Got Debt? Don’t short change yourself.
What is the biggest problem in your life today? If you’re like the majority of Americans…one of, if not THE main answer is debt and/or lack of finances.
Now I’m not a financial adviser or a debt elimination expert, but I do know that what I see around me speaks volumes. And what I’m seeing is a lot of people talking about their money problems, but not taking action to solve those problems.
Now some people are perfectly happy with where they are in life. If you have a $300,000 mortgage, 2 car loans, a 5 or 6 figure student loan, medical bills and you’re happy…well that’s great, but I think most people would be a whole lot happier if they were debt free.
Something I repeat quite frequently around the house is my desire to “work at Home Depot 3 days a week” after we are debt free. Once you have control over your life and you don’t NEED to make that extra couple grand a month…you could quite literally work at Home Depot, teach painting lessons or do just about any other thing you want with your time. Spending a lot more time doing things you want…that is the ultimate goal for a lot of people. That is why many people downsize their home, move to a low cost of living area or just avoid going into debt entirely. But for those of us that are insistent on maintaining or even improving our “quality of life” (aka all the meaningless crap we have)…here are 2 unconventional ways to eliminate debt:
1. Go BIG when you switch jobs! This was a strategy I learned from an old boss of mine. Let’s say you currently make 50k a year. Most people think when they go to a new job their increase has to be nominal. Like, “oh I make 50k a year, so I can maybe hop to another job and make 60k”…screw that. I’m saying make your resume so awesome and take a year or two to really learn your craft and then go for your boss’s boss’s job. Jump from a mid to high level position to a vice president position. Go from a 50k job to 150k job. What’s the worst that’s going to happen? You get the job and then get fired 2 years later. Oh sorry…you just made 300k in two years, paid off all of your debt and now you can work at Home Depot 3 days a week.
2. Stop working your crap 9-5 job. You know how many people I know that make 32k a year and stay at their job they absolutely hate, with absolutely no growth potential and complain about it every day? A lot. My friend Bill (not his real name) figured this out a long time ago. He’s a hustler. He bar tends 3-4 nights a week (at a really nice bar) and mows lawns on the weekends. He left that 9-5, 32k job and now makes 74k a year, has a flexible schedule, and really enjoys his life. Keep crushin’ Bill.
Now I know some of you are saying…”that’s great Ben, but I’m in a field where the pay sucks and their isn’t much growth potential. I can’t hop to a new job and make more, because those jobs don’t exist…and I have to stay in my current field to build my resume. I can’t go become a bartender or whatever.”
Well look…I don’t have the answers for everyone…but I can say that in general people need to dream bigger. We only have one life, so let’s make the most of it.
Oh by the way…I realized this post turned into a “how to make more money without giving anything up” post. One of the most obvious ways to eliminate debt is just to cut costs…but this post was mostly about how to maximize income to eliminate debt.
If anyone has any other awesome strategies, I’d love to hear them in the comments section.