We’ve been debt-free for about eight months now – we paid off about $21,000 of debt in about 21 months, and we currently have $16,000 total in our savings accounts. Here are a few ways we saved money to make this happen:
- Buy used. I love thrift shops! We buy anything from clothing and shoes to home organization and decor products second-hand, usually from Goodwill but also other thrift shops as well. Most of my kids’ wardrobes (and mine as well) are second-hand. You can save hundreds every year if you buy used.
- We switched to ordering our groceries online through Walmart Pick Up over a year ago. Since then, we’ve been able to stick to our budget and save a lot of money on food costs: we can see the total amount in the cart, get only what we need, and we’re not tempted by the all of the goodies in the store.
- Another way to save on food costs is to meal plan and prep. I started doing this every Sunday afternoon, also over a year ago. If you have a basic plan in place and meals ready, you’re not as tempted to eat out after a long day.
- Add another source of income, if only temporary. I started working in November of 2018 after eight years of being a homemaker. I was laid off a month ago, but that extra income for those 17 months was a necessary extra boost to eliminating our debt quicker and getting our savings rolling.
- This one may be obvious and is probably the most difficult in our culture of instant gratification, but don’t spend any money on anything you don’t need or can’t afford! You only need basic necessities – food, clothing, shelter, fuel for transportation to/from work, and utilities – to survive and even thrive. And if you can’t pay for something in full at the time of purchase without a credit card or payment plan, then you can’t afford it, so you don’t need it! In other words, be content.
I hope these tips inspire and motivate you to start (or continue) saving more money today!