We recently paid off the car. I did a happy dance.
The truck is already paid off.
We don't have credit card debt.
This means we are currently debt free.
We live in base housing, but it's not free. My husband has money taken out of his paycheck each month.
Here are ways we were able to get debt free:
1. Pay more on your car payments. We always paid over. Sometimes $100 over. Sometimes only $50. But something.
2. Live below your means. There are times when we COULD go out and do stuff. But we opt not to. This is not to say that we don't have any fun: we do. We've gone to Disney World multiple times. We love to eat out. But we watch the spending. We're skipping the pumpkin patch this year because it can get expensive.
3. Sell your old stuff to buy new stuff. It's no secret that I love to buy clothes for my kids. In order to do this, I sell their old stuff. I usually sell it on eBay or Once Upon A Child. With the money I receive, I turn around and get new things.
4. Don't buy all the new stuff. We still have a 32 inch TV. For the longest time we had flip phones while everyone else was running out to buy smartphones. You don't need the new gadgets. I promise.
5. Adopt, don't shop. Both of our cats are from the shelter. When we got them, the money we paid went to the shelter so they could help other animals in need. Granted, I am a bit of a hypocrite here, because if there was a way I could buy my own Grumpy Cat, I would.
6. Coupon! I am NOT an extreme couponer. I don't do the double coupon thing or get 100 of one item. But I do use them. Coupons.com is a fantastic site. Also, before buying anything online, I ALWAYS check retailmenot.com to see if there is a code to use. More often than not, there is!
7. I use ebates! Before I purchase something online, I also check eBates to see if the website is listed. If it is, I'll get cash back. It's so easy. All you do is click on the store link on the eBates site, and that's it! You'll get money back! If you do sign up for this, please use my referral link here.
8. We don't smoke. I would imagine smoking or vaping would add up in cost.
9. Our kids aren't in every sport out there. I'm not one of those people who feel the need to put my kids in everything. Unless they have a passion for something, I won't bother. My son was never interested in sports. My daughter has done gymnastics for years. She was actually offered a spot on the team, but we declined because she didn't seem to care one way or the other. I wasn't about to shell out a ton of money for a kid who'd whine about doing meets and going to extra practices. No thanks. So as it stands, she only does one class a week. She's also tried baseball but I'm not sure if she'll do that again.
10. We try not to put a ton on a credit card. Sometimes this is easier said than done. When Tom and I were first married, we didn't have a lot of money so we relied on credit cards. When I saw the interest fees, I freaked. I vowed that we would try never to put more than we could pay off on the cards again. But life can have surprises so there were times when we had to do it. These days, however, we pay off the cards every month. Credit cards aren't always completely evil--they will build your credit, at least. The cards we like are ones from USAA and the Amazon Reward Card, because we shop there weekly. (Another thing we have to put limits on at times.)
11. Tom and I don't care about fashion. I basically live in my jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers all year long. Tom lives in his khakis, t-shirts, and sneakers all year long. We don't give a hoot about name brand stuff. I'm missing the girl gene that makes me gaga over shoes. I carry a purse found in a clearance bin. I'd rather buy books. Or clothes for my kids. But even they aren't walking around in Coach and Tom Ford stuff. Tom Ford is a clothing brand, right? Or no? That shows how much I know about fashion...
We might not always be debt free. There might come a time when we have to buy another vehicle so the payments will return. We'll also eventually buy a house so there will be a mortgage. But for now, we're putting money aside into a savings account to help when we have payments again.
How do you save money?