Here at the SEOAuditGuide.com blog, we are all about the side hustle, but today the focus is on how to eliminate debt. The side hustles we feature on this blog routinely will help you make extra money to meet your monthly financial obligations, give you a little budgetary breathing room, or to prepare for retirement. While the focus here has tended to be on making money, today we want to share ideas you might want to seriously consider to make the money you earn really count.
Claudia and Garrett Pennington, founders of this blog, are also the founders of TwoCupHouse.com, a blog about personal finances. On that blog, they detailed how the two millennials got out from under hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to become debt-free. They offer a lot of smart advice about downsizing, getting debt-free, living a frugal lifestyle, and preparing for an early retirement (if that is what you want).
I remember asking Claudia and Garrett one time if they followed Dave Ramsey’s Seven Baby Steps to being debt-free, and Claudia remarked how they never heard of Ramsey until they were debt-free. So, they sort of wandered onto their own path of debt reduction and debt-free living.
Alarming news about household debt
NBC News recently shared this Reuters story about what is happening with household debt in the United States:
The total debt shouldered by Americans has hit another record high, rising to $13.5 trillion in the last quarter, while an unusual jump in student-loan delinquencies could provide another signal that the nation’s economic expansion is growing old.
I once heard William Longbrake, a former treasurer for the FDIC, say debt is generally good for the economy, but not always good for families. When we, as consumers, purchase goods and services on credit, we are helping to fuel the economy. This keeps people employed, and it can create jobs. However, if we are making this purchases because we don’t have the money, then we are limiting our options in the future.
Dave Ramsey said when we go into debt, we are obligating future dollars we have yet to earn to buy something today. One of Dave’s team members, put it this way:
Get to a place where every dollar has an opportunity for the future, not an obligation to the past.
Prepare for the future, eliminate debt today
Chris Brown’s advice above is profound. When I worked at Daytona Magic in high school, there was a sign that hung on the wall, and it read: Money’s not the most important thing, but it beats whatever the heck is in second place. Obviously, money is not the most important thing, though many people have placed it above family, health, and faith, to name a few. But, at the same time, a lack of money hinders what we can do.
Making money is important. It provides for our needs and wants today, and it offers some security down the road. However, it can only provide security down the road if we are not spending most of the money we earn today to pay off obligations from our past, whether a credit card, an auto loan, a student loan, or a mortgage.
Here at SEOAuditGuide.com, we are still going to help you earn some extra scratch. For example, here are some of the most popular blog posts of this year:
- Side Hustles for Nurses
- Side Hustles for Accountants
- Side Hustles for Pharmacists
- Side Hustles for Couples
- How SEO Audit Guide can Change Your Life
While our aim is to help you make money, we also want to make sure you are careful with the money you have.
Eliminate debt the Two Cup House way
Once you get in your mind that you are going to eliminate debt, let us suggest the method Claudia and Garrett followed (you can read the full blog post here):
1. PF knowledge: On a regular basis, we read personal finance books, blog posts, and listen to personal finance podcasts to learn more about managing money.
2. Budgeting: We created a budget for our money. Once we knew where we were spending our money, we were able to make adjustments to reallocate more money to our debt repayment.
3. Cutting housing-related expenses: We downsized to a small house to cut housing-related expenses, including utilities and taxes.
4. Cutting transportation-related expenses: We’re a one-car family.
5. Shopping ban for clothing: We hadn’t purchased clothes for two years while we were getting out of debt.
6. Cutting cable: We did this several years ago and haven’t looked back. We don’t have Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon, either.
7. Coupon clipping: We clipped coupons for fresh berries from Driscoll’s. We used the grocery coupon app Ibotta to clip coupons.
8. Cutting restaurant / going out for meals: We stopped going out for meals and started cooking at home more often.
9. DIY: Whenever we can, we do it ourselves. We maintain our own home, fix our car, make our own food, and much more.
10. Water: We drink water. It’s a free or cheap, no calorie drink, so we stopped buying bottled drinks of all kinds; our favorite water bottle is the Hydro Flask (aff link).
11. Coffee: We make espresso with a Bialetti.
12. Lawn Maintenance: We DIY. Our lawn at the small house is quite small, so we’re able to push a mower around fairly quickly.
13. Home Maintenance: We painted our own fence and porch. We clean our own house.
14. Cell Phone Service: Since we pay for only one of our cell phones, we switched to Xfinity Mobile to cut our bill significantly.
15. Increase income: We increased our income by starting a side hustle in digital marketing and SEO services.
Are you ready to eliminate your debt? Are you ready for a Side Hustle?