Jul 13, 2021 02:28 AM EDT
How to Have Fun While Paying Off Your Debt
One of the main reasons people make irresponsible decisions with their money is because it can be more fun than being fiscally responsible.
Spending hours looking to buy cheap car insurance online is not as fun as settling on the first rate you find in 30 minutes and enjoying the rest of your afternoon in the sun. It is not as exciting to put $100 in your savings account as it would be to spend that hundred buying a new outfit.
Going from scrounging money to keep up with bills and debt to living frugally and building a hefty savings does not have to be as painful as you imagine it to be. Learning how to live a happy life while paying off large debts can allow you to make big strides financially.
What is motivating you to be fiscally responsible?
Before you take the time to read various ways to make paying off debt enjoyable, you should figure out what is motivating you to take this step in life.
Without having a clear understanding of why you are doing something, it becomes easier to stop doing it. So even if you find yourself enjoying paying down debt, you can easily slip back into old habits and spend your free money on splurging instead of continuing to minimize your debt.
Your reason for paying off debt could be to buy your dream house, build wealth, or create a stress-free environment for your children.
No matter your reasons, you need to be specific with whatever your reason is and keep it at the front of your mind throughout this entire process. You can pin pictures on your Pinterest, notate them in your notebook, or even create a vision board as a consistent reminder.
Figuring out why you are chopping down your debt and finding a way to keep that reason on your mind will make the tactics you employ to do so even more enjoyable.
Style, Display, and Sell Old Stuff
One of the hardest things about paying off debt is that to really make strides with cutting it down, you have to use most of your income.
This leaves no room for personal spending money like you would normally have before deciding to focus on paying off debt. When you use your normal spending money on debt, you have little to no money to spend on enjoying life.
You can style and display your old stuff to sell it so you can have extra money to have fun with while the majority of your income goes towards paying off debt.
If you have valuable items within your home that you do not use, you can sell them for a lot of money and split the profit between your goal of paying down debt and having fun. If you sell something for only around $20, you can take a quick lunch or movie date.
Selling old stuff for extra cash allows you to still work toward paying off debt while being able to live your life a little as you would normally.
Pick up Hobbies That Earn or Save Money
A major tip for living on your own after college graduation is to create a budget, and the same applies to when you are trying to pay off debt.
A good budget to use is the 50/30/20 model of financial management. This model helps you to better organize your monthly spending so you can effectively save money and pay off debt.
With this budget model, 50% of your income goes toward necessities, like your groceries, bills, etc., 30% for spending money, and 20% for savings. Since your goal is to pay off debt, you would use the 30% in your budget for paying down your debt instead of spending.
Being that not having spending money can make paying off debt difficult and dreadful, a good way to increase your income is by picking up hobbies that earn or even save money.
Gardening, cooking, sewing, biking, and reading are all hobbies that can save or earn you money.
For example, you can grow your own produce at home instead of spending money at your local grocery store on them. Depending on how much green food you eat daily, growing your own fruits and vegetables can save you at least $600.
Or you can sell what you grow to people who prefer organic produce. The money you save or earn can be used as your spending money or to pay off your debt a little faster so you can go back to spending 30% of your income on activities.
Spend Money to Earn Cash Back
Take advantage of your credit cards that offer cash-back rewards. Whenever you use a cash-back credit card, the card issuer will pay you back a percentage of the money you spent using the card.
So if you use your credit card that has cash rewards to pay for groceries, you will essentially save money because you will get a percentage of the money spent back.
However, only spend what you have in your checking account. If your monthly budget is $300 for groceries, only spend up to $300 on your cash-back rewards credit card.
You can also maximize credit card rewards by using the card to pay off your debt as long as you are paying the card back down immediately. You will receive cash rewards in return for paying off debt.
Using your credit card with rewards to pay off debt is only beneficial if you can pay off the bill in full each month after making payments toward the debt. Otherwise, you will just be increasing the amount of debt you have.
Here is a list of tips on how you can maximize credit rewards:
- Use the right card with the best rewards.
- Earn the welcome bonus.
- Check for limited-time offers.
- Combine points.
- Pay your bill in full.
Use Discount Sites
Some student budgeting tips recommend that college students take advantage of incentives and discounts that are available to them. However, this tip can be applied to anyone at any stage in their life.
Visiting discount sites like Groupon helps you pay a fraction of what you would normally pay to go bowling, golfing, painting, and any other activities. Websites that offer discounts and coupons allow you to stretch the few dollars you have to go out and enjoy life when the majority of your money is going toward debt.
Aside from visiting discount sites, some restaurants, ice cream shops, and bars have times throughout the week where they have discounted days on meals or offer free food. Taking advantage of these incentives allows you to get out of the house without blowing through money that is for paying off debt.
Have Fun at Home Instead of Going Out
Though stretching your money, earning extra money, and saving money are amazing ways to have fun while paying down debt, you can have fun at home too.
We forget that having fun at home is possible because we overlook the items we already own or have access to. Here are a few examples of things you may already have access to that does not require you to spend money:
- Board games
- Camping gear
- A pool
- Yard games
- Sport equipment
- Video games
- Memberships to visit places (zoo, museum, amusement park, etc.)
- Bikes, scooters, and rollerblades
Visiting places that have free entry and doing activities at home allows you to dedicate as much money toward your debt as possible. This helps you pay the debt off faster and removes any instances where you would be tempted to spend money you should not.
About The Author : Imani Francies writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, BuyAutoInsurance.com. She is passionate about saving money and paying off debt.
Join the Conversation