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I’m going to let you in on a secret. Part of my reason for starting this blog is to hold myself accountable financial wise. My husband and I have debt, and a lot of it (read: law school, house, life…) and I’m itching every day to throw as much money at our debt monster as humanely possible while saving at the same time. I know I can’t be the only one in this situation, so I thought I’d share some of my tips!
I feel like a lot of websites advocate for saving money, which is fantastic! See how I saved about $6,000 this year or put $1,000 in my emergency savings. But, if you want to pay your debt off faster you also need to add to your income stream. When I was 9 months pregnant I had 3 jobs, yes, THREE. I had my full time job, a part time job at a sewing gallery (hello, commission!) and a pretty bangin’ Etsy shop! But, after the baby was born I had to quit my part-time job, and didn’t find time for almost a year to bring my Etsy shop back. Unfortunately it’s still not where it was (maybe one day!)
Ok, secret number 2 (if I keep going at this pace I’ll have no secrets left!) within the past year we paid off $15,000 of debt and saved about $6,000! FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS of debt GONE! How? Thanks for asking 😉
1) Airbnb – Not everyone is as lucky as we are to have the room to make this work. But if you have a couch and aren’t afraid to make friends,I say go for it! Be sure to check out my Airbnb post here with some pretty awesome tips on how to get started! Plus, I just e-mailed VRBO to ask if they do “shared space” rentals, since most of their rentals on there are full houses, and guess what?! THEY DO! Which means that soon I’m going to be posting my guest room on there! Get in front of as many eyeballs as you can! 🙂
2) Ebates – I know you hear about this one from a lot of bloggers, but there’s a reason – IT WORKS! I’ve made about $72 in the past 8 months just buying things online that I normally would and clicking my little ebates button! I recently went out of town and had to park my car at the airport. I reserved my spot online ahead of time, and made sure to click my ebates button before paying. I saved 10%, or about $6! Also, if you sign up with my reference link you’ll get $10 automatically when you make your first purchase over $25 with them! Not bad for free money!
3) Reffing – This was my husband, he was reffing soccer games and gave up pretty much his whole weekend for a few months straight. Miserable at the time, but worth it in the end! If you played sports this is a great way to make a few extra bucks! On average he made $20/game.
4) Cutting Grass – I know, it’s hot and miserable and no one wants to do this, which is why YOU need to! You could also charge for shoveling snow in the winter, or even power washing and gardening. Trust me, there’s a lot of remedial tasks around the house that a lot of people would rather pay someone to do!
5) Petsitting / babysitting – There are a few websites that you can sign up with, such as Rover.com, which I use. Plus, if you don’t have a dog thiscan be a great excuse to head to the great outdoors for an adventure! You can also advertise your services on Facebook, Nextdoor, and other social media websites!
6) Etsy / Ebay – If you have a craft that you do well, this is a great place to sell it! You don’t need a lot to get your business of the ground, and it’s so inspiring to be included in such a supportive community of artists! Ebay is another Mecca of selling items! I’ve gone to goodwill and found Ugg boots, Lilly Pulitzer clothing, Michael Kors handbags and turned around and resold them for a profit!
7) Garage Sale / Estate Sales – Those little old ladies who wake up at the crack of dawn really know what they’re doing! These usually have a much better selection then Goodwill. I’ve found coach purses and wallets (sometimes with tags), Vince Camuto purses, Pandora bracelets, Pottery Barn odds and ends etc… The best part is, if you wait until Sunday for the estate sales you’ll usually find that everything is 40%-50% off. Which can be the ideal time to score that 14k broach or the Louis Vuitton wallet (I still regret not getting this one…) But, just because it’s a brand name and a great price, doesn’t mean that it should go home with you! I once found a leather Hermes vest from the 80’s. It was $150, but God only knows how I would find someone to buy that from me for a profit!
8) Housesitting – OK, so I put this one last because I haven’t done this yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t! If you’re going on vacation you can see if someone has a house that needs to be looked after. Typically this translates to free lodging! The only cost to you might be membership fees for different websites.
We’ve used 7 out of the 8 above ways to gain extra income to throw at debt. My best piece of advice, overall, is to pay yourself first! And although life may be miserable for a while, cut back where you can! That means no movies (you could have friends over for a movie night instead), cut back on eating out (this one is HARD for us), and watch the extras that you spend money on – even though that soy candle smells like heaven reincarnated is it really worth the $25? Sometimes the answer is yes, and that’s ok! Just don’t say yes every. single. time. In another blog post, I’ll talk about how we SAVED all our money. Stay tuned 🙂
And remember, misery loves company – we’re in this together! Pro tip: If you subscribe to my newsletter I’ll send you a super awesome Excel sheet with the formulas already plugged in so you can easily track your saving over the year! What are your best tips for paying off debt? How do you stay motivated?