Defying Debt Basics And A No-Spend January Challenge

This post may contain affiliate and/or promoted links. Please read our disclosure for more info. 

It’s all too easy to sink into debt this time of year. Not only does the holiday season tend to drain us, but December also means (at least for us) that our quarterly bills need to be paid. And that means we’re not only buying Christmas gifts, we’re also spending money to host our annual Christmas Eve bash, treating my mother to Christmas morning brunch, and paying extra for non-fun but oh-so-essential-stuff like sewer and trash. So to say that December is an expensive month is a total understatement. But, December’s expenses don’t have to set the tone for the upcoming year. No way. In fact, we use our December spending as motivation to tighten our belts and kick off the new year on the right financial foot. And you should too!

It may well be too late to advise you against going out and spending everything you have on gifts, but if you can be persuaded to listen to a little financial guidance for the upcoming year, here it is. 🙂

Budget And Save

crock-pot - defying debt

One of our favorite frugal tricks to stretch our food dollar.

Making a budget tends to feel like a daunting and cringe-worthy task for anyone not used to managing their money. But, not to worry, budgets really aren’t too difficult after the initial set up.

Sure, you’re going to have to adjust your budget each month to account for particulars like holidays and special events, but after getting in the groove, it’s easy and actually kind of fun. I kid you not.

Whatever you do, don’t delay. After you make a budget you’ll find that saving is going to be much easier. Why? Because you’re going to see exactly where your money is going each month. And when you know exactly how your money is being spent, you will have ultimate control to spend it (or save it) differently.

When you start saving money, remember, start with your emergency fund. Because you will inevitably have unexpected expenses. And when you do, you’ll be oh so glad you have the cash to cover it as opposed to putting it on a high-interest credit card.

We rarely do a hardcore budget anymore, but we certainly did start out accounting for each and every penny. That allowed us to redirect funds, stop being wasteful, and start investing all at the same time. These days, because we have ultimate control of our financial situation, we tend to be much more relaxed with our money management system. It’s a good feeling.

Debt | Debt Elimination | No-Spend | Money Challenge | Debt Management | Budgets | Saving | Emergency Fund via @MadMoneyMonsterIf, however, you make a budget and find you just don’t have enough money to go around, you might want to consider trying to get a raise at work or start a side hustle to boost your monthly income.

Living a frugal lifestyle can be really rewarding and definitely free up some money. But if you’re living paycheck to paycheck and having difficulty meeting basic living expenses, earning more money is key. Unfortunately, frugality can only carry you so far. At some point, you’ll need to make more money to pay off debt and build significant wealth.

Pay Off Debt

And on that note, let’s talk debt. If, after the holidays, you’re heading into 2018  saddled with it, you’re going to need to make your financial health a priority to get back on track. You can get help dealing with debt from all sorts of people and places. The key is to accept your situation and make a plan to eliminate it. 

You’ll first need to know the dollar amount of debt you owe, who you owe money to, and the terms (amount of monthly repayments, interest rates, and length of loans) for each debt. Once you have that nailed down, you can make a plan to tackle it.

After that, we suggest one of two methods that will get you rolling and out of debt. The Debt Snowball or the Debt Avalanche. Each one has a different philosophy but lead to the same endpoint. Go with your gut and enjoy watching your balances fade into nothingness. 

Other articles you might enjoy:

Take The No-Spend January Challenge

Mad Money Pup - defying debt

Mad Money Pup defying debt and living her best life. #pamperedpup

To speed up your 2018, take control of your money process, try to have a month where you spend no money on anything but essentials!

If the idea of a no-spend January challenge sounds exciting to you – go for it! Remember, you’re not only going to try to not spend money, you’re also going to try to save as much as possible too.

So stop eating out and shopping, and also look for ways to reduce your utility bills over the winter months. These three things will be HUGE wins for your winter wallet. Double whammy – they’ll also free up money for savings! 

Not spending any money on anything except essentials might sound easy, but trust me, it truly is a difficult challenge. If you’re able to be successful, you will be well on your way to a financially savvy and wealth-ridden 2018.

How does a no-spend January challenge sound to you?

Comments on this entry are closed.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons