People ask my wife and I all the time, “how did you pay off $50k and get out of debt in 11 months?” To which we answer, “we lived in an RV!”
I know what you may be thinking… “I don’t have an RV.” “I don’t want to live in an RV.” “I like my house.” “That’s just plain crazy!”
Don’t worry. We understand all those concerns. We probably thought the same thing when we started out our getting out of debt journey.
Lucky you, this post isn’t about convincing you to live in an RV to get out of debt. It’s more about how thinking outside the box can help you find the right mix of things that will serve you on your financial journey. Maybe that is living in an RV, or maybe it’s taking smaller steps towards your goals with money.
Our guest post today is brought to you by personal finance blogger and entrepreneur Zack from www.yourmoneyyourfreedom.com!
As you already know, we lived in an RV for 11 months to focus on paying down our university education loans. We have written about the “why” behind this in a previous post, so we won’t get into it here. The short answer is that we wanted to be out of debt so we could do more of what we love, which is to travel more, worry less about money, and hopefully retire a little early. There were a few things that really enabled us to accomplish our goals of becoming debt free. Here they are:
#1 Set Goals That Challenge Your Daily Life & Write Them Down to Get Out Of Debt
There is a lot of evidence that suggests that goal setting and writing down your goals has a high impact on whether you succeed at reaching them or not. We sat down and listed our financial goals one by one so that we could be very clear what we were aiming to accomplish. It’s important to set goals that challenge the way you operate daily.
If you really want to transform your money habits, cut your spending money in half and put the rest towards your debt.
Reduce eating out. Cut down on the late-night bar spending. Do whatever you must to challenge your habits with money.
#2 Be Okay with Saying “No”
This is one of the most important things to master if you want to be “good with money”. We are surrounded daily by advertisers selling us things to “make our life better” or solve perceived problems we have.
If you want to get out of debt, you must realise this. Once you do, make a commitment that the next time you THINK you need to purchase a new television or brand new car, you really don’t. Not likely anyway.
You must challenge yourself and be okay with saying “no” to all the unnecessary things that you are used to spending money on.
This also goes without saying that the small items such as a soda or candy bar at the fuel station every time you stop for gasoline also add up. You will be amazed at how much you can save and put towards debt if you cut out small expenses!
#3 Stick to Your Plan (Even When Things Get Hard)
The truth is, becoming debt free is a lot harder than it seems. It takes a lot of dedication and work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long to get into debt but that’s why so many people are trapped financially by it. That’s why you must stick to your goals. Commit that you will not give up early, no matter how hard things get.
There was a point that things got very difficult living in the RV. Where we are from, the winters can be harsh. We became very worn down with trying to maintain a “comfortable” lifestyle in because we felt cramped up inside all day.
Luckily, we have all four seasons here, so we just stuck to our plan and waited until the seasons changed.
Finances are very similar. Sacrificing for a season can be hard but the season will change!
It was all worth it. When Spring came, we were new people! Sticking to your plan when things get hard is not easy!
Just remember, things get hardest right before they get easier!
#4 Stay Inspired
Finally, to reach your goals, it is important to stay inspired. We loved reading debt payoff stories when we were working on becoming debt free. It is an absolute must to read blogs like the A&J Muse and others because they give you the inspiration to move forward.
You will learn that you are not alone in your journey to get out of debt. There are a lot of amazing stories out there that people have written that will challenge and inspire you.
In the end, you must decide what will work best for you. Those four things are some of the things that really helped us pay off our debt.
To this day, we could not be happier that we took the steps that we did to become debt free. It was not always easy but it was worth it.
We enjoy life a lot more now that we are debt free. We are not tied down to big monthly payments that drain our account. Now we can set our sights on doing the things that really matter to us.
Here’s my challenge for you. Ask yourself how thinking outside the box can help you pay off your debt faster. Leave a comment below!
Think of where you want to be in a year or two from now and work backwards from there. You will be surprised what you can come up with if you follow the guidelines above!
Make sure you check out Zack’s site www.yourmoneyyourfreedom.com right now and sign up. He’s got some big things coming in the near future you do not want to miss!