If you are looking to pay off some serious debt and you are open to some unusual ways to cut expenses, this is the post for you. There are literally tons of ways to ditch bills, cut expenses, and make more money when you want to get rid of your debt as quickly as possible.
Here are a few unusual ways to cut expenses:
- Take in a roommate. If you are single and have an extra room, rent a room out to someone you know or find a roommate. If you have a home, this is crazy, but you could rent out a basement to someone. I know it may sound nuts, but it could work for a while. You could also use Airbnb to rent out your home while you are on vacation.
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- Go to a vegetarian diet. You can save serious money by not buying meat. Have you heard of a Daniel Fast? We have done this and our monthly budget on food was significantly less during this time. A Daniel Fast is basically where you do not eat meat, dairy, fish, or consume anything that is felt to be a treat. It is a Biblical fast which I heard about through one of my favorite books- The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.
- Give up alcohol for a period of time. This would be hard for me too. Not that I drink every day, but I do like a glass of wine every so often. Yes there are cheap wines that are tasty, but they can add up if you buy them often.
- Do a spending fast. Challenge yourself not to buy any luxury items for a period of time. Do whatever works for you- a day, a month, a year. Whatever. You will see some improvement the longer you decide to do the fast. Check out Andthenwesaved.com for more information on how to do a spending fast. Here are some other ways to break the spending cycle if you tend to spend money on things unnecessarily.
- Sell your home. If you are buried by your mortgage, sell your home. It is just a home. I know that may sound callous, but what matters are the people in the home, not the dwelling.
- Move closer to where you work. This will save on gas expenses and you will have the option to buy a house for a smaller amount, thus less mortgage payment or rent if you decide to rent. And you have less gas expenses by moving closer to where you work. Win, Win!
- Talk to your insurance agent. Do you have car insurance? Talk to your agent about how you can save money and still have decent coverage on your car for the big stuff. You can always have a higher deductible for claims and pay less on your monthly bill. My advice would be to make sure you have enough money in an emergency fund stashed away for the deductible just in case.
- Get rid of cable. Yep, get rid of it for a month and see if you even miss it. Watch movies instead or if you really like TV, go halfsies with a friend for Netflix. Netflix will at least have some TV series you can watch.
- Walk to work. This kind of goes with number 6. You can move close enough to your work that you can walk. If it can work in the budget for one person to live closer to work and the other person to drive, you can cut gas expenses on one car for daily work commute.
- Consider public transportation. Weigh the cost. If you can walk, that would obviously be cheaper, but this may also be a less expensive alternative to a second vehicle and the cost of gas.
- If you can’t sell your home, can you refinance? If you can get a lower interest rate on your home, that could help your monthly payments freeing up more money to put towards debt.
- Downgrade your cell service to a flip phone. Not the dreaded flip phone! Maybe consider downgrading just for a year. Get a no contract phone and pay down your debt like a boss for a year. Then consider upgrading again. Or you can go to Straight talk or consider saving money on your cell phone bill with these tips.
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Out of this list, I can say that we did work with our car insurance agent to cut our insurance bills. We have older cars so we don’t have all the bells and whistles for insurance. That is totally a personal preference.
We also did a Daniel Fast a few times and it saved on our food budget, but we mostly did it for the Biblical reasons. It wasn’t easy and it was one of those times when Greg thought I was nuts for even mentioning it, but we made it through and it wasn’t as bad as we thought.
The main principle behind the Daniel Fast is learning to rely on God for help with fighting temptation. We did the Daniel Fast when we decided to take control of our finances. I really think it did help us to focus on our finances and focus on God more. I do recommend it if you are looking to for help in any area of your life. I first found out about the Daniel Fast in a book I read called The Circle Maker. I love reading motivational books as I believe they keep me positive. You can check out the list of books that have change my life here and they can change yours too.
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I know some of these may sound a little crazy, but if you are all about going nuts about paying off debt, you might as well think of some weird ways to cut your expenses to mobilize cash for your debt. It is totally possible to crush your debt in a small amount of time. We paid off $78,000 of debt in 17 months by learning how to really make our money work for us. You can do the same by learning how to make your money work for you.
You can join the free Rockstar Budgeting Course to really jumpstart your way to a kicka$$ budget. You can sign up for that here.
What is the one thing you need to do today to cut your expenses? Just focus on one thing at a time. It makes it less overwhelming.
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