With 8 months left in the year, is it really possible to be debt-free in ’23? In the past, I’ve talked a lot about different things you can do within your existing budget and the debt snowball method, to become debt free, and those are important. But the time it will take to reach debt freedom depends on how bad you want it and how far you’re willing to go.
If you want to be debt free in ’23, you may have to get extreme! But it is possible!
Here are 5 ways to be debt-free in ’23:
One – Cut your spending to the core.
Stop spending on everything but essentials until that debt is paid off – no going out to eat, no spending on entertainment! If you don’t need it, don’t pay for it!
How much extra money would that give you to pay off debt each month? If you don’t know, you’ll likely to blow this idea off by convincing yourself that it wouldn’t be enough to make a difference. Find out, before you say no! Write down the amount of money you take home each month –after taxes – then make a list of essential bills/expenses and add up the total you spend. – I mean essential, like electricity and rent – not subscriptions to your favorite streaming service! Now subtract the total of your essential bills/expenses from your income. You might be surprised at how much money you actually have to pay off debt! Cutting out restaurants and entertainment isn’t easy, but there are things you can do to make it easier.
*Partner with friends, so you’re not alone.
*Have dinner at a friend’s house, then return the favor.
*Brainstorm and get creative about ways to entertain yourself for free
*Practice gratitude! Be thankful for what you have, and you’ll care less about what you don’t have.
*Get a side job! This will give you more money to throw at debt and less time to go out on the town.
Two – Consider a zero percent balance transfer.
This could backfire, if you don’t do it properly, so be careful! Check out the CentsAble Chat podcast episode, “Weighing a Balance Transfer Offer” for details. Done properly, this can go a long way toward helping you become debt free in 23.
Three – Sell everything!
I know what it’s like to have emotional attachments to things, but if you’re serious about being debt free in 23, get rid of the stuff, exchange it for cash and pay off that debt! What’s more important? Being debt free or having X,Y or Z? You can always buy it again later, and buying with cash instead of debt feels amazing! You might find you enjoy it even more.
Four – Sell your car and get a bike, walk or bum rides!
Think seriously about it and do the math, before you dismiss it. If you have a car payment, that debt will be gone! And cars suck money in lots of ways besides the car payment – gas, insurance, repairs, registration – it’s never ending! So figure out how much more you could throw at your debt if you sold that car. Get creative and brainstorm about ways you can get by without it, until your debt is gone.
Five – Move in with parents/get a roommate/house sit/find a job that pays for housing.
Rent or mortgage is a huge part of your monthly spending, so cut it as fiercely as you possibly can; you’ll be shocked at how fast you can become debt-free! Do the math so you can really see how much this will benefit you. I’m not suggesting doing this indefinitely; have a specific plan, including a timeline. Check out the CentsAble Chat podcast episode, “House Hacking” for more tips.
Get started now!
These are extreme ideas, they take a high level of discipline and commitment, but they can be done; they’re not new and people have used them with great success! For many, being debt-free in 23 is possible! Is it possible for you? Do the math to find out! Even if you don’t cross the finish line, you’ll be a lot closer than you are today!
The ultimate question: what is debt freedom worth to you? What are you willing to give up in the short term to live the life of your dreams, in the long term?
If you’re ready to do this, there’s only one more question: What’s your plan? If you’re going to go to extremes, make it worth it! Create a plan now and follow it to the finish line!
If you need help, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s work together.