9 Best Tips On How To Prepare For A Recession

9 Best Tips On How To Prepare For A Recession

9 Best Tips On How To Prepare For A Recession

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These are 9 things you're gonna wanna know when the 2020 recession hits.  Click to learn how to prepare for a recession so you can survive a recession!  Don't miss these recession tips.   Download your checklist, too! #recession #2020

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Ugh, a recession.

Nobody enjoys the idea of their income plummeting or their finances being ruined.

But, unfortunately, here’s the deal:

The United States (as well as other parts of the world) are likely heading towards a recession in 2020.

(If we’re not already in one, as some experts think.)

So, let me ask you this:

Will your finances survive if/when a recession hits next?

(Here’s a hint:  They will after you read this and make the 9 best money moves to prepare for a recession.)

What Is A Recession?

So, like, what the heck even is a recession?

A recession happens when there is a large decrease in economic activity.

Or, in other words:  You enter into a recession when there are HUGE drops in spending.

…Such as when the world is hit by a pandemic that causes people to lose their jobs, stay home, and stop spending money.

But, there is good news:

You can prepare your finances for a recession and rebound strongly.

Just use these 9 tips:

How To Prepare For A Recession In 9 Simple Ways:

1.  Review Your Budget

To prepare your finances for a recession, start with the basics, such as your budget.

For starters, review your income and expenses to make sure you’re living within your means.

Then, create a zero-based budget to make sure that every cent you earn is being spent strategically.

Using a budget (like the zero-based budget) to help you spend your money on only bills, necessities, and savings will be HUGELY beneficial to you when a recession hits.

When preparing your budget for a recession, you also want to avoid unnecessary fees – like late fees on missed payments or overdraft fees.

So:

To avoid this, use a resource like our Budget Boss Binder to track your bill pay, personal spending, and bank account balance.

2.  Get Rid Of All Unnecessary Spending

When you’re preparing for a financial crisis, you need to stop spending money on things you don’t need.

Trust me:

That $5 you spend every morning on coffee and that $78 Target run are better spent in your savings account.

So, to get rid of your unnecessary spending, do these 3 things:

1.  When you’re preparing your budget for the month, don’t account for personal spending.  Pay your bills, buy your groceries, and that’s it!

2.  Switch to Chime Bank to get rid of ALL banking fees (and get a $50 free gift)

3.  Sign up for Trim who will scour your bank records to find subscriptions you didn’t know you were still paying for (and get rid of them!)

However much you save from these tips, move that money into your savings account to have on hand for the *hopefully unlikely* occasion that you are personally affected by job cuts or pay decreases due to a recession.

3.  Stop Paying Off Debt (And Do This Instead)

Ok.  I know what you’re thinking:

“I should stop paying off my debt?!”

And here’s the deal:

No.  You should not stop making your minimum debt payments.

But, in the event of a recession, you should stop pushing your extra cash towards paying off debt (like when you’re using the snowball or avalanche methods).

Instead, move the extra cash that you would normally put towards paying down debt into a savings account.

Bottom line?

When a recession hits, you just don’t know when you’ll need large sums of money on hand, so make your minimum debt payments but no more than that.

There is a silver lining though:

These are 9 things you're gonna wanna know when the 2020 recession hits.  Click to learn how to prepare for a recession so you can survive a recession!  Don't miss these recession tips.   Download your checklist, too! #recession #2020

Interest rates usually decrease during a recession.

So, you have 2 options to take advantage:

  1. Ask your lender to decrease your interest rate OR
  2. Consolidate your debt using a personal loan with a low-interest rate

Lowering your interest rates will decrease your overall debt, so it’s a win-win that you definitely should take advantage of when a recession hits.

4.  Increase Your Savings

When a recession hits, you want to:

a.) have a well-stocked savings account, and

b.) have as much money flowing into your savings account as ever before.

 So, if you don’t have one already, I highly recommend starting an emergency fund that would cover 3-6 months of wages.

To grow your emergency fund quickly, create a budget that automatically sends money to your savings account each time you are paid.

And, as I mentioned, get rid of your personal spending allowance and stop paying more than your minimum debt payments and put that extra money into your savings account.

Read Next…

Wouldn’t it be nice if your bills paid themselves and your savings account grew on autopilot?

Well, with this budgeting method, they can!

5.  Ride Out Your Investments

During a recession, stocks and other investments are bound to take a hit.

But, here’s the deal:

Don’t panic and make rash decisions about your investments just because you read some article floating around on the internet.

Yes, your investments are going to take a hit during a recession.

But:  They will improve as the economy improves.  So, if you withdraw your investments now, you’ll be losing money.  If you ride it out, you will see a better outcome over time.

And, better yet:

If you continue investing during a recession, you’ll be able to scoop up stocks at record low prices.  Then, when things turn around for the better (as they always do), you’ll see large returns on your investments!

A great way to get started with investing is with the Acorns app.

Using your spare change, Acorns helps you build a portfolio of exchange-traded funds.  All you need is $5 to get started here!

6.  Earn Extra Money

Having extra money flowing into your bank account is awesome all the time – but especially when a recession hits.

Because consumer spending drastically decreases during a recession, you might be subject to lay-offs or reduced hours.

This sucks.

But:

If you have multiple streams of income, you will fare much better during a recession.

To start bringing in extra income into your life, do these 3 things:

1.  Start a Side Hustle – Side hustles are the perfect way to earn extra money.  For instance, you could open an Etsy shop, start a YouTube channel, or rent out extra space in your home on Airbnb.  Honestly, the possibilities are endless when it comes to side hustles – simply use a skill you already have and profit off of it.

2.  Freelance – Another great way to profit off of a skill you already have is to become a freelancer.  You could become a freelance writer, editor, accountant, and more.  To find high paying freelance work, check out Fiverr, Task Rabbit, and Flexjobs.

3.  Blogging – You can turn a pretty profit from blogging if you do it correctly…like $10k a month!  Learn how to start a blog by reading this guide or buy a blog that’s already profitable.

Bottom line?

Get started earning extra income ASAP.  This money can fund your savings account for when a recession hits and/or be your safety net if you lose income due to a recession.  It’s a win-win, always.

7.  Reevaluate Your Interest Rates

I touched on this when we were talking about debt, but it is worth mentioning again:  When a recession hits, interest rates usually take a nosedive with the economy.

You MUST take advantage of lowered interest rates by doing these 4 things:

1.  Credit Cards – Reach out and ask your creditor to consider decreasing your interest rate to match current trends.  If this doesn’t work, consolidate your credit card debt with a personal loan that has a low-interest rate.

2.  Mortgage – Refinance your mortgage for a lower interest rate.  You can get a quote from Credible in just 3 minutes without affecting your credit score.

3.  Student Loans – Refinance your student loans for a lower interest rate with Credible.

4. Car Loans – If you have a car loan, work with your current creditor to lower your interest rate or shop around for better options.

Here’s the deal:

When you lower your interest rates, you’ll save tons of money in the long run – something that is invaluable when you’re in a recession.

8.  Earn Cash Back On Purchases

Did you know how easy it is to earn cash back on purchases you’re already making?

Seriously, there are apps out there basically handing out free money.

Here’s how they work:

You shop at the places you love, they give you money back automatically.

Use these 3 cash back apps to save money (and make money) on everyday purchases:

1.  Ibotta – Simply download the Ibotta app (and snag $10 free dollars), connect your debit/credit card, shop as usual, and earn cash back automatically on qualifying purchases.  You can withdraw your earnings using PayPal or Venmo!

2.  Rakuten (AKA Ebates) – Before online shopping, go to Rakuten.com.  Then, enter the stores you wish to shop at and earn as much as 20% back on all your purchases.  When you sign up today, you’ll get $10!

3.  Dosh – Just like Ibotta, Dosh will give you cash back automatically for qualifying purchases.  All you have to do is download the Dosh app, connect your debit/credit card, and shop as usual.  You can earn cash back at grocery stores, restaurants, and more.  Click here to sign up and score $5!

Bottom line?

Don’t let free money sit on the table when you could be sending it back to your bank account without even trying.

9.  Decrease Your Fixed Expenses

When a recession hits, you’re going to survive a lot longer when you don’t have as many bills to pay.

So, to prepare your budget for a recession, decrease your fixed expenses right now.

To get started, list out all of your fixed expenses.  Next, create a game plan for how to decrease every single one.

For example, these are the things I did to decrease my fixed expenses (plus some other helpful ideas):

1.   for a lower interest rate with Credible ( in only 3 minutes without hurting your credit score!)

2.  Begin paying your mortgage bi-weekly to pay it off quicker

3.  Ask your landlord for a rent decrease in exchange for signing a longer lease (we cut $100 off our rent when we signed a 2-year lease!)

4.  Get rid of cable (and WiFi if you have a mobile hotspot) (getting rid of both cable and WiFi saved us $140/month!)

5.   with a lower interest rate (I saved $150 a month by doing this!)

6.  Trade-in your current car (if you’re paying monthly for it) for a cheaper option

7.  Refinance your car loan for a lower interest rate (doing this cut my car payment down by $75!)

8.   to compare rates and switch to the cheapest option (this saved me $35/month!)

9.   to negotiate lower prices for your cable, internet, and cell phone bills

10.   for a lower rate or sign up for income-based payments so you only pay as much as you can afford

11.   to decrease your phone bill by over 50% (seriously, they have plans starting at $15/month!)

As you can see, I saved $500 a month by taking a few hours out of my day to decrease my fixed expenses.

Trust me:  It is well worth your time!

10.  Chill The Fuck Out

When a recession hits, it is easy to lose your cool and start to panic.

But:  Try your best to chill outtttt.

Because, here’s the deal:

When you make decisions based on impulse (because you’re freaking the fuck out), you don’t always think your decisions through.

You see, on impulse, you might end up withdrawing an investment that bounces back just fine — and then you’re SOL.

Bottom line?

A recession will come and it will go.  And it will be hard on some and harder on others.  But, a clear head always makes better decisions, so take a deep breath and chill the fuck out before doing anything cray!

(Honestly, this is a great time to start meditating and practicing gratitude!  There is always something to be grateful for, even when it feels like the world is collapsing in on you.  Find those moments of gratitude and focus on them instead.)

This might sound crazy, but:

You’re gonna be hella prepared for a recession now that you read this post.

Simply take one step at a time and do the hard work now so you aren’t screwed later.

And:

Download your free recession checklist by signing up for our resource library below!

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you got this,

– michelle

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These are 9 things you're gonna wanna know when the 2020 recession hits.  Click to learn how to prepare for a recession so you can survive a recession!  Don't miss these recession tips.   Download your checklist, too! #recession #2020
These are 9 things you're gonna wanna know when the 2020 recession hits.  Click to learn how to prepare for a recession so you can survive a recession!  Don't miss these recession tips.   Download your checklist, too! #recession #2020
These are 9 things you're gonna wanna know when the 2020 recession hits.  Click to learn how to prepare for a recession so you can survive a recession!  Don't miss these recession tips.   Download your checklist, too! #recession #2020

Keep reading…

25 Free Budget Printables For 2020

25 Free Budget Printables For 2020

These are the best free budget printables to organize your finances! Included in this roundup, you’ll find budget templates, debt pay off trackers, savings trackers and challenges, expense trackers, and more. Click now to download your free budget printables to organize your finances or create your DIY budget binder! #budget #printables #free #freeprintables #budgetprintables #templates #budgeting #freebies #finances #budgetmoney #worksheets

The Debt Snowball Method To Pay Off Debt Fast

The Debt Snowball Method To Pay Off Debt Fast

READY TO AFFORD 

THE LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS?

You've landed in the perfect place to budget better, save smarter, and make money from home.

Connect with our community and gain special access to our free library of printables, templates, and courses!

The Debt Snowball Method To Pay Off Debt Fast

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Becoming debt-free is no easy task.

Between high-interest rates and an inability to afford more than the minimum payment, paying off debt can feel like an impossible task.

But, fear not!  I have good news:

These are the five best budgeting methods.  I bet you're ready to afford your dream life. I know I was! That is when I transformed my finances, starting with my budget. These are the 5 best budgeting methods to help you afford your dream life. If you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck, pay down debt, or save more money, one of these budgeting methods will help you. Being responsible with your money means creating a plan. These budgeting methods are the best to do that. Click to discover which budget method works best for you.
Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.”  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, WSW will receive an affiliate commission.  Additionally, Who Says What is a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Please review our Privacy Policy for more information.

When you use a debt payoff strategy, like the Debt Snowball Method, becoming debt-free will become your reality.

Today, we’ll go over:

  • what the debt snowball method is,
  • the pros and cons of using this method,
  • how to set up your own debt snowball,

and more.

Now, let’s dive in so you can become a debt-free badass ASAP.

WHAT IS THE DEBT SNOWBALL METHOD?

The Debt Snowball Method is a strategy for paying off debt that has you prioritize your debt payoff in order from lowest amount owed to highest.

In other words:

When you use the snowball method, you will make minimum payments on all your debts EXCEPT for the one with the lowest total amount owed.

For your debt with the lowest total amount due, you’ll pay your minimum balance PLUS all EXTRA income until this debt is paid off in full.

Next, repeat this process for all of your debts until you are debt-free.

THE PROS & CONS

One of the reasons why paying off debt is so difficult is because most of us can’t afford more than our minimum payments.

Because of this, even if you continue to pay your minimums on all of your debts, month after month, your total debt won’t decrease by hardly anything.

But, when you use the debt snowball method, you will be able to knock out your lowest debts first, which frees up tons of money for paying off your larger debts.

This is the biggest pro to using the debt snowball method: You won’t feel like you’re in a never-ending cycle of debt payoff.

Now, you might be wondering:

“This sounds great and all, but if I can’t afford more than my monthly minimums, where is this extra cash coming from to put towards my lowest debt?”

Well, in order to free up money for extra debt payments, you’re going to have to do three things:

  1. Reevaluate your current budget
  2. Cut unnecessary expenses
  3. Track your spending

Don’t worry:  I’m not gonna leave you hanging.

Let’s take the time to go over each of these steps, now.

1.)  Reevaluate Your Current Budget

Do you have a budget that you stick to each month?

Maybe yes, maybe no?

Either way, take the time to reevaluate your current budgeting method by:

1.  Writing down your monthly income sources and your monthly expenses

2.  Next, subtract your total monthly expenses from your total monthly income to see if you’re living within or beyond your means.

If the number you calculated is positive, then you are living within your means and have extra money each month – extra money to put directly towards paying off debt.

If the number you calculated is negative, then you are living beyond your means and are spending more than you earn each month.  

Therefore, you will have to minimize unnecessary spending and decrease your monthly expenses to free up money for your debt.

Keep reading to learn how to decrease your monthly expenses by up to $1,000!

Read Next…

Need help starting a budget?

Click to learn about the 5 best budgeting methods and decide which one is best for your lifestyle!

2.)  Cut Unnecessary Expenses

When you take the time to actually write down everything you pay for each month, it becomes very obvious which bills you’re overspending on and which bills you can get rid of altogether.

So, first things first, write down all of your expenses (and mark which ones are fixed expenses and which are variable expenses).

(Monthly Expense Organizer found in our Budget Boss Binder)

Next, take your variable expenses and get rid of all non-necessary items, such as cable and take out money.  Then create a budget for the rest of your variable expenses such as $100/week for food and $20/week for gas.

Finally, let’s look at your fixed expenses – things like rent, car insurance, and cell phone bills.

Go down your list and make a plan to decrease each item (if you can).

For example, you should:

These are just a few examples of how you can easily decrease your monthly expenses by hundreds of dollars — hundreds of dollars you can now put towards debt!

Read Next…

Who knew saving hundreds of dollars could be so simple?

Furthermore, who knew you were missing tons of opportunities to save money on things you already buy?

Click to learn 101 ways to save money!

2.)  Track Your Spending

Do you know how much money you spend each month on coffee?  Trips to Target?  Random late-night shopping sprees?

It’s cool.  Neither did I.

It wasn’t until I started tracking my spending in a budget planner that I realized this:

It is insane how much money I was spending without even realizing it.

And, you probably are, too.

It’s a simple fix though:

Start tracking your spending in a budget planner and then stop your bad spending habits.

This budget-saving tip freed up $250/month for me to put towards debt!

HOW TO SET UP YOUR DEBT SNOWBALL

Awesome!

Now that you’ve freed up tons of money to put towards your debt, you can finally set up your debt snowball.

It’s super simple, just follow these steps:

  1. List your debts in order from the lowest total due to the largest total due
  2. Make your minimum payments on all debt + put all extra money towards the debt with the lowest total balance until it is paid off
  3. Put your first debts minimum payment towards your next lowest debt + all extra money until it is paid off
  4. Repeat this process until all debt is paid off

Let’s see each step in action….

STEP 1:  List your debts in order from lowest total balance to highest

Before diving into your journey to becoming debt-free, it is crucial that you know exactly how much debt you have.

So, make a list of every debt you have, including your minimum monthly payment and your total balance due.

Then, number this list in order from your lowest total balance to your highest total balance.

(Make sure you’re not forgetting any debts by using a copy of your credit report from Credit Karma!)

For example:

  • Debt 1 – Credit Card #1: $70 minimum payment + $3,000 total balance
  • Debt 2 – Credit Card #2: $145 minimum payment + $5,000 total balance
  • Debt 3 – Car Loan: $390 minimum payment + $8,500 total balance
  • Debt 4 – Studen Loan: $100 minimum payment + $11,000 total balance

**To help you with this step, I’ve created a super simple worksheet that you can download as part of your Budget Boss Binder.

*Debt worksheets included in our Budget Boss Binder

STEP 2:  Make minimum payments on all debts + put all extra money towards debt #1

This is when you’ll start paying off your debt by making minimum payments on all your debts EXCEPT your number one priority debt.

On your debt with the lowest overall balance, make your minimum payment + put all your extra money towards additional payments.

I know, I know.  Extra money.  Ha!

The reality is that most of us don’t have extra money lying around (or we probably wouldn’t be in debt).

So, don’t forget these tips:

1.  Refinance your mortgage for a lower interest rate & start paying biweekly

2.  Sign up for Trim to cut your cable, phone, and WiFi bills in half

3.  Switch to Mint Mobile to save hundreds on your cell phone bill

4.  Refinance your car loan for a lower interest rate

5.  Shop around for lower car insurance

6.  Invest in energy-efficient options to reduce utility costs

7.  Consolidate your credit card debt into a personal loan to decrease your interest costs and create one low monthly payment

8. Refinance your student loans for a lower interest rate

9.  Switch to Chime Bank (it’s SO simple!) to get rid of all banking fees (and get a FREE $50 gift right now)

10.  Make & stick to a budget

And, lastly, you can always make more money to put towards your debt by asking for a raise, working overtime, getting a second job, starting a blog or side hustle, selling your stuff, renting out a spare bedroom in your home, and more.

Here is what step #2 should look like:

  • Debt 1 – Credit Card #1: $70 minimum payment + $3,000 total balance  MAKE $70 MINIMUM PAYMENT + ALL EXTRA MONEY YOU HAVE
  • Debt 2 – Credit Card #2: $145 minimum payment + $5,000 total balance – MAKE $145 MINIMUM PAYMENT
  • Debt 3 – Car Loan: $390 minimum payment + $8,500 total balance  MAKE $390 MINIMUM PAYMENT
  • Debt 4 – Studen Loan: $100 minimum payment + $11,000 total balance  MAKE $100 MINIMUM PAYMENT

You will continue step #2 each month until debt 1 is paid off in full.

STEP 3:  Put debt 1’s minimum payment + extra money to debt 2

Once your first debt is paid off (yay!), you can put its minimum payment + all extra money towards your next debt.

This means that your second debt shouldn’t take as long to pay off because you’ve significantly increased the amount of money you have to put towards payments.

For example:

  • Debt 1 – Credit Card #1: $70 minimum payment + $3,000 total balance – MAKE $70 MINIMUM PAYMENT + ALL EXTRA MONEY YOU HAVEPAID OFF
  • Debt 2 – Credit Card #2: $145 minimum payment + $5,000 total balance – MAKE $145 MINIMUM PAYMENT + $70 MINIMUM PAYMENT (FROM DEBT 1) + ALL EXTRA MONEY
  • Debt 3 – Car Loan: $390 minimum payment + $8,500 total balance – MAKE $390 MINIMUM PAYMENT
  • Debt 4 – Studen Loan: $100 minimum payment + $11,000 total balance – MAKE $100 MINIMUM PAYMENT

Once debt 2 is paid off, put debt’s 1 and 2’s minimum payments towards debt 3, and so on.

STEP 4:  Repeat this process until you are debt free!

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the debt snowball and have paid off your first two debts, you’ll simply continue the same process until you are debt-free.

By the time you’re working to pay off your 3rd, 4th, 5th, debt you’ll have so much money to put towards payments that clearing your debt will become a breeze.

Woo-hoo!

HOW TO MAKE SURE YOU  STICK TO YOUR DEBT PAYOFF PLAN

Now, sticking to your debt payoff plan is easier said than done.

So, how do you make sure you follow through each month on your debt snowball?

I’ve got two ways to motivate you to continue paying off your debt:

  1. Create a reward system
  2. Track your progress

Firstly, after you pay off each debt (or half of each debt), reward yourself!  Go out on a celebratory date, buy a new outfit, pop some champagne, etc.

After paying off large sums of debt, you should acknowledge and feel goooooood about such a big accomplishment.

Secondly, and most importantly, you should track your debt repayment progress each month to make sure you’re sticking to the plan.

To track your debt repayment progress, I highly recommend using our Budget Boss Binder.

When you use our Budget Boss Binder to track your debt repayment progress, you will be able to map out your budget each month to make sure you’re putting as much money as possible towards paying off debt.  You’ll also be able to track your debt payments using a monthly tracker.

And, I’m excited to tell you:

Because we love our readers so much (where would we be without you!?), we’re offering our Budget Boss Binder for only $9 (66% off) RIGHT NOW.

Just click the link below!

SPECIAL OFFER!

SAVE $18 RIGHT NOW

When you act fast, you can download our best-selling Budget Boss Binder for only $9!  But, quick!  This deal ends tonight at midnight!

Alright!  There you have it!

A complete guide to the debt snowball method for paying off debt!

Will you be using this strategy to become debt-free?  Or do you have a better way?  Leave a comment below!

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DESTROY YOUR DEBT!
– michelle
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Ah, 2020.

She snuck up fast, didn’t she?

I know you want to afford the best year of your life (cuz why wouldn’t you), and I’ve got a secret:

These are the five best budgeting methods.  I bet you're ready to afford your dream life. I know I was! That is when I transformed my finances, starting with my budget. These are the 5 best budgeting methods to help you afford your dream life. If you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck, pay down debt, or save more money, one of these budgeting methods will help you. Being responsible with your money means creating a plan. These budgeting methods are the best to do that. Click to discover which budget method works best for you.
Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.”  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, WSW will receive an affiliate commission.  Additionally, Who Says What is a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Please review our Privacy Policy for more information.
You’re gonna need to make some money changes in 2020!

Because here’s the dealio:

To afford an epic 2020 (I’m talking bills paid, debt gone, savings up, vacations booked), you need to make some money New Years resolutions!

These are the best money new years resolutions to get started with next year:

1.  Start Budgeting

Having a budget will relieve tons of money stress that you don’t need weighing you down next year.

To get started with budgeting, read this post and choose a budgeting method that works best for you.

Once your budget is set up, don’t forget to track it throughout the month to make sure you’re sticking to it!

2.  Save money on expenses

If you take a gooood look at your budget, I’m willing to bet that we’d agree on this:

You’re wasting money each month!

Next year, vow to stop throwing your hard-earned cash out the window by saving money on your expenses.

These are my top 3 ways to save money on your expenses:

1.  Connect your bank accounts to Trim who will analyze your spending and negotiate lower prices for your bills. (I saved $150/month after signing up for Trim!)

2.  Switch to Mint Mobile to decrease your cell phone bill by $100+!  (Don’t worry, you can keep your current phone.)

3.  Use $5 Meal Plans to save tons of money on food.

Related Reading: 14 Ways To Save Mad Cash Every Month, Trim Review: Scam Or Legit?

3.  BECOME DEBT FREE

Debt is a total money sucker.  And, an unnecessary expense.

And, while debt can seem like a never-ending hole you’ll be trying to dig yourself out of forever, you’ve got to start somewhere.

Next year, use the debt avalanche method or personal loan consolidation to work towards becoming debt-free!

4.  Build an emergency fund

Start building an emergency fund next year to prepare for unexpected expenses, job loss, and more.

This emergency fund challenge is a great place to start for this money New Years resolutions!

5.  STOP USING CREDIT CARDS

Credit card debt can wreak havoc on your finances if you aren’t smart about paying back your balance.

And, unfortunately, most of us are using credit cards as replacement income and cannot afford to pay much more than our minimum payments.

This means one thing:

You’re spending wasting a crap ton of money on interest costs (and will for yearssss!)

So, next year, STOP USING CREDIT CARDS for good.

(Got credit card debt?  Use this guide to save money while paying it off.)

6.  SAVE FOR A HOUSE

Make a money New Years resolutions to challenge yourself to save for your dream home this year!

We’ll be doing it with you 🙂

7.  BECOME MORE FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE

Do you know exactly how much money you make each month?  How about how much money you spend each month?

If not, you could benefit from becoming more financially responsible next year.

Because, here’s the real deal:

If you don’t know how much money you’re making or spending, you aren’t making wise financial choices.

So, to afford your best year ever next year, organize your finances with our Budget Boss Binder and set yourself up for financial success!

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When you act fast, you can download our best-selling Budget Boss Binder for only $9!  But, quick!  This deal ends tonight at midnight!

8.  START INVESTING YOUR MONEY

To start investing your money, you can:

1.  Use an investment app like Acorns to make investing super simple

2.  Invest in an income property that you can rent out or list on Airbnb

3.  Read this guide on how to start investing in the stock market

9.  CULTIVATE A POSITIVE MONEY MINDSET

Being rich (and affording your best life) all starts with your mindset.

This is crazy, but:

Your thoughts about money (i.e., “I don’t deserve to be rich,” “I am poor.”) will dictate whether or not you achieve your financial goals.

It really is true:  If you think you are poor, then you will remain poor.

So, next year, make certain that you crush your money goals by focusing on a positive money mindset!

You can get started by reading this post and saying these money affirmations.

10.  START SAVING FOR RETIREMENT

Start saving for retirement with a Roth IRA.

11.  BE MORE FRUGAL

Here’s the deal:

You can live frugally and still enjoy your life (and money).

Better yet:

You need to live frugally to afford your best life.

Look at it this way:  If you embrace a frugal lifestyle and save money on things like food and clothes, you’ll free up tonssss of money for things like vacations and experiences.

To live more frugally in 2020, read this ultimate guide to frugal living!

Read Next…
Who knew saving tons of money could be so simple?

Furthermore, who knew you were missing tons of opportunities to save money while buying the things you already do?

12.  DONATE MORE MONEY

Remember how I mentioned that your thoughts about money determine your reality with money?

Well, the same goes for your actions with money.

You see:  When you give your money away to charities you’re passionate about, people in need, or communities in despair, you’re showing the universe that you’re living a life of abundance, gratitude, and love.

And in turn, you’ll receive more abundance, gratitude, and love.

So, donate more money (or time) next year <3

13.  ORGANIZE YOUR FINANCES

Organize your finances like a boss in 2020 by using our 40+ page Budget Boss Binder!

14.  EARN CASH BACK FOR YOUR PURCHASES

Stop leaving free money on the table next year by earning cash back for your everyday purchases.

The best way to earn the most cash back is by doing this:

1.  Use Rakuten (Ebates) when shopping online to earn instant cash back on your purchases (You can also score cash back on in-store purchases by connecting your debit/credit card to your Rakuten account.)

2.  Download the Ibotta app and upload pictures of your receipts to earn easy cash back.

3.  Connect your debit or credit card to the Dosh app to earn instant cash back on eligible purchases (without doing any work!)

Doing these 3 things puts $100 (or more) back in my wallet every single month!

15.  STOP FIGHTING WITH BAE ABOUT MONEY

Ugh.  Fighting about money is so overrated!

Don’t let something silly like money ruin yours and bae’s relationship.

Instead, either work together to set up a budget or split your financial responsibility 50/50 to avoid future fights about whether or not you can afford that late-night Taco Bell run.

16.  FIND WAYS TO TRAVEL MORE ON A BUDGET

Do you wish you could travel more but don’t know how you could ever afford to?

Next year, do these 3 things to make traveling a priority in your life:

1.  Add a travel category to your budget where you put aside money specifically for traveling

2.  Use discount travel websites, Airbnb, and Groupon to save money on flights, hotels, and activities

3.  Create a travel saving plan to afford your ultimate dream vacation

Ahhhh, see ya in paradise cool

17.  TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT MONEY

It is never too early to start teaching your kids the value of a dollar.

(Honestly, I wish somebody had taken the time to teach me before I got my first apartment!)

Knowing how to budget and manage your spending is an essential part of life, so do your kids a favor and set them up for financial success at a young age.

This post will give you tons of ideas and activities!

18.  MAKE MORE MONEY

Making more money is always on my to-do list.  And that remains true as we head towards 2020.

Use these ideas to increase your income next year:

1.  Start a blog (make as much as $10k/month!)

2.  Manage a few side hustles

3.  Ask for a raise

4.  Switch careers

5.  Invest in an income property

6.  Rent out spare bedrooms on Airbnb

7.  Take surveys in your spare time

8.  Get paid to watch TV

9.  Purge your home and sell your stuff

10.  Postmate on the weekends (use code FL-XP1V7 at signup!)

Ballin’!

19.  SWITCH TO A BETTER BANK

Paying fees to your bank is sooo last year.

Next year, don’t be caught paying outrageous fees because you overdrafted your account by $2.37.

How, do you ask?

By switching to Chime Bank, of course!

But for real:  Chime won’t hit you with a fee when your account is overdrawn, there are no minimum account balances, and you will get your paychecks two days early when you bank with them.

Oh…and just when you thought it couldn’t get better, it does.

When you sign up for a Chime bank account, they’ll deposit $50 into your account! money-mouth

You can read more about why I love Chime in this post.

20.  REFINANCE YOUR STUDENT LOANS

Got student loans?

Get rid of them next year by refinancing them with Credible to lower your interest rate and reduce your monthly payments.

21.  DECREASE YOUR PERSONAL SPENDING

Do you know how much money you spend on fast food each month?  Trips to Target?  Coffee runs?

Get in the habit of tracking your personal spending next year.  (You’ll be shocked at how much money you’re spending!)

Then, you can redirect that money into a savings account for your next vacation!

(Our Budget Boss Binder includes spending trackers!)

22.  AUTOMATE YOUR BUDGET

Automating my budget was the best. thing. I. ever. did…(sorry kids!)

I [almost] never have to think about budgeting anymore since setting up an automated budget!

You can learn how to automate your budget by reading this post.

23.  TRY A NO-SPEND CHALLENGE

Do you think you could do a no-spend challenge for the whole entire year?

Hey, tell me I can’t and I’ll show you I can!

24.  INCREASE YOUR CREDIT SCORE

This is one of my favorite money new years resolutions:

Join the 800 club by working hard to increase your credit score next year.

You can do this by paying down debt, paying your bills on time, diversifying your loan history, and more!

25.  DON’T LET MONEY DICTATE YOUR HAPPINESS

Because we need money for what feels like everything, it can be difficult not to correlate it with happiness.

But, at the end of the day, we must all realize that money is not the most important thing in life and having a lot of it doesn’t automatically mean we’ll be happy.

So, in 2020, set money new years resolutions to continue improving your money mindset so you can be happy with what you have and open to receiving more abundance!

There you have it!  

The 25 best money New Years resolutions to afford your best life in 2020!

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– michelle
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25 Free Budget Printables For 2020

25 Free Budget Printables For 2020

These are the best free budget printables to organize your finances! Included in this roundup, you’ll find budget templates, debt pay off trackers, savings trackers and challenges, expense trackers, and more. Click now to download your free budget printables to organize your finances or create your DIY budget binder! #budget #printables #free #freeprintables #budgetprintables #templates #budgeting #freebies #finances #budgetmoney #worksheets

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The Ultimate Guide To The Debt Avalanche Method For Paying Off Debt

The Ultimate Guide To The Debt Avalanche Method For Paying Off Debt

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The Ultimate Guide To The Debt Avalanche Method For Paying Off Debt

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Paying off debt is haaarrrdd work.

Between high-interest rates and an inability to afford more than the minimum payment, becoming debt-free can feel like an impossible task.

But, there is good news:

These are the five best budgeting methods.  I bet you're ready to afford your dream life. I know I was! That is when I transformed my finances, starting with my budget. These are the 5 best budgeting methods to help you afford your dream life. If you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck, pay down debt, or save more money, one of these budgeting methods will help you. Being responsible with your money means creating a plan. These budgeting methods are the best to do that. Click to discover which budget method works best for you.
Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.”  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, WSW will receive an affiliate commission.  Additionally, Who Says What is a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Please review our Privacy Policy for more information.
When you use a debt payoff strategy, like the Debt Avalanche Method, becoming debt-free will become your reality.

Today, we’ll go over:

  • what the debt avalanche method is,
  • the pros and cons of using this method, 
  • how to set up your own debt avalanche, 

and more.

Let’s dive in so you can become a debt-free badass ASAP.

WHAT IS THE DEBT AVALANCHE METHOD?

The Debt Avalanche Method is a strategy for paying off debt that has you prioritize your debt payoff in order from highest interest rate to lowest.

 In other words:

When you use the avalanche method, you will make minimum payments on all your debts EXCEPT for the one with the highest interest rate.

Next, you will put as much extra money as you can afford towards paying off your highest-interest debt until it is paid off.

Finally, you’ll repeat this process until you are debt-free.

THE PROS & CONS

One of the reasons why paying off debt is so difficult is because of high-interest rates.

Because of interest rates, each month when you make a payment, part (or in some cases almost all) of your payment will go directly to the loan company and only a small amount will go towards lowering your overall debt.

But, when you use the debt avalanche method, you will save tons of money on interest in the long run by eliminating your high-interest rate debts first.

This is the biggest pro to using the debt avalanche method: You won’t waste tons of money paying off interest.

Now, you might be wondering:

“This sounds like the best answer for paying off debt, how can there be any cons?”

Well, while you will save a ton of money, usually your highest interest rated debt is your largest, thus, it might take you a long time to pay off this debt.

Because of this, using the debt avalanche method can result in low satisfaction when you do not see huge progress after making many payments.  And with this, comes a lack of motivation.

However, with that being said, I still believe the debt avalanche method is the best strategy for paying off your debt if you want to save money in the long run.

HOW TO SET UP YOUR DEBT AVALANCHE

Setting up your debt avalanche plan is super simple.

Just follow these steps:

  1. List your debts in order from highest interest rate to lowest
  2. Make your minimum payments on all debt + put all extra money towards the highest interest rated debt until it is paid off
  3. Put your first debts minimum payment towards next debt + extra money
  4. Repeat this process until all debt is paid off

Let’s go over each step in more detail, now:

STEP 1:  List your debts in order from highest interest rate to lowest
Before diving into your journey to becoming debt-free, it is crucial that you know exactly how much debt you have.

So, make a list of every debt you have including how much you owe, your interest rate, and your minimum monthly payment.

Then, number this list in order from your highest interest rate to your lowest interest rate.

(Make sure you’re not forgetting any debts by using a copy of your credit report from Credit Karma!)

For example:

  • Debt 1 – Credit Card #1: 27.5% interest rate, $8,000 balance, $145 minimum payment
  • Debt 2 – Credit Card #2: 19% interest rate, $3,000 balance, $70 minimum payment
  • Debt 3 – Car Loan: 6% interest rate, $8,500 balance, $390 minimum payment
  • Debt 4 – Studen Loan: 5.8% interest rate, $11,000 balance, $100 minimum payment

**To help you with this step, I’ve created a super simple worksheet that you can download as part of your Budget Boss Binder.

*Included in our Budget Boss Binder
STEP 2:  Make minimum payments on all debts + put all extra money towards debt #1
This is when you’ll start paying off your debt by making minimum payments on all your debts EXCEPT your number one priority debt.

On your debt with the highest interest rate, make your minimum payment + put all your extra money towards additional payments.

I know, I know.  Extra money.  Ha!

The reality is that most of us don’t have extra money laying around (or we probably wouldn’t be in debt).

But, the good news is:

Finding extra money for your debt repayment is simple.

Firstly, go over your current budget (or make a budget if you don’t have one) to ensure you’re not carelessly spending money.

Secondly, free up extra money for your debt payments by lowering your monthly expenses.

You can:

1.  Refinance your mortgage for a lower interest rate & start paying biweekly

2.  Sign up for Trim to cut your cable, phone, and WiFi bills in half

3.  Switch to Mint Mobile to save hundreds on your cell phone bill

4.  Refinance your car loan for a lower interest rate

5.  Shop around for lower car insurance

6.  Invest in energy-efficient options to reduce utility costs

7.  Consolidate your credit card debt into a personal loan to decrease your interest costs and create one low monthly payment

8. Refinance your student loans for a lower interest rate

9.  Switch to Chime Bank (it’s SO simple!) to get rid of all banking fees (and get a FREE $50 gift right now)

And, lastly, you can always make more money to put towards your debt by asking for a raise, working overtime, getting a second job, starting a blog or side hustle, selling your stuff, renting out a spare bedroom in your home, and more.

Here is what step #2 should look like:

  • Debt 1 – Credit Card #1: 27.5% interest rate, $8,000 balance, $145 minimum payment – MAKE $145 MINIMUM PAYMENT + ALL EXTRA MONEY YOU HAVE
  • Debt 2 – Credit Card #2: 19% interest rate, $3,000 balance, $70 minimum payment – MAKE $70 MINIMUM PAYMENT
  • Debt 3 – Car Loan: 6% interest rate, $8,500 balance, $390 minimum payment MAKE $390 MINIMUM PAYMENT
  • Debt 4 – Studen Loan: 5.8% interest rate, $11,000 balance, $100 minimum payment – MAKE $100 MINIMUM PAYMENT

You will continue step #2 each month until your debt 1 is paid off in full.

STEP 3:  Put debt 1’s minimum payment + extra money to debt 2
Once your first debt is paid off (yay!), you can put its minimum payment + all extra money towards your next debt.

This means that your second debt shouldn’t take as long to pay off because you’ve significantly increased the amount of money you have to put towards payments.

For example:

  • Debt 1 – Credit Card #1: 27.5% interest rate, $8,000 balance, $145 minimum payment – MAKE $145 MINIMUM PAYMENT + ALL EXTRA MONEY YOU HAVE –  PAID OFF
  • Debt 2 – Credit Card #2: 19% interest rate, $3,000 balance, $70 minimum payment – MAKE $70 MINIMUM PAYMENT + $145 MINIMUM PAYMENT (FROM DEBT 1) + ALL EXTRA MONEY
  • Debt 3 – Car Loan: 6% interest rate, $8,500 balance, $390 minimum payment – MAKE $390 MINIMUM PAYMENT
  • Debt 4 – Studen Loan: 5.8% interest rate, $11,000 balance, $100 minimum payment – MAKE $100 MINIMUM PAYMENT

Once debt 2 is paid off, put debt’s 1 and 2’s minimum payments towards debt 3, and so on.

STEP 4:  Repeat this process until you are debt free!
Once you’ve gotten the hang of the debt avalanche and have paid off your first two debts, you’ll simply continue the same process until you are debt-free.

By the time you’re working to pay off your 3rd, 4th, 5th, debt you’ll have so much money to put towards payments that clearing your debt will become a breeze.

Cheers to becoming debt-free!

HOW TO MAKE SURE YOU  STICK TO YOUR DEBT PAYOFF PLAN

Now, sticking to your debt payoff plan is easier said than done.

So, how do you make sure you follow through each month on your debt avalanche?

I’ve got two ways to motivate you to continue paying off your debt:

  1. Create a reward system
  2. Track your progress

Firstly, after you pay off each debt (or half of each debt), reward yourself!  Go out on a celebratory date, buy a new outfit, pop some champagne, etc.

After paying off large sums of debt, you should acknowledge and feel goooooood about such a big accomplishment.

Secondly, and most importantly, you should track your debt repayment progress each month to make sure you’re sticking to the plan.

To track your debt repayment progress, I highly recommend using our Budget Boss Binder.

When you use our Budget Boss Binder to track your debt repayment progress, you will be able to map out your budget each month to make sure you’re putting as much money as possible towards paying off debt.  You’ll also be able to track your debt payments using a monthly tracker.

And, I’m excited to tell you:

Because we love our readers so much (where would we be without you!?), we’re offering our Budget Boss Binder for only $9 (66% off) RIGHT NOW.

SPECIAL OFFER!

SAVE $18 RIGHT NOW

When you act fast, you can download our best-selling Budget Boss Binder for only $9!  But, quick!  This deal ends tonight at midnight!

Alright!  There you have it!

A complete guide to the debt avalanche method for paying off debt!

Will you be using this strategy to become debt-free?  Or do you have a better way?  Leave a comment below!

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DESTROY YOUR DEBT!
– michelle
P.S.  Was this post helpful?  Consider buying us a coffee to show your love <3
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25 Free Budget Printables For 2020

25 Free Budget Printables For 2020

These are the best free budget printables to organize your finances! Included in this roundup, you’ll find budget templates, debt pay off trackers, savings trackers and challenges, expense trackers, and more. Click now to download your free budget printables to organize your finances or create your DIY budget binder! #budget #printables #free #freeprintables #budgetprintables #templates #budgeting #freebies #finances #budgetmoney #worksheets

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4 Methods To Get Out Of Debt Fast

4 Methods To Get Out Of Debt Fast

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4 Methods To Get Out Of Debt Fast

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Getting out of debt can feel like an impossible task.

That is until you use one of the best methods for paying off debt quickly.

When I used one of these four methods to pay off my debt, I saved $3,000 and became debt-free in just 6 months.

Keep reading to learn how you can do the same!

get out of debt
Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.”  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, WSW will receive an affiliate commission.  Additionally, Who Says What is a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Please review our Privacy Policy for more information.

If you want to pay off your debt quickly while saving tons of money, you must make a plan.

For instance, how much debt do you owe and what is the best method for paying off your debt?

These are the four best methods to get out of debt fast:

  1. Debt Avalanche Method
  2. Debt Snowball Method
  3. Debt Consolidation
  4. Balance Transfer

Explore each option to find the best fit for you!

Let’s dive in.

1.  The Debt Avalanche Method

If you want to save a ton of money in the long run, you should absolutely consider using the debt avalanche method to get out of debt fast.

The avalanche method will save you thousands of dollars in interest costs by applying the majority of your repayment efforts towards your debt with the highest interest rate.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Make a list of your debts from biggest to smallest depending on interest rates
  2. Make your minimum monthly payments on all your debts EXCEPT the debt with the highest interest rate
  3. Put as much money as you can afford towards debt payments on your debt with the highest interest rate until it is paid off
  4. Repeat this process until all debt is paid off

 

The biggest pro to the debt avalanche method is that you will save a lot of money in the long run.

The con is that your highest interest rated debt is often your largest, and thus may take some time to pay off; resulting in low satisfaction and motivation.

If you’re a fan of more instant gratification, the debt snowball method might be a better option for your debt payoff.

2.  The Debt Snowball Method

The debt snowball method is very similar to the debt avalanche method except for one detail:

When you use the snowball method, you’ll pay off your debts in order from the least amount owed to the most amount owed.

For instance:

  1. You’ll make a list of your debts in order from the smallest total due to the largest total due
  2. Continue to make your minimum monthly payments on all your debts EXCEPT your smallest debt
  3. Put as much money as you can afford towards paying off your smallest debt
  4. Repeat this process until you are debt-free

By knocking out your smallest debts first, it will feel like paying off your debt is simple because you’ll be able to pay off each debt quickly.

However, the debt snowball method will not save you money in the long run.

3.  Debt Consolidation

One of the biggest setbacks to getting out of debt is the high-interest rates attached to most loans.

For instance, the average interest rate on credit cards is a whopping 17.5%!

And, it gets worse:

If you can only afford your minimum monthly payments, you’ll be paying off your debt for years without feeling like you ever make any progress.

Not fun.

That’s why debt consolidation can change your life and make getting out of debt a breeze.

When you consolidate your debt into one lump sum, you’ll drastically decrease your overall interest rate and will only have to worry about one debt payment.

As I said, debt consolidation is the perfect way to get out of debt fast if you have large amounts of debt and can only afford your minimum monthly payments.

To become debt-free using debt consolidation, follow these simple steps:

  1. Apply for a low-interest personal loan in the amount of your total debt
  2. Once your loan is approved and funded, pay off all your debt
  3. Pay your personal loan each month (making larger payments than your minimum due will help you become debt-free even quicker)

I used a personal loan to consolidate my credit card debt and saved over $3,000 and was able to pay back my debt in half the amount of time than if I continued making minimum payments!

4.  Balance Transfers

Using a balance transfer to get out of debt is helpful for credit cards that have high-interest rates.

For example:

Let’s say you owe $5,000 on a credit card with a 22% interest rate.

When you apply for a balance transfer credit card with an introductory APR of 0% for the first 12 months, you can transfer your $5,000 debt to your new card to pay it off without paying interest.

This is a great solution if you can find a balance transfer credit card with a zero or low-interest rate but obviously doesn’t help otherwise.

And, referring to my example above, you will only benefit from paying off debt with a balance transfer IF you pay off the balance on your new credit card within the 12-month time-frame.  Otherwise, you’ll be hit with an interest charge for the remaining balance.

To use a balance transfer credit card to get out of debt, follow these simple steps:

  1. Research balance transfer credit cards and ONLY apply to ones with a 0% introductory APR
  2. Once approved, transfer your debt from your old credit card to your balance transfer credit card
  3. Aggressively pay off your balance transfer credit card before the introductory APR expires

You can find tons of great balance transfer options on CreditKarma!

Alright!  There you have it!

The four best methods to get out of debt fast.

Which debt payoff method are you going to use to destroy your debt?  Leave a comment below!

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DESTROY YOUR DEBT!
– michelle
P.S.  Was this post helpful?  Consider buying us a coffee to show your love <3
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25 Free Budget Printables For 2020

25 Free Budget Printables For 2020

These are the best free budget printables to organize your finances! Included in this roundup, you’ll find budget templates, debt pay off trackers, savings trackers and challenges, expense trackers, and more. Click now to download your free budget printables to organize your finances or create your DIY budget binder! #budget #printables #free #freeprintables #budgetprintables #templates #budgeting #freebies #finances #budgetmoney #worksheets

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5 Magical Tips To Have A Joyful & Debt Free Christmas

5 Magical Tips To Have A Joyful & Debt Free Christmas

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5 Magical Tips To Have A Joyful & Debt Free Christmas

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In the age of social media, the pressure to have the best, most magical Christmas ever is hella high.

Between gifts, parties, and matching PJs, it can feel like you have to spend a ton of money to get into the holiday spirit.

This is crazy, but:

These are the five best budgeting methods.  I bet you're ready to afford your dream life. I know I was! That is when I transformed my finances, starting with my budget. These are the 5 best budgeting methods to help you afford your dream life. If you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck, pay down debt, or save more money, one of these budgeting methods will help you. Being responsible with your money means creating a plan. These budgeting methods are the best to do that. Click to discover which budget method works best for you.
Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.”  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, WSW will receive an affiliate commission.  Additionally, Who Says What is a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Please review our Privacy Policy for more information.
You can have a magical Christmas without going into debt!

These are my tips:

1.  Create A Christmas Budget

Before you buy gifts or make invitations to your highly anticipated Christmas party, you must make a Christmas budget.

Firstly, go over your current budget and figure out how much money you can realistically spend on Christmas.

Then, simply divvy up the amount of money you can spend during the holidays!

For instance, your Christmas budget might look like this:

  • Gifts – $100
  • Stocking Stuffers – $50
  • Gift Wrap, etc. – $15
  • Party/Parties – $100

To organize your finances and create a realistic Christmas budget, download our Budget Boss Binder and track your spending so you don’t overspend on gifts or cookies!

2.  Start Saving Now

Did you take a look at your budget and find that you can’t afford Christmas gifts and activities without using a credit card?

Don’t worry:  You can still have a debt-free Christmas (with a little work)!

Firstly, take the time to decrease your current monthly expenses to free up some extra cash.

You should:

1.  Sign up for Trim to cut your cable, phone, and WiFi bills in half

2.  Refinance your mortgage, car loan(s), and/or student loans for a lower interest rate

3.  Consolidate your current debt into a personal loan to decrease your interest costs and create one low monthly payment

4.  Switch to Chime Bank (it’s SO simple!) to get rid of all banking fees (and get a FREE $50 gift right now)

Then, once you’ve decreased your monthly expenses you can start putting that saved money aside for the holidays!

You can create and track your savings goals with these printables! (included in our Budget Boss Binder)

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3.  Continue Paying Off Current Debts

If you’re currently in debt (don’t worry, most of us are!), it can feel one of two ways during the holidays:

  1. “I can’t afford anything because I’m already buried in debt!”
  2. “I might as well go crazy, since, well, I’m already buried in debt!”

However, in order to have a debt-free Christmas, you can’t lose track of your debt payoff progress during the holidays!

Use the rest of the tips in this most to keep costs low this holiday season so you can continue to make progress on your debt payoff.

You must:

  • Continue to put as much money as possible towards your debt payoff
  • NOT charge anything else to a credit card

Resist the urge to go spending crazy just because the holidays feel like an excuse to do so (they’re not!).

(Track your debt payoff so you can reward yourself later!)

4.  Don’t Go Overboard

I know, I know.  I must be crazy!

Aren’t the holidays the only time to spoil my kids rotten?!

Here’s the dealio:  Don’t let Instagram pressure you into putting 100+ presents under your tree this year.

Because you and I both know that kids don’t need a ton of stuff to be happy and feel loved.

Instead of buying your kids love this year (I’m kidding! Kind of), use the “Want, Need, Wear, Read” method of Christmas shopping.

It goes like this:

Buy your kiddos four gifts each:  Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.

This is the PERFECT way to keep your Christmas budget low without feeling like you’re skimping out on gift-giving.

We’ve been doing this for a few years now and love how much meaning it’s brought back to the holidays.

And, this tip doesn’t only apply to shopping for your kids.

This holiday season, don’t go for the WOW factor.

Go for the AWE factor by putting more thought into one gift instead of a lot of money into many gifts.

Thought over cost, my friends!

5.  Collect Cash Back On Christmas Purchases

When making purchases this holiday season, make sure you earn cash-back whenever possible!

You should sign up for:

  1. Rakuten ($10 Sign-Up Bonus),
  2. Ibotta ($10 Sign-Up Bonus), and
  3. Dosh ($5 Sign-Up Bonus).

Each of these cash-back programs will help you earn money on every qualifying purchase throughout your holiday shopping.

With the money you earn, buy yourself a Christmas gift or pay it forward to your current debt payoff strategy!

What you should do if you must use credit cards for the holidays

These are all great tips to help you have a magical, affordable, and debt-free Christmas.

But, what if you can’t avoid using credit cards this holiday season?

If you find yourself in a pickle and need to use borrowed money, these are my best tips:

  • Open a new credit card with an introductory 0% APR – Avoid getting hit with high-interest costs by paying off your Christmas spending balance ASAP.
  • Take out a personal loan instead – Personal loans often have far lower interest rates than credit cards and could be a good option if you can’t get approved for a low-interest credit card
  • Sit this one out – You should NEVER feel pressured to put yourself into debt in order to afford gifts, parties, etc.  Sit Christmas out this year – or at least the expensive parts of Christmas – so you don’t accrue more debt.

When you use these tips, you’re sure to have a magical and debt-free Christmas this year!

And, don’t ever forget:  The holiday season is about love, family, friends, community, and traditions – not about gifts.

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happy holidays!
– michelle
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