There are various schools of thought related to getting out of debt and how to go about it. As you all know, Brittany and I learned from Dave Ramsey and believe that the faster you get out of debt, the less money you’ll end up paying in the long run and the faster you’ll be able to start using the money that you earn. If you’re not already convinced to attack your debt and get rid of it as fast as you can, these 11 reasons may get you to jump on the wagon.
1. Monthly Bills. You will have one (or multiple) less payment per month. This means that you will spend less money on “living” (i.e. rent, utilities, debt) and more money on L-I-V-I-N (i.e. trips, pedicures, vacations).
2. Your money is YOUR money. Goodbye to your conscious that says, “Don’t go out to dinner with that extra money because it’s not YOUR money, it’s the government’s” and hello to your conscious that says, “Go to dinner and treat your friend because it’s YOUR money”. Living on an income that is not exactly YOURS because you owe it to debt makes me feel guilty if I’m spending money on anything other than necessities. I’m ready to be able to use my money how I want!
3. Gifts for others. You know all those weddings and birthday parties you go to and bring a $25 gift card or a homemade item because you can’t afford anything more? Once your debt is gone, you can give more meaningful gifts to friends and family.
4. Food. I don’t know about you, but I love food! I love a variety of healthy, whole foods but can’t afford ALL of the healthy food that I want all the time with my current grocery money budget. I make it work for me right now, but I could easily extend my food budget a little more to include a larger variety of whole, organic fruits and vegetables. Going out to dinner at restaurants with healthier foods is also a priority when I’m debt free. Right now, Mexican it is!
5. Social Life. I’ve actually been able to sustain a pretty great social life while on a budget. Realistically, I don’t think much will change when I’m out of debt except for attending more shows, concerts, and races.
6. Work. Work seems harder when you NEED it. I show up to work everyday knowing that I NEED the money that I am making that day. One day, it will be nice to go to work knowing that I WANT it versus NEED it. Luckily, I have a job that I absolutely love, but I also NEED it.
6. Travel/Vacation. This is another area that I’ve been able to sustain while being on a budget. The downside is, when I purchase flights to various places around the country, it takes money away from my debt snowball or savings. When I’m debt free, I will be able to enjoy a separate “travel fund” which will allow me to guilt-free budget for trips without taking money away from another area of the budget.
8. Volunteer/Donations. There are so many great charities out there to donate toward or volunteer for. When you’re working your debt snowball, there’s little room for monetary donations and little time to “work for free”. It will be nice to be able to donate or volunteer for wonderful charities and organizations once I kick Sallie Mae out of my life.
9. Treat cho self. This is probably the most selfish and vain item on my list, but it is just so true. I want to get my nails, eyebrows, and hair done by someone other than myself and without that being my “social event” of the week! Can I say “wardrobe upgrade”?! Although these things are not the important things in life, I could use some new summer dresses and running shoes.
10. Relief. If I don’t get out of debt FAST for any other reason, THIS is the sole reason I want to get out of debt FAST. Relief. Relief of debt bills. Relief of owing someone. Relief of deciding where my money goes. Relief of visiting friends and family. Pure relief of telling my money where to go, and making sure it’s NOT going to Sallie Mae.
11. Savings. Remember that house I want to buy one day? That years worth of flights to visit friends and family I want to have? The new bed? TV? Retirement?! I can’t start saving significantly until I get out of debt…so stop procrastinating and DO IT NOW!
For more information on starting a personal budget, check out our Getting Started tab at the top of the page.