I posted an article last Wednesday because I wanted people to realize that they weren’t as hard-core about debt as they thought they were. And, without being focused and intense about paying off your debts, it typically takes a heck of a long time to get rid of them all. So here are the questions that I posed to my readers…
To Pay Off Your Debts, Would You Be Willing to:
- Cut your cable?
- Switch to a cheaper phone service provider?
- Turn the thermostat colder in the winter and hotter in the summer?
- Mow lawns for $15 for friends and neighbors?
- Move to a smaller, lower rent property?
- Downgrade your car?
- Cut your out-to-eat spending to almost nothing?
- Make gifts instead of buy them?
- Ride your bike instead of drive?
- Stop buying new clothes?
There were 296 responses to this survey – let’s see how hard-core you all really are about paying off your debts!
I’ll have to admit – some of the responses surprised me. I have been telling quite a few people to cut their cable, but I don’t think one person has actually done it yet. When looking at the survey though, apparently 74% of people are willing? I’m glad to see that! Not only does it cost you money, but it costs you time as well!
When paying off your debts, many are apparently willing to:
- stop buying new clothes
- cut back on dining out
- switch to a new phone service provider
- using less air and heat in their homes
…but this is the small stuff. Sure, ever penny helps, but as Ramit Sethi emphasizes again and again, cutting back on the small stuff really isn’t going to make much of an impact on your wallet or your emotions. It’s the big stuff that truly matters.
So how did people fair when I asked them to change their life dramatically? Well, as you may have guessed, these answers didn’t come in quite as favorable.
In general, people were less willing to:
- ride their bikes instead of driving everywhere
- downgrade to a less stylish car
- increase their incomes by any means necessary (ie. mow other peoples’ lawns)
- downsize their house
The three biggest expenses that eat up nearly 70% of our money each month are:
- the house
- the car
It seems that people are willing to save a little bit of money on their food purchases, but when it comes to their cars and their home (the two areas that are very easily seen and judged by others), most are not willing to alter their lifestyle one bit.
If you truly want to get out of debt – and get out soon – then you’ll have to be willing to be different enough that people start to notice. Downsize your house to save on your rent/mortgage, get rid of a car and figure out how to make due with just one (or your bicycle) for a while. You’ll save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a month and will begin to understand how simple it can be to get out of debt and stay out.
What are you willing to do to get out of debt?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.