Slashing the budget is one of the first tasks people usually tackle after they decide they want to get out out of debt. It is often a frustrating task, because of the stress of the debt and the lack of perspective on what is a need versus what is a want.
Let’s start by reiterating that getting out of debt is a marathon. It is not one decisions that gets you there, but a long series of decisions that continually build on one another that move you towards your goals. You need to make decisions that not only save you money, but also keep you running the race. If you totally deprive yourself to the point that you want to give up, you won’t every get out of debt.
With that said, the more you slash from the budget the faster you will be able to experience the benefits of getting out of debt. The faster you can sell the car that you are upside down in, or cancel the cable, or stop eating out 5 times a week, or depart with the junk you have been accumulating on credit cards the faster you can destroy your debt and start chasing your real financial dreams.
So how do you decide what is a need versus a want? A great place to start is by sorting through your bills and receipt and writing down all your monthly expenses and your gross monthly income. From there it is a lot easier to see the percentage of you income that guys to your house or car. Some items will immediately begin to jump out as unnecessary. Others you will need some nurturing to follow through on. Others may require you to build up some more financial discipline and perspective before you can execute. You can ask yourself questions like “what am I trying to accomplish by spending this money”. Questions like this help to make intentional decisions about money which is probably something that was missing up until that point. Intentionality is a major key to your financial journey.
It would be interesting if readers shared the things that they were willing to cut in order to help encourage other readers who are struggling with the same decisions.