW, and send 5 dollars to your lowest balance debt. Do it. You will be 5 dollars closer to your goal. Remember, forward is forward, whether it is one foot, one mile, or one inch at a time. The idea is to always be moving forward)