Getting out of debt: Tips

Hey hey! We’re back. I’ve got some more tips I came across and things we’re trying … so hang on to your seat. This is a ride of your life.

Some basics

Please get a will. Especially if you’re married, even more so if you have children. We finally did this about a year ago and I can highly recommend the lawyer we used from the Law Offices of Georgette Miller & Associates which are experts at this. This actually costs money, we went with a trust situation not just a will and the total bill, back when we did it, was just over $800. Which – I know. Is a lot of money for some paper work, but it will save so much money in the long run to have really hard questions already answered in writing for when we’re not here to give the answers ourselves.**

Buy Life Insurance. This goes with the the will, Dave Ramsey has a lot to say about this one and I think he recommends Term Life Insurance only. So find a reputable insurance agent you trust and buy 10 times your annual gross income as your life insurance policy. A stay at home mom? Should probably buy what it would cost her spouse or a family member to care for her children (child care, food) for 5 years. About 250,000 in life insurance is a good place to start for a stay at home parent.**

Jessica putting money into piggy bank

Craigslist! Get to know your classifieds. Sell stuff. People will buy it. If they don’t? Donate them for the tax deduction. But most of the time, people WILL buy it. I like to go through my cupboards every couple months and get rid of the items I’m just not using. Now that we have a storage unit I’m itching a little bit thinking of all that stuff just sitting there – waiting for an exchange of ownership and some cash.

Bring a shopping list. Oy Vey. This is a hard one, but it works. Putting the time into your shopping trip to plan it out well will not only save you time in the store but atleast 20% of your bill at then end of your shopping spree trip. Especially if walking in to the store makes you feel like a kid in the candy store.

Peanut Store

Or just don’t go shopping. This one isn’t hard for me as I’ve some how developed an aversion to shopping of any kind. Last night was a good example – I had a 10$ gift card to World Market that expired today and I had to talk myself into getting in the car to go and get something for free. I didn’t pay a thing, I just walked in and picked out a pan I had been looking at earlier. But I was plagued with the idea that maybe I could use that $10 in a better way? Like buying something that would get my dollar further, coffee? Because they have a coffee club, and we drink coffee. Maybe some grocery type thing? Or put it towards the new plates we want? It was awful. Shopping for something for free should be fun, but I couldn’t stop thinking about all the useful and very functional items I already had at home and in storage. I just don’t NEED anything else. So yes, this saves a lot of money. Being a hermit.

Borrow, Host and Swap!

Host your friends instead of going out for an expensive evening. Some times the most expensive things are the things we DO. Entertainment. Experiences. I am all for this, I love experiences. But conversations are a ton of fun, too. You can even have everyone bring a dish or bottle of wine and cut down on food costs. Or just have friends over for card games. I like a life where friends are frequent.

Cocktail Hour

Borrow. A dress for a wedding? A purse for an evening on the town? Shoes from your BFF who knows what’s what about style. A super cute coat for those fall photos? A dish for a party … The ideas here are endless. In the photo below is my mother’s cake stand. I LOVE this thing and get compliments on it whenever I borrow it for a party or event, who knew they were really complimenting my mother or my awesome resourcefulness 🙂

Cocktail Hour

Swap. Swap clothes, for kids or yourself. Swap toys, swap babysitting, swap coupons and ideas. SWAP. Your friends are amazing resources for sharing and caring. If you have friends with similar aged children – offer to babysit for them for 2 hours a month if they’ll do the same in return. Get a date night (even stay in?) and have a couple hours to actually look at your spouse in the eye. Swap recipes, swap spices (they’re spendy) swap car pools or errands. Swap meals? You have a super busy night twice a month that is the opposite night of your best friend’s family?? Ask if they wouldn’t mind swapping dinners those nights. You make an extra casserole for me twice a month and I’ll make one for you on your scheduling nightmares, twice a month. (Saves the dash through drive through meals and extra fries, not to mention the budget buster of fast food.) Also? Swap for services. You know a computer guy and need something fixed? I bet he doesn’t know that you’re a wicked good pie maker, sewer, piano teacher or that you know how to get him those sports tickets he’s been talking about? Maybe he’ll have time to stop by and take a look at your printer tonight?

Last but not least for this installment … Garden! Garden for flowers, herbs and veggies. Buy an apple tree or two, get some berry bushes. If all you can do is Basil, then do it. But Garden. GARDEN GARDEN GARDEN. Not only are you then in control of how your produce is brought to the table, you will also have ample left over to swap or sell or even can.

Oh I love saving money and swapping ideas with you guys. I’m not a huge couponer even! But small changes make a big impact. What are you guys doing differently this week?

produce loot

**I am not a financial advisor even though I some times like to pretend to be one. No really, consult with your own professionals before taking some lady on the internet’s advice. Everyone’s situation is different.

For more on my fascination with getting out debt check out more posts here and here.

2 thoughts on “Getting out of debt: Tips

  1. Plan meals and shop from the front page of grocery store flyers. These are the “loss leaders” that are meant to draw you in and do all of your shopping in their store. Last week, I spent $40 at a local grocery store and saved $20. Perfect!!

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