I have been living debt free for a decade now. It took a lot of focus and discipline to get there but there is security in feeling like you can handle whatever life brings.
Financial freedom allows me to take care of myself, my dependents and more importantly, it gives me a buffer for the unplanned. Should I lose my job, experience a significant illness or had some type of catastrophic expense occur, it will not devastate me.
Here are a couple of easy tips to identify immediate savings:
1. Review all your automatic payments. Are you paying for multiple streaming services? Do you pay monthly for a music app? Perhaps you signed up for a fitness app you no longer use. My point is, understand where your money is going. Determine if you can make some cuts where you are paying for unused or duplicate services.
2. No amount of saving is too small. If you use cash, get a jar and put all your coins in that jar each day and designate that jar to be used exclusively for a specific bill. If you get Starbucks 4 days per week, cut 1 day out and assign that money to pay something specific.
3. Do some housecleaning. It is amazing how much stuff we manage to collect that sits in piles, closets or in a garage. You may be shocked at the extra cash you can make quick by getting rid of stuff you don’t need anyway. I changed the hardware on some cabinets and some switch plates, they sold on Marketplace. I also had partially full cans of paint in my basement I inherited with my house, surprisingly there are quite a few DIY folks that were looking for a cheaper option than a big box store.
4. Check online for some opportunities to acquire some revenue streams without changing your habits. For example, there are a number of legitimate on line apps who pay cash for watching viral videos, reviewing movies or test websites and record your opinion. If you are spending a lot of time scrolling anyway, might as well make some extra income. You are not going to get rich this way, but if you could pay one monthly bill or designate funds to one credit card to payoff, you are making progress.
5. No matter how small or insignificant the amount may seem, put something away in savings. It may be $10 a day or $10 a month. Start somewhere, this will protect you from the inevitable unexpected car repair or medical bill.
Start small, set achievable goals.