There are 24 hours in a day. 168 hours in a week. 8,736 hours in a year. We all have the same amount of time to work to earn an income, spend, cut back, budget, and invest. No one gets “extra time”. It’s all the same.
But I’m sure you’ve heard someone else complain about their situation. Their bills are too high, they can’t afford to put gas in their car to get to work. So on and so forth. Many of these people also have a big screen TV, cable, and smartphones with expensive data plans. Seriously? You can’t afford to get to work, but you can afford $200 in extra service bills each month. Interesting.
Photo by anitakhart via Flickr
Don’t be that guy (or gal). Be different. Cut the crap you don’t use or need. Take that money and use it to better your financial situation. Funding an emergency fund or maxing out your Roth IRA is hard, but not if you sell a bunch of your stuff and cut back in other areas. Here’s how.
Cut Crap You Don’t Use
Do you have a gym membership you never use?
Or a magazine subscription that you don’t have time to read?
Or… well, you name it. I could go on forever.
Bottom line: there are probably some services in your life you don’t use, but you still hand your money over to a company. Or maybe you do use the service sometimes, but it isn’t a necessity.
Cut that crap. Cut it now. Imagine being able to pay down your debt faster because you have an extra $100 per month from cutting your cable. Or $50 per month because you decided you could run outside rather than on the treadmill at the gym.
We’ve all got these services. If you really don’t think you can fund an emergency fund, cut back until you can.
Sell Your Stuff
Remember that HDTV I mentioned? And that fancy Blu-Ray collection?
Yup, need to go. Get as much money for them as you can.
Don’t have an HDTV? Okay, what do you have? A majority of you reading this have a lot of “stuff”, but no money. It’s a simple equation. Turn your stuff back into money… as much as you can. Then make sure you don’t turn right back around and buy back new stuff using debt.
You can sell stuff on eBay, on Amazon, on Craigslist, or to your buddy at work. But raising funds for critical areas like an emergency fund isn’t hard. Even $1,000 to start your fund off is a good place to be. Sell $700 worth of stuff and cut back $100 per month on services. In 3 months you’ll be at $1,000 and a much better place financially.
It Isn’t Fun
I’m not going to tell you being in this situation is fun, but you have a simple choice to make. Do you want to keep living the financial life you’ve been living, full of debt, anxiety, and being flat out broke? Or do you want to be different?
Cutting back on crap you don’t use and selling your stuff is a quick way to be different. Right now.
Your To Do List
- You spend money on services you don’t need or use. Cut them.
- Take the money you were spending on those services and pay down debt, save, or invest.
- Sell your extra stuff in your house to quickly build an emergency fund. You’ll be better off for it when that rainy day comes next week.
Kevin Mulligan is a debt reduction champion with a passion for teaching people how to budget and stay out of debt. He’s building a personal finance freelance writing career and has written for RothIRA.com, Discover Bank, and many others.