The Lifestyle Digs

How to Save Money and Bust Debt

Do you ever read articles about how to save money for retirement or how to get out of debt and notice that these people, generally married couples with children, have above average incomes, own a house, have retirement savings, and probably at least one has a company pension plan? My vlog below recaps this article, and keep reading for ideas on how to save money and bust debt for average to low income people.

When I’m reading articles about how high incomer earners have a mountain of debt and no savings I wonder how did they get in debt. If they went to college, student loans are probably a culprit. Generally speaking they just seem to be living beyond their means. A mortgage on the house and car loans take up most of their take home pay. Then they whip out the credit card to pay for extravagant vacations. With their high salaries and the help of a financial planner, these people can probably get themselves out of debt and begin saving for their future.

But what about real people? The workers who never crack much more than $30,000/year. The ones who scrimp and save and still can’t put together a down payment for a house so home ownership is unattainable for them. What if they have a medical issue? Or unemployed. If they have credit cards, this is how they pay the bills. The credit cards become the emergency fund and then paying it back is excruciating, because we all know another emergency is lurking around the corner. Don’t you hate it when you feel like you’re making some headway on busting your debt or putting a little money into a savings account and then the car breaks down.

How do real people pay off debt and save money? Those are the stories I want to hear. The stories of people who’ve never cracked a high paying job. People who’ve gone through expensive divorces when they didn’t even have much in the way of money or assets to begin with. Stories of people who’ve never worked for a company that has a pension or a retirement savings program. Stories of people who got into debt because of emergency situations and unemployment. These people want a better life for themselves. They want to be debt free and they want to save money for their retirement.

The main advice in these situations is to make more money, incur no more debt, and pay off existing debt. Meaning: if you have more income a person will be able to pay off debt and start savings. Finding one job is hard enough, especially if you’ve over the age of 40 and if you live in Canada where ageism is alive and well. A person working 40 hours a week in a low paying job and maybe has a part time job that also doesn’t pay well can’t always find enough time to look for more work.

Better paying jobs aren’t available to everyone. Going back to school and learning a new vocation? Not a good plan if you’re older and have to support yourself or others.

Check out some of my previous posts:

  1. Buying unessential items for non-emergencies can put a person higher in debt. We all make mistakes and here are 15 Stupid Money Mistakes to avoid.
  2. Being frugal isn’t the same thing as being cheap. It’s about getting the best bang for your buck. Click here to read 9 Easy Tips for Frugal Living.
  3. Avoid using credit cards for groceries and eating out. Get your spending under control and Quit Eating Your Way into Debt.
  4. Have you figured out that a Clean Kitchen lowers the Food Bill? Keep your kitchen clean and cook into it instead of making a fast food run.
  5. Do you need to take a second look at some things in your life that you can cut back on? Here are 7 Easy Ways to Save $2000/year.
  6. Make a commitment to follow these 6 Steps to Save for Big Ticket Purchases, and see how easy it can be to adjust your spending habits to a savings goal.

I have a few links to other websites that I’m always checking for updates on that I’d like to share with you:

  1. Living on a Dime is all about helping you save time and money on cooking and around the house and yard. You can sign up for their newsletter and join them on their video channel.
  2. Premeditated Leftovers is about naturally frugal living where you’ll find recipes and household tips.
  3. Boomer & Echo is more Canadian in content but they have a free Excel spreadsheet of a budget you can download. Now, I’m not much for keeping a budget but I’ve been tracking everything for the past few months just to see where my spending is going.
  4. Do you need ideas on side hustles that can earn you extra money? Here’s 107 Ways to Make Extra Money
  5. Check out Clever Girl Finance. The landing page links some of her top awesome content. she has a post about how she saved $100,000/year on a $54,000 salary. Now that would be my dream to find a job that paid that much money! She lived at home and able to save expenses, but not all of us have parents who we can move in with. It’s an inspiring piece and well worth a read.
  6. The Penny Hoarder has hundreds, if not thousands, of ways how to make and save money.

I hope you’ve found useful advice here for your situation,

Good luck saving your money and busting your debt!

 

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