For most people stuck in debt the concept of going from debt to financial freedom is just a pipe dream. There is an interesting concept taught to race car drivers that also applies to consumers trying to reach their financial goals. One of the things drivers worry about the most is hitting the wall during the race. Trainers instruct their drivers to focus on going straight and maintaining speed, and that avoiding the wall is inevitable. People who focus too much attention on “hitting the wall” often find themselves in the position they feared most.
The same can be said about focusing too much on debt and other obstacles hindering financial success. Instead of focusing too much on the possibility of failure or ‘hitting the wall,’ concentrate on going from debt to financial freedom.
A good piece of advice on obtaining wealth is to simply live within your means. Spend less than you earn. Don’t buy an R600 000 car when you’re only earning R6000. Develop some achievable financial goals and stay on course – and off the wall.
By trying the following ways, you’ll find it’s easier than to go from debt to financial freedom. It will be easier than ever to not only save your hard-earned cash but to store it away for future dreams and goals.
1. Make a shopping list
How often do you go into a store and start picking up 50% more than what you intended? There’s an actual science to selling more; supermarkets use eye-pleasing displays and colourful marketing schemes to get more in your cart and that can cause financial strain. If you think ahead and march into a shop with a grocery list in hand, you’re much less likely to pick up non-essential additions.
2. Consider own-brand goods
Store brand goods can be 25-50% less expensive than marked-up, well-known labels. If you’re looking to shave money off your bill, consider using generic brands.
3. Reconsider designer brands
Is that clutch really worth it? Designer clothes may seem the rave, but how much of your salary is soiled on fashion? You can find beautiful clothing that will be worn more than once and most likely lasts longer at a variety of stores.
4. Sell clutter on OLX and Gumtree
Do you have a lot of rarely used items that you’d like to get rid of? Sell them online! You never know who is looking for your old accounting book or a collector’s deck of cards.
5. Use your talent to earn extra cash
If you seek to make extra money, use your talents a few times a week to make extra dough. You could give vocal lessons, teach tennis, or recycle your cans to further reduce your debt.
6. Carpool to save on fuel
It’s no secret fuel prices continue to rise; if you can carpool, find a friend or fellow employee who doesn’t mind saving money and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.
7. Turn off the lights
Every time you walk out of a room, turn off the lights. Unplug your appliances when not in use, and turn off the TV when leaving the house or even if dozing at night. Your electricity bill will reduce.
8. Book early
As flights get filled up and near their departure date, the ticket also inevitably increases. Save yourself a bundle by booking months in advance.
9. Get healthy
With less doctor’s visit, sick days, and dedication to exercise and eat right, you’ll not only gain happiness but retain more money.
10. Earn Rewards
Everywhere you go there is an opportunity to earn rewards for buying your groceries and fuelling your vehicles. Make sure you join all the reward schemes applicable to you. The rewards may seem small initially but save them for the year and you could be buying all your Christmas presents using rewards you have earned and you won’t have to part with any cash.
11. Learn To Say ‘no’
We live in a culture that worships instant gratification and quick-fixes…but the habit of purchasing anything that looks flashy or popular can be devastating to the bank account. Truly consider before buying anything, “Do I need this?”. Do you actually need that new pair of shoes when you have 10 in your closet…or could you say ‘no’ to the 200th toy your child is asking for? Ask yourself where could I better spend this money?
12. Trade Down Your Car
So, you bought a new SUV. Now that everyone’s impressed, are you still sure you want to continue the ongoing expense of its upkeep? If not, trade it down. There are plenty of places to get knocked down vehicles that are still of worthy make and model and won’t cost a fortune in the long run.
13. Cut Down Your Drinking
A glass of wine at night or a mocha cappuccino almost every day is a costly habit. Set limits and stick to them to save.
14. Save Your Loose Change
Designate a jar or water jug to hold all loose change and ‘extras’ you come across in the couch cushions. You’ll be surprised at how little by little, it truly adds up.
15. Keep Track Of Your Spending
In a notebook or with a fancy new app, keep track of every transaction you make. If you’re an individual that finds they are somewhat absent minded with their spending, this can help curb your spending habits that are unnecessary.
16. Pack Up Smoking
How much is this degenerating habit costing you? You may be emptying your bank with a practice that is killing you… and obviously, it’s not a very cost-effective or sustainable habit.
17. Cancel Your Gym Membership
Do you use your gym membership? Or was it a New Year’s impulse to instil good habits? Regardless, you can save the monthly membership fee by choosing to walk/run outside, do Pilates on the grass, or buy an exercise video which will actually keep you moving in the comfort of your own home.
18. Use Your Library
Why buy a new book when you can check it out at the library? You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll save by choosing to indulge in good read second-hand style.
19. Eat In
Take out is not only unhealthy, it’s expensive. The notion that to cook in is ‘expensive’ has been fuelled by laziness. Staples such as rice, beans, and bulk produce options mean it’s easier than ever to whip up a meal that serves four for much less than a McDonald’s or KFC run.
Found a book you can’t live without? Spend much less on the E-book version than paperback and keep it with you on all devices.
21. Buy Clothes And Presents On sale
Your love isn’t expressed any less in a less expensive gift for your loved one. If you’d like to gift someone or attain less expensive products yourself, try to choose items while they’re on sale, commonly after the holidays or on odd occasions with different stores.
22. Turn The Television Off
How much do you pay for the 1,000+ package of television shows you rarely use? With cheap streaming of shows with Showmax or Netflix and less expensive bundle options, you can reduce your time in front of the TV and the amount you pour into viewing by reconsidering your options.
23. Shop Online
The internet is gradually taking over. You can even shop for groceries online, so if you fall trap to discount snares in the store or just wish to cut down on your expenses overall, you can compare rates online and find the right purchase for you.
24. Use Your Own Herbs
Grow your own herbs in the kitchen (which may inspire you to cook more at home) and you’ll save unexpected amounts. Any produce you can grow at home is a great investment in reducing your grocery fees.
25. Repair vs Buying New
Sometimes it’s cheaper to repair a part than to buy ‘new’. If it can be repaired, consider how much you’ll save by just scrapping the whole thing and starting again. It’s a much more sustainable habit as well.
Before you know it, you’ll be happily satisfied with your account and feel the bliss of financial freedom. Engage your extra change how you wish, or invest it in a more sustainable future for yourself and grand-kids.
Do you feel like you maybe need some help with addressing your debt issue or if you are not sure if you need debt counselling? Contact one of our consultants today for advice on how to do from debt to financial freedom.