The craze is spreading across America…people selling all their stuff, cramming into small RV’s, and then pretending that it’s the best thing ever…. Really?? I’m sorry, but I think I speak for 95% of the population when I say that I’d rather get rid of debt without living in an RV…
…and it’s entirely possible by the way.
It’s great and all that people across the globe have tackled their debt head on and are willing to drive around a camper to do it. But, RV life isn’t for everyone. So, I’m actually going to steer people away from it in this post.
If you hate traveling, have a family of 5+, or if the thought of camping makes you throw up in your mouth a little, then this write-up is for you.
How to Get Rid of Debt WITHOUT Living in an RV
Let me tell you flat out. If you despise the idea of living in an RV, you can still get out of debt and do it quickly. Now, it might not make for a viral Facebook post, but I’m just guessing that you’re okay with that.
Before you do anything, you really have to figure out where you’re at.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Your total debt (list them all out: cars, student loans, credit cards, medical bills, etc.)
- Monthly income
- Monthly expenses (take the last 6 month average)
Write it all down on one piece of paper. If you’re like most, these numbers will shock you, but that’s okay! Knowing where you’re at financially is the first step to kicking your debt to the curb!
…and you can note so far that no RV is necessary… 😉
2) Calculate What It’s Going to Take
Sort your debts from smallest to largest and put them into this Debt Snowball Calculator (along with the interest percentages and minimum payments). Then enter any money you have stashed away over $1,000 along with the amount you can put towards your debt each month. The debt snowball calculator will do the rest.
Need More Direction? Check out the step-by-step debt snowball guide here.
So what’s the verdict? How many months will it take for you to get out of debt?
Again, for most, these numbers are bleak. Their incomes aren’t that much more than their expenses, which means that their monthly payments are only $100 or $200. And if your debts are $50,000 or more, it’s going to take years. Actually, it’s probably decades to be honest with you.
This is why so many people pile-drive themselves into RV life. They’re freaked out and can’t see any other way.
But there is another way. Keep reading and we’ll figure this out together.
3) Cut Your Expenses
Chances are that as your income has inched up over the years, so has your spending (and sometimes even exceeds your income). It’s definitely not uncommon. So let’s take just a little bit of time to figure out how we can get your expenses down again.
Want to tackle your debts immediately and get rid of them as quickly as possible? Then I recommend looking at these areas – the largest expenses in your budget:
- Your house – maybe it’s time to sell and then rent a small apartment for a while
- Those cars in your driveway – the fastest way to get rid of car debt is to get rid of the stinkin’ car!
- Food – it’s crazy how fast our food expenses can creep up to $800 a month!
Want to do the best you can but still keep your same standard of living? It’s not going to be easy and it’ll probably take much longer, but here are a few tips:
- Cut your cable and get Netflix and Sling TV instead
- Save up $1,000 and raise all of your insurance deductibles to save on your monthly expenses
- Look for free entertainment instead of the pricey events you’ve been going to
Truthfully, if you want to keep your standard of living, but still want to get out of debt, then you’re going to have to raise your income. Which means on to the next point! 😉
4) Increase Your Income
This is the part that I LOVE. I’ve been working a career job for 10 years now, but I’ve almost always had a side hustle. Here’s some of the things I’ve done to increase my income substantially over the years:
- Dog sat (Boca Raton, FL was a gold mine for this!)
- Mowed lawns
- Bought and sold garage sale finds
- Started my own blog (this alone has earned me $100,000+ over the last 6 years)
- Built and sold websites
What skills do you have that you can monetize?
- Car detailing?
- Fixing cars?
- Building websites?
If you don’t think you have any skills, or you simply don’t want to try to market your services, then why not take on an extra night job? You could deliver pizzas, bar-tend, or waitress at a nice restaurant. All of which pay a pretty decent wage!
Want to get rid of debt without living in an RV? This is your ticket. Just think what an extra $1,000 a month could do for your debt payoff!
5) Reward Yourself Along the Way
Hardly anyone mentions this (including myself because I forget…), but it’s EXTREMELY important. If you’re working your butt off to get rid of debt, there will be times when it seems like a complete waste of time…and it feels like you’re making absolutely NO progress.
- Your car breaks down,
- you sprain your ankle and accumulate bunch of medical bills, or maybe
- your kids suddenly need clothes and it wipes out your tiny savings account
Stuff happens and it’s going to drag you down, so you need to be sure to give yourself a pat on the back along the way. It really doesn’t matter what you reward yourself with – you really just need the reminder that the hell you’re going through is worth it, and that you ARE making progress.
Treat yourself to ice cream, a fancy dinner, a new video game – I don’t care. Set a goal, hit it, and buy yourself something that you love (within reason of course…please do not buy a new Mustang for paying off your $100 credit card….).
You’ll feel great, your progress will continue, and at some point in the near future, you’ll ditch your debt and have a permanent smile plastered on your face like I do. 🙂
It’s Your Turn – Let’s Ditch Your Debt!
Forget about cramming yourself into that stupid RV. You never aspired to travel the world anyway.
- List out your debts, income, and expenses
- Put your stats into the debt snowball calculator
- Decrease your expenses
- Increase your income, and
- Reward yourself along the way!
It’s pretty simple, but it’s not easy. You don’t need the RV, but if you decide to tackle your debts, I recommend going at it full bore. You’ll have better odds and your life will suck for a much shorter time-frame. 😉
So what about you? What are you doing to get rid of debt without living in an RV?
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.