When people hear we got out of debt following Dave Ramsey’s plan, they frequently think we had to cut all fun and enjoyment out of life. It simply isn’t true. What is true is that we didn’t let ourselves have all the luxuries our friends had. However, we simply chose what would take priority, and let our budget reflect that. Here are 3 of our top priorities and 3 of our easy cutbacks!
We rented while we were in debt. Most of the time we were in not-updated apartments. Granite would be nice, sure, but we can live with laminate for a few years! We made sure our home was in a good location for us, and safe of course. Beyond that, we felt that with just two of us, it was fine to rent smaller places rather than buy.
Tithing was important to us. We try our best to follow what the Bible says about money, not because we think God will help us win the lottery if we follow what He says, but because we believe that everything we have is ultimately HIS and we want our life AND budget to reflect that.
Fancy cars. If you know us, you know that for most of the time we were in debt, we only drove one car. And believe you me, it is not a nice car. My grandma deemed it the munchkin hearse, and it’s as loud as a NASCAR race. That’s right – a whole race, not just one car. However, it was safe enough to get us from point A to point B, so we stuck with our old car instead of spending money on a lease, loan, or new car.
Getting out of debt was a huge priority for us. Not only because we were tired of paying for college, but because we knew if we freed up the money ($1200!) that was going to minimum payments each month, we could use that same $1200 a month for putting towards a house or travel, or supporting the people we want to support!
Going out. We don’t mind packing our own lunches and we drink our coffee black, so it wasn’t too much of a sacrifice to cut back here! It ended up being more fun because we learned to make new recipes like homemade mac and cheese, tikka masala, and falafels!
We love to travel, but travel is expensive. We found ways to cut costs when traveling – flying cheaper airlines, staying with friends or at an Air BnB, and making our own food. Another tip is to combine business trips with extra days of travel and sight-seeing. We budgeted for 1-2 trips a year and were able to go to NYC, Madison, Chicago, Disneyland, Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, and the Grand Canyon! By setting aside a small amount of money, and being smart about our travel, we were able to keep doing the thing we love most – seeing the world!
What are some of the things that are an absolute must for you, things that are top priority in your life? What are a few things you could cut out or cut back on, without hardly noticing? Let us know over on our Facebook page!