How to Organize a Garage Sale Like a Boss

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You’ve been feverishly decluttering your house and now the weather is nice enough that you’re thinking about hosting a garage sale before you bring everything to the thrift store.

Before you get your price stickers and signs ready, you should do a little preparing so you can organize a garage sale that will make you as much money as possible.

How to Organize a Garage Sale

There are several steps that go into hosting a successful yard sale.

First, you have to schedule a date for your sale. This may not be a problem right now but usually there’s a lot going on where I live so I wanted to pick a day with as little happening as possible.

It would suck to plan this whole thing to find out it conflicts with a major event. I used the “Events” tab on Facebook, you can input a date and it’ll show you upcoming events.

Disclaimer: If your only available day conflicts with a big event, don’t worry too much. Serious garage sale shoppers stop at nothing to get their fix.

The other important detail is day and time. We decided to hold ours on a Saturday from 8am-5pm. We held our sale in a fenced-in backyard so we could set up the night before and minimize work in the morning.

<img data-attachment-id="928" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss/img_0067/" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/IMG_0067-e1493003467791.jpg?fit=370%2C228&ssl=1" data-orig-size="370,228" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="Yard Sale" data-image-description="

yard sale

” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/IMG_0067-e1493003467791.jpg?fit=300%2C185&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/IMG_0067-e1493003467791.jpg?fit=600%2C338&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Do you want to get rid of the stuff you have been purging? It is a perfect time to have a safe & profitable yard sale. #yardsaletips #yardsaleideas #makeextramoneyathome #sidehustles #yardsalehacks” data-pin-title=”How to Have a Safe & Profitable Yard Sale This Year” class=”size-full wp-image-928″ src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss.jpg” alt=”yard sale” width=”370″ height=”228″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss.jpg 370w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/IMG_0067-e1493003467791.jpg?resize=300%2C185&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/IMG_0067-e1493003467791.jpg?resize=100%2C62&ssl=1 100w” sizes=”(max-width: 370px) 100vw, 370px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

our sale on and poppin!

I read that serious buyers would show up early and without fail, at 7am they were there. We were mostly set up so we just let them in.

The morning was the busiest. We were steady until 1:00 then really quiet for 45 minutes. We had a late rush at 1:45 then it was steady again for another hour and a half. It started sprinkling at 4 so we packed everything up a little early.

I’m glad we decided to start at 8, I couldn’t imagine people showing up at 5 or 6am. There is not enough coffee in the world for me to be ok with that. If I could do it over I probably would’ve ended at 1. The last rush of people was nice but not worth the sitting around.

How to Advertise Your Garage Sale

The key to a successful sale is good advertising. You can have the best stuff but if no one knows or there’s no incentive to come then you wont sell them. There were three things we did to make sure as many people got to our house as possible.

1. Have Multiple Sellers

We were inspired by another sale that had six or seven different people selling in one place. Having a “multi-family” sale not only means more items but also a larger variety, that gives more people incentive to come, even people who might not be into yard sale-ing.

People with different interests accumulate different stuff and if you don’t jive with one seller’s items you might like what another seller has to offer.

If it is a lot of the same stuff, consider theming your sale to set it apart. JD Roth from Get Rich Slowly looked at what he had most of and listed his sale as a “Geek Garage Sale.” You might think you’ll drive people away by niching down but you actually make your sale more attractive to non garage salers.

Multiple sellers also means more exposure. The more people you have selling, the more people you have sharing the event with their friends.

<img data-attachment-id="931" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss/garage-explosion/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/garage-explosion-e1493003705456.jpg?fit=400%2C300&ssl=1" data-orig-size="400,300" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="garage explosion" data-image-description="

garage explosion

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/garage-explosion-e1493003705456.jpg?fit=300%2C225&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/garage-explosion-e1493003705456.jpg?fit=600%2C450&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Do you want to get rid of the stuff you have been purging? It is a perfect time to have a safe & profitable yard sale. #yardsaletips #yardsaleideas #makeextramoneyathome #sidehustles #yardsalehacks” data-pin-title=”How to Have a Safe & Profitable Yard Sale This Year” class=”size-full wp-image-931″ src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss-1.jpg” alt=”garage explosion” width=”400″ height=”300″ data-recalc-dims=”1″>

probably no room for multiple sellers here

2. Coordinate With Another Garage Sale

Sales that happen on the same day aren’t competition, they’re advertising! I discovered this one by accident and it by far brought us the most traffic. A friend at my work had planned a sale for the same day as ours. She was nearby so I suggested we print out fliers for each other’s sales and hand them out to people as they left.

The flier was a simple half-sheet of paper with the sale address, times, and highlights of what we were selling. This is a great option for people who want to host a multi-family sale but don’t have space. And I’m sure if none of your friends want to host you could easily find nearby sales on Craigslist and email the seller to set something up.

3. Post Your Garage Sale Online

Craigslist is where all the serious buyers and sellers go. I posted on Monday and then another with a rephrased title on Thursday. Then I posted in Facebook Marketplace and in relevant local Facebook groups.

I also Googled “garage sale” and posted to every site that popped up on the first page. Most of the garage sale listing sites are in the same family of websites which made filling out the details easy (thanks auto-fill!).

yard sale

<img data-attachment-id="3908" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss/how-to-have-a-safe-yard-sale/" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/How-to-Have-a-Safe-Yard-Sale.jpg?fit=1000%2C1500&ssl=1" data-orig-size="1000,1500" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="How to Have a Safe Yard Sale" data-image-description="

Do you want to get rid of the stuff you have been purging? It is a perfect time to have a safe & profitable yard sale. #yardsaletips #yardsaleideas #makeextramoneyathome #sidehustles #yardsalehacks

” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/How-to-Have-a-Safe-Yard-Sale.jpg?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/How-to-Have-a-Safe-Yard-Sale.jpg?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” class=” wp-image-3908 aligncenter” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss-3.jpg” alt=”yard sale” width=”330″ height=”496″ data-pin-title=”How to Have a Safe & Profitable Yard Sale This Year” data-pin-description=”Do you want to get rid of the stuff you have been purging? It is a perfect time to have a safe & profitable yard sale. #yardsaletips #yardsaleideas #makeextramoneyathome #sidehustles #yardsalehacks” srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss-8.jpg 200w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/How-to-Have-a-Safe-Yard-Sale.jpg?resize=400%2C600&ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/How-to-Have-a-Safe-Yard-Sale.jpg?resize=768%2C1152&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/How-to-Have-a-Safe-Yard-Sale.jpg?w=1000&ssl=1 1000w” sizes=”(max-width: 330px) 100vw, 330px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

How to Prepare Your Yard Sale

Go through the boxes of stuff you haven’t seen in years before you put them out for sale. My husband was going through one I’d put out and found a copy of my social security card, I had not intended to sell my identity.

And if you can’t put everything out the night before like we did, you should do as much as possible to limit your stress on the morning of and have time for more coffee.

1. Garage Sale Pricing

We used a combination of methods for pricing. For clothes and items we had a lot of I made a sign with individual and bulk prices, I bought price stickers and put them on other items. A lot of stuff we left blank. When people asked how much we either yelled out a price or asked “How much you offering?”

If we’d had a smaller sale I wouldn’t have priced anything. When people name their own price they’re more likely to buy the item. The nice thing about putting prices on some stuff was that I didn’t have to talk as much. Introverts will appreciate pricing items individually.

I found pricing suggestions on Angie’s List and found that people will haggle you down whether the price is fair or not, so best practice is to price high.

<img data-attachment-id="930" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss/beanie-babies/" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/beanie-babies-e1493003601746.jpg?fit=400%2C300&ssl=1" data-orig-size="400,300" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="beanie babies" data-image-description="

beanie babies

” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/beanie-babies-e1493003601746.jpg?fit=300%2C225&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/beanie-babies-e1493003601746.jpg?fit=600%2C450&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Do you want to get rid of the stuff you have been purging? It is a perfect time to have a safe & profitable yard sale. #yardsaletips #yardsaleideas #makeextramoneyathome #sidehustles #yardsalehacks” data-pin-title=”How to Have a Safe & Profitable Yard Sale This Year” class=”size-full wp-image-930″ src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss-4.jpg” alt=”beanie babies” width=”400″ height=”300″ data-recalc-dims=”1″>

People will pay $1 each for beanie babies

2. Garage Sale Signs

I bought signs to stick in the ground and neon cardstock to post on poles, fences, etc. I thought four signs would be enough but my paranoid husband thought we could put up every sign we had. He was right.

It was the signs on neon poster board that attracted the most attention. People saw the white signs in the ground but they got to us by the bright ones. Our signs just said “Yard Sale” with the address at the bottom and an arrow in the middle pointing the way to treasure land.

If you can, have someone check your signs midway through the sale. One of ours fell and was pointing AWAY from our sale.

What to do The Day of Your Garage Sale

First, give yourself more time to post the signs than you think you’ll need. We had a debate on which illegal places would be least illegal to post our signs. Every city has their rules so check yours to be sure.

I posted a Facebook Live video on my profile giving a tour of the sale. I called attention to some of the more enticing items and introduced all our sellers.

Here are some essentials that kept our ship sale-ing (lololol):

Chill music– It’s too early in the morning for all that hip hop, play something inviting that will keep the people browsing and your neighbors from yelling at you.
Fanny pack– Keep your money close and your fanny pack closer.
Free section– There are some things that no one will buy at your yard sale, doesn’t mean you can’t put them out, but don’t waste your time pricing them.

With a few hours left in the sale, I started posting big ticket items that didn’t sell to Facebook Marketplace. By doing that I was able to secure a home for almost everything I posted.

I posted midday thinking people would come while we were still selling but nobody could make it until the next day so you could probably wait until your sale is over to post.

Warning: responding to all those Facebook messages was almost more tiring than the actual sale.

What to do After a Yard Sale

Take down the signs so people don’t continue to show up at your house, delete your Craigslist and other ads so people don’t roll by your house trying to get free stuff, and count your money!

We took name brand clothes that didn’t sell to Plato’s Closet and made $15 more. And we continued to post big-ticket items to Facebook Marketplace.

Bring leftovers to a thrift store or call one to see if you can have your stuff picked up. We made around $400 not including the furniture we sold on Marketplace the next day.

For the amount of work we put (and didn’t put) into it, I’m glad we did it. Purging is so cathartic and to get some spending money in exchange is just a bonus.

Tell me: What do you think about garage sales? Do you have any interesting garage sale stories or tips to share?

<img data-attachment-id="4130" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss/yard-sale-1/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Yard-Sale-1.jpg?fit=1000%2C1500&ssl=1" data-orig-size="1000,1500" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="How to Organize a Yard Sale without the Headache- Even During Coronavirus" data-image-description="

Do you want to sell the stuff you’ve been decluttering while you were at home? Here are some tips to have a safe and succcessful yard sale without a headache!! #yardsale #howtohaveayardsale #moneymakingtips #howtomakemoneyathome #sidehustleideas #howtomakemoremoney

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Yard-Sale-1.jpg?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Yard-Sale-1.jpg?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” class=” wp-image-4130″ src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss-6.jpg” alt width=”587″ height=”882″ data-pin-title=”How to Organize a Yard Sale without the Headache- Even During Coronavirus” data-pin-description=”Do you want to sell the stuff you’ve been decluttering while you were at home? Here are some tips to have a safe and succcessful yard sale without a headache!! #yardsale #howtohaveayardsale #moneymakingtips #howtomakemoneyathome #sidehustleideas #howtomakemoremoney ” srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss-9.jpg 200w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Yard-Sale-1.jpg?resize=400%2C600&ssl=1 400w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Yard-Sale-1.jpg?resize=768%2C1152&ssl=1 768w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Yard-Sale-1.jpg?w=1000&ssl=1 1000w” sizes=”(max-width: 587px) 100vw, 587px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

<img data-attachment-id="976" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss/run-a-yard-sale/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?fit=400%2C707&ssl=1" data-orig-size="400,707" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="Run a yard sale" data-image-description="

Run a yard sale

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?fit=170%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?fit=339%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Do you want to get rid of the stuff you have been purging? It is a perfect time to have a safe & profitable yard sale. #yardsaletips #yardsaleideas #makeextramoneyathome #sidehustles #yardsalehacks” data-pin-title=”How to Have a Safe & Profitable Yard Sale This Year” class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-976 jetpack-lazy-image” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss.png” alt=”Run a yard sale” width=”400″ height=”707″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ data-lazy-srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss.png 400w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?resize=170%2C300&ssl=1 170w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?resize=339%2C600&ssl=1 339w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?resize=100%2C177&ssl=1 100w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” srcset=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″>

<img data-attachment-id="976" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss/run-a-yard-sale/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?fit=400%2C707&ssl=1" data-orig-size="400,707" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="Run a yard sale" data-image-description="

Run a yard sale

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?fit=170%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?fit=339%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Do you want to get rid of the stuff you have been purging? It is a perfect time to have a safe & profitable yard sale. #yardsaletips #yardsaleideas #makeextramoneyathome #sidehustles #yardsalehacks” data-pin-title=”How to Have a Safe & Profitable Yard Sale This Year” class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-976″ src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss.png” alt=”Run a yard sale” width=”400″ height=”707″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss.png 400w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?resize=170%2C300&ssl=1 170w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?resize=339%2C600&ssl=1 339w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?resize=100%2C177&ssl=1 100w” sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com

How Legit is Student Loan Forgiveness?

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

Everyone and their sister are on some kind of special payment plan for their student loans. But some people get so overwhelmed with the options they just don’t bother with them. With all the talk about student loans, debt, and wealth building I’d be remiss not answer the question:

How Legit is Student Loan Forgiveness?

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When we made the final payment on my $51,000 federal student loan (Which ballooned to almost $60K with interest.) Pressing that button (actually those three buttons) was a surreal experience.

In full disclosure, we paid off almost $78K of car and student loan debt on our own in 23 months with average salaries.

We made the decision to not go with a government-led program even before the snafu with less than 1% of the first Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Applicants actually receiving forgiveness.

It’s not because I think they’re bad programs. Loan forgiveness programs serve an important purpose and should be in place, but they’re there for a small minority of people, not the general masses.

And unless you can meet the requirements to a T, report and organize diligently for over 10 years, and don’t care about your early income as it relates to retirement, student loan forgiveness may not be for you either.

Here’s my verdict on the two most popular student loan forgiveness programs.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Anyone employed by a government or non-profit organization is eligible to apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, PSLF. More specifically, you must make 120 payments under an income-driven plan, while employed full-time in qualifying profession for your PSLF application to be approved.

If approved, the remainder of any unpaid federal student loans are forgiven and you aren’t required to pay income tax on the forgiven amount.

This is a great program, albeit restricting, to get people doing jobs that are otherwise unattractive and under-rewarded.

Most millennials won’t qualify for this program, they shouldn’t. It’s meant to help subsidize people who are passionate about low-paying non-profit and government work and helps those industries attract quality workers who could be making more money elsewhere.

The rest of us should be trying to get the most money out of our chosen career paths, not looking for ways to get stuck in low-paying jobs.

Having a program like this also increases commitment to jobs that otherwise have a high turnover rate.

If your goal is to work in the non-profit sector then your hopes of making the big bucks are already dashed, add to that a hefty loan payment accruing 4-6.55% interest and you’re the type of person who will genuinely benefit from this program.

But don’t be deceived, this isn’t a “relief” program, it’s a government program designed to help the government first and you second.

Verdict: Legit

Income Based Repayment Plan

For the rest of us, there’s the Income Based Repayment Plan. Contrary to popular belief, IBR is not actually a student loan forgiveness program. It’s a repayment plan with a forgiveness option.

The government looks at your loan amount, income, family size, etc to determine a payment that’s no more than 15% of your discretionary income. You’re required to submit your tax return every year so if your income goes up your payment goes up.

If you pay off the loan before 20-25 years — depending on when you entered the program — then you don’t get any forgiveness.

Here’s a great calculator from Student Loan Hero to determine if you would benefit from IBR. When I was playing around with it, out of the first 3 scenarios I put in, one had my IBR payments at a level where I pay off my loans in 18 years and the next told me I was ineligible (based on income.)

Then there’s the tax argument. Whatever you do have forgiven, you pay taxes on like it’s income. That’ll most likely have you paying at least 22% tax on the entire forgiven amount. And you’ll need to be prepared to pay it in a lump sum or you’ll be hit with more fines and interest.

Verdict: Not Legit

These are just the two most popular methods. For up to date programs by state and profession, check out The College Investor’ resources on forgiveness programs.

Why Should Millennials Reconsider Forgiveness Through Income-Based Repayment?

I spent five years doing a job I loved just to find a different job I loved that paid more. I was able to take it without a second-thought because nothing was holding me back.

Alternatively, the organization or public program you work for could shut down at any time. Government jobs used to be the safest place to be employed, not anymore.

Unless you’re in a PSLF qualifying job that you love and is guaranteed to you for at least 10 years, I beg you to reconsider IBR.

When I was living on a single-income with over $50K of unbankruptable student loans, I thought I’d live under the weight of my student loans forever.

My epiphany came when I discovered I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to wait 20 years to be free of my loan debt. I want to be free to make as much or as little as I want and work in whatever field I please.

Also Read: Which Student Loan Should I Pay First?

Paying off your student loans early is really attainable. It’s hard but millennials are doing it. I know you can be one of them no matter what your income is. As millennials, the stuff we need to achieve this goal is in our generational DNA:

We’re Resourceful

We will go to great lengths to spend less where we can and save money on the necessities. I mean, just look at all the options we have!

  • Groupon and LivingSocial for deals on activities.
  • Shopping through Ebates when making any purchases online will get you cash-back from virtually any retailer. (I never get a Groupon without getting Ebates cash back!)
  • Use Blink to save on prescriptions.
  • EyeBuyDirect to save on prescription eyewear.
  • Energy saving methods like low-flow showerheads to reduce our utility bill.
  • Sites like Restaurant.com for dining deals.
  • ThredUp for nice secondhand clothing at steep discounts from retail.
  • Free trials at gyms.
  • Apps like ibotta and Checkout51 to save at grocery stores and other big box retailers.
  • Use healthcare sharing to save big time on health insurance.

We Hustle Hard

The stereotype that we don’t work hard enough to get ahead is just not true. We’re jumping on opportunities like Uber and Fiverr to side hustle our way into more money. We are masters of technology and budding soloprenuers. We started from the bottom but we’re on our way to you Drake.

Millennials are starting business younger and at twice the rate of Boomers. According to a 2015 study from The Hartford millennials overwhelmingly desire to be leaders in their fields. Leadership skills are the #1 training millennials want from their employers.

We’ve Seen a Lot

2008 was a big year for us. We were starting college or going back when we realized there were no jobs out there for us. While most of us didn’t get any personal finance education in school, we saw firsthand the result of poor financial planning. That’s why millennials are putting off marriage and mortgages to break even on the bad financial hand we’ve been dealt.

Instead of being broke with a cool apartment and $24K financed car, some of us would rather crash with the ‘rents, drive a $4,000 car and have $20,000 in the bank.

We Have Squad Goals

You know how they say it takes a village to raise a child? It takes a whole Facebook friends list to crush a millennial’s student loans. We have the power of a 24/7 community to share our struggles with and motivate us to keep going. If you can ignore your uncle’s constant political tirades (there’s an unfollow button for that) you have a wealth of support at your fingertips.

Also Read: How to Make $27K by Eating Out Less

Paying off our student loans is key to living an unrestricted life and investing in the future.

These characteristics may not be true for every millennial but neither are the negative ones. So if you’re surrounded by the type of friend who’s living paycheck-to-paycheck and fine with keeping their student loans around forever, don’t stress. We’re out there, hustling to beat the statistics.

<img data-attachment-id="2659" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-legit-is-student-loan-forgiveness/student-loan-forgiveness/" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/student-loan-forgiveness.png?fit=735%2C1102&ssl=1" data-orig-size="735,1102" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="Are you Elligible to Get Your Student Loans Forgiven?" data-image-description="

Have you heard about student loan forgiveness? You may be elligble to get yours forgiven for good. Here is a checklist to help to determine your eligibility. #studentloanforgiveness #studentloantips #howtogetoutofdebt #gettingoutofdebt #howtogetoutofdebtfast

” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/student-loan-forgiveness.png?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/student-loan-forgiveness.png?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Do you wish you could kick your student loans to the curb once and for all? You might be eligible for student loan forgiveness. #studentloanforgiveness #studentloantips #howtogetoutofdebt #howtogetoutofdebtquickly #howtogetoutofdebt #payingoffdebt #moneysavingtips #moneysavinghacks #freestuffhacks” data-pin-title=”Do You Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness?” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-legit-is-student-loan-forgiveness.png” alt=”Why student loan forgiveness from income based repayment or pslf might not be all it’s cracked up to be.” class=”wp-image-2659″ width=”229″ height=”344″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-legit-is-student-loan-forgiveness-1.png 400w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/student-loan-forgiveness.png?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/student-loan-forgiveness.png?w=735&ssl=1 735w” sizes=”(max-width: 229px) 100vw, 229px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

<img data-attachment-id="4249" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-legit-is-student-loan-forgiveness/how-to-know-if-youre-elligible-for-student-loans-forgiven_/" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/How-to-know-if-youre-elligible-for-student-loans-forgiven_.jpg?fit=1000%2C1500&ssl=1" data-orig-size="1000,1500" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="Are you Elligible to Get Your Student Loans Forgiven?" data-image-description="

Have you heard about student loan forgiveness? You may be elligble to get yours forgiven for good. Here is a checklist to help to determine your eligibility. #studentloanforgiveness #studentloantips #howtogetoutofdebt #gettingoutofdebt #howtogetoutofdebtfast

” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/How-to-know-if-youre-elligible-for-student-loans-forgiven_.jpg?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-legit-is-student-loan-forgiveness-1.jpg” loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Do you wish you could kick your student loans to the curb once and for all? You might be eligible for student loan forgiveness. #studentloanforgiveness #studentloantips #howtogetoutofdebt #howtogetoutofdebtquickly #howtogetoutofdebt #payingoffdebt #moneysavingtips #moneysavinghacks #freestuffhacks” data-pin-title=”Do You Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness?” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-legit-is-student-loan-forgiveness-1.jpg” alt class=”wp-image-4249″ width=”263″ height=”395″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-legit-is-student-loan-forgiveness-4.jpg 1000w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/How-to-know-if-youre-elligible-for-student-loans-forgiven_.jpg?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/How-to-know-if-youre-elligible-for-student-loans-forgiven_.jpg?resize=400%2C600&ssl=1 400w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/How-to-know-if-youre-elligible-for-student-loans-forgiven_.jpg?resize=768%2C1152&ssl=1 768w” sizes=”(max-width: 263px) 100vw, 263px”>

<img data-attachment-id="4292" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-legit-is-student-loan-forgiveness/mf-why-millennials-should-stop-wasting-time-on-student-loan-forgiveness-what-to-do-instead/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/MF-Why-Millennials-Should-STOP-Wasting-Time-on-Student-Loan-Forgiveness-What-to-Do-Instead.jpg?fit=700%2C1350&ssl=1" data-orig-size="700,1350" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="Why Millennials Should STOP Wasting Time on Student Loan Forgiveness- & What to Do Instead" data-image-description="

Millennials should STOP wasting time on student loan forgiveness and here’s why. #studentloantips #studentloanforgiveness #moneytipsformillennials #studentloanforgivenesselligibility #moneyhacks #studentloandebt

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/MF-Why-Millennials-Should-STOP-Wasting-Time-on-Student-Loan-Forgiveness-What-to-Do-Instead.jpg?fit=156%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-legit-is-student-loan-forgiveness-2.jpg” loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Do you wish you could kick your student loans to the curb once and for all? You might be eligible for student loan forgiveness. #studentloanforgiveness #studentloantips #howtogetoutofdebt #howtogetoutofdebtquickly #howtogetoutofdebt #payingoffdebt #moneysavingtips #moneysavinghacks #freestuffhacks” data-pin-title=”Do You Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness?” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-legit-is-student-loan-forgiveness-2.jpg” alt class=”wp-image-4292″ width=”272″ height=”525″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-legit-is-student-loan-forgiveness-5.jpg 700w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/MF-Why-Millennials-Should-STOP-Wasting-Time-on-Student-Loan-Forgiveness-What-to-Do-Instead.jpg?resize=156%2C300&ssl=1 156w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/MF-Why-Millennials-Should-STOP-Wasting-Time-on-Student-Loan-Forgiveness-What-to-Do-Instead.jpg?resize=311%2C600&ssl=1 311w” sizes=”(max-width: 272px) 100vw, 272px”>

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com

The Only 4 Survey Sites That Are Actually Worth Your Time

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

I have the entrepreneurial gene. I’m always working on something new that will move our family forward. And I’m always thinking of ways to make the most money for the least effort.

But not everyone wants to start their own business or write for hours a day. That doesn’t mean you can’t make some extra money.

Time is the #1 excuse I hear for why people can’t make more money to pay off their debt faster.

I know you have a lunch break. I know you wait for the water to boil for those rice and beans. I know you poop.

<img data-attachment-id="4043" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/survey-sites-actually-worth-your-time/survey-sites-worth-your-time/" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Survey-Sites-Worth-Your-Time.jpg?fit=1000%2C1500&ssl=1" data-orig-size="1000,1500" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="4 Survey Sites Worth Your TIme" data-image-description="

Are you tired of spending hours taking surveys without a big return? Here are 4 survey sites that are worth your time. #makemoneyonline #surveysite #howtomakemoneyonline #freestuffhacks #howtogetfreestuff

” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Survey-Sites-Worth-Your-Time.jpg?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Survey-Sites-Worth-Your-Time.jpg?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” class=” wp-image-4043 aligncenter” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/the-only-4-survey-sites-that-are-actually-worth-your-time.jpg” alt width=”304″ height=”457″ data-pin-title=”4 Survey Sites Worth Your TIme” data-pin-description=”Are you tired of spending hours taking surveys without a big return? Here are 4 survey sites that are worth your time. #makemoneyonline #surveysite #howtomakemoneyonline #freestuffhacks #howtogetfreestuff” srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/the-only-4-survey-sites-that-are-actually-worth-your-time-5.jpg 200w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Survey-Sites-Worth-Your-Time.jpg?resize=400%2C600&ssl=1 400w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Survey-Sites-Worth-Your-Time.jpg?resize=768%2C1152&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Survey-Sites-Worth-Your-Time.jpg?w=1000&ssl=1 1000w” sizes=”(max-width: 304px) 100vw, 304px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

You may not have time in your day to start a side hustle but you have time in your day to do some surveys. I’ll be blunt, surveys are the least effective way to make money. I wrote about it a while ago. But they are better than nothing.

You’ll be really disappointed if you want to make an extra $500 debt payment with your survey winnings. But if you view it from the right angle you’ll be pretty pleased with your work doing surveys.

You can get gift cards to the grocery store or for a restaurant. You can save up for gas money for this summer’s road trip or for Christmas gifts.

Doing surveys works much better if you have a goal you’re trying to reach vs. just doing them willy-nilly.

There are hundreds of survey sites out there and you could sign up for all of them and never hit the minimum to cash out. That’s why I recommend only four! Four survey sites on rotation allow you to always have a survey available but not too many that you spread yourself thin.

And which of the four do I recommend? I’m glad you asked. These are the four I trust. I’ve tried them out, read reviews, asked around and they’re legit. They actually make payments. I know this because these links in here are my referral links, I get a couple bucks when people I refer cash out.

And I get notifications about my referrals cashing out so I know they’re making money.

So here are the only four survey sites I recommend because they aren’t full of surveys you don’t qualify for and they’ll provide you enough surveys to actually be able to cash out.

1. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is my top dog, my favorite as far as survey sites go because they’re more than a survey site. You can get points for watching videos, answering one-question polls, playing games, and shopping online.

Each point is equivalent to a penny and can be used to buy gift cards to basically anywhere including Amazon, Paypal, and plain ol’ Mastercard Rewards.

Sometimes the cards will go on sale for 2-12% off.

You can leave Swagbucks videos playing on your tablet while you work (just check in every few minutes to play the next) and get points back when you buy stuff online. I still prefer Ebates cash back to do this but if you’re close to cashing out and you need a boost, they have around the same conversion.

Pro tips for excelling at Swagbucks:

  • Subscribe to the Swagbucks Reddit page for all the insider deals
  • Follow SwagCodeSpoilers on Twitter to get SwagCodes sent to your phone
  • Link your card so transactions at certain local retailers will get you swagbucks
  • Participate in “SwagUps” before they expire

Definitely, sign up for Swagbucks before you try any other survey site. This one can keep you busy but if you do run out of things to do (or get bored) it’s nice to have other options.

2. MySurvey

One of the oldest survey sites on the web is MySurvey. It’s also one of the easiest to qualify for so I’m confident you can do enough surveys here to keep you busy.

One of the perks of MySurvey is that in addition to gift cards, you can be paid out in direct cash or PayPal transfers. The minimum to cash out is only $10 (1000 points) and the average survey pays out $.50 cents to $1.25 when converted from points.

You can get about 30-50 points for a 10-minute survey and 150-300 point for surveys over 30 minutes. You can also get products to test from MySurvey with high rewards. I’m not sure how competitive they are.

Some users have complained that MySurvey “caps” them at $10 per month, which isn’t confirmed but hey, it’s why there are four sites on here and not two.

The more you log in to MySurvey the more surveys you’ll receive, checking in once a week will keep you on the list for the best surveys. And best of all you’ll never receive any spam email from them. That’s why MySurvey is my second pick for best survey sites.

3. i-Say

i-Say has a lot of incentive for you to do more surveys with them. Their loyalty program gives you bonuses after completing 5, 10, and so-on surveys. Complete 200 surveys in one calendar year and you’ll get 600 bonus points.

100 points on i-Say are equivalent to $1 and can be redeemed in the form of gift cards or donations to your favorite charity. You can redeem as few as 500 points which can go really quick with

It can be a little difficult to qualify for surveys in i-Say. Some get a few per week and some only 2 per month. Surveyors recommend only doing surveys you know the est. time and points on. 45 points for 10 minutes and 90 points for 20 minutes are good to attempt.

It’s definitely worth signing up for i-Say as a backup.

4. PaidViewpoint

Surveys on PaidViewpoint take only 2-3 minutes and pay out .10 to $2. There’s a $15 minimum to cash out which could take you a while to accumulate but it’s all cash. And there’s no taking half a survey to find out you don’t qualify, when you’re in you’re in.

To get to $15 faster they have a referral program and for every time your friend cashes out you get 20% of their earnings for life.

I don’t recommend making PaidViewpoint a priority but if you’re out of surveys in the first three or only have a few minutes it’s a good fall back. And once you hit the first $15 I’d bail and focus more on Swagbucks.

Honorable Mention: Pinecone Research

I’m awarding an honorable mention to Pinecone Research because they are a legit research company that pays well, $3 per survey and no cash out minimum.

But it’s hard to get approved for their site. I include it so you can apply and if you get in I highly recommend participating. If not, then you’ll have enough to do with the first four sites.

To sum it up:

I definitely think Swagbucks can keep you busy enough but if you’re looking for more start with MySurvey, then iSay, then PaidViewpoint. Try applying to Pinecone Research and definitely stick with them if you get accepted.

Happy surveying my friends!

<img data-attachment-id="1748" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/survey-sites-actually-worth-your-time/3-15/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/3.png?fit=735%2C1102&ssl=1" data-orig-size="735,1102" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="survey sites" data-image-description="

survey sites

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/3.png?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/3.png?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Are you tired of spending hours taking surveys without a big return? Here are 4 survey sites that are worth your time. #makemoneyonline #surveysite #howtomakemoneyonline #freestuffhacks #howtogetfreestuff” data-pin-title=”4 Survey Sites Worth Your TIme” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-1748 jetpack-lazy-image” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/the-only-4-survey-sites-that-are-actually-worth-your-time-1.png” alt=”Sick of seeing all these survey sites, now I know the ONLY ones to make extra money.” width=”400″ height=”600″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ data-lazy-srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/the-only-4-survey-sites-that-are-actually-worth-your-time-2.png 400w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/3.png?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/3.png?resize=100%2C150&ssl=1 100w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/3.png?w=735&ssl=1 735w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” srcset=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″>

<img data-attachment-id="1748" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/survey-sites-actually-worth-your-time/3-15/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/3.png?fit=735%2C1102&ssl=1" data-orig-size="735,1102" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="survey sites" data-image-description="

survey sites

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/3.png?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/3.png?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Are you tired of spending hours taking surveys without a big return? Here are 4 survey sites that are worth your time. #makemoneyonline #surveysite #howtomakemoneyonline #freestuffhacks #howtogetfreestuff” data-pin-title=”4 Survey Sites Worth Your TIme” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-1748″ src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/the-only-4-survey-sites-that-are-actually-worth-your-time-2.png” alt=”Sick of seeing all these survey sites, now I know the ONLY ones to make extra money.” width=”400″ height=”600″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/the-only-4-survey-sites-that-are-actually-worth-your-time-2.png 400w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/3.png?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/3.png?resize=100%2C150&ssl=1 100w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/3.png?w=735&ssl=1 735w” sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

<img data-attachment-id="4786" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/survey-sites-actually-worth-your-time/mf-make-extra-money-for-christmas-with-legit-survey-sites-the-only-ones-worth-your-time/" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/MF-Make-Extra-Money-for-Christmas-with-Legit-Survey-Sites-The-Only-Ones-Worth-Your-Time.jpg?fit=735%2C1102&ssl=1" data-orig-size="735,1102" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="Need extra cash for Christmas?" data-image-description="

If you want Christmas cash, you’re in luck. You can make cash for Christmas from home taking legit surveys and get paid fast. #makemoneyforchristmas #makemoneyonline #makeextramoney #sidehustles #makemoneytakingsurveys #howtomakemoneytakingsurveys

” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/MF-Make-Extra-Money-for-Christmas-with-Legit-Survey-Sites-The-Only-Ones-Worth-Your-Time.jpg?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/MF-Make-Extra-Money-for-Christmas-with-Legit-Survey-Sites-The-Only-Ones-Worth-Your-Time.jpg?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” width=”400″ height=”600″ data-pin-title=”Need extra cash for Christmas?” data-pin-description=”If you want Christmas cash, you’re in luck. You can make cash for Christmas from home taking legit surveys and get paid fast. #makemoneyforchristmas #makemoneyonline #makeextramoney #sidehustles #makemoneytakingsurveys #howtomakemoneytakingsurveys” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/the-only-4-survey-sites-that-are-actually-worth-your-time-3.jpg” alt class=”wp-image-4786″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/the-only-4-survey-sites-that-are-actually-worth-your-time-3.jpg 400w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/MF-Make-Extra-Money-for-Christmas-with-Legit-Survey-Sites-The-Only-Ones-Worth-Your-Time.jpg?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/MF-Make-Extra-Money-for-Christmas-with-Legit-Survey-Sites-The-Only-Ones-Worth-Your-Time.jpg?w=735&ssl=1 735w” sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com

Tips for De-Cluttering Your House and Getting Paid for it

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

When you’re trying not to spend money, there’s no better way to spend your time than making money. And you know what my favorite way to make money is?

De-cluttering.

I couldn’t make a living off of it but it’s a great way to build an emergency fund or earn a little vacation money. The feeling of a good purge is half the reward anyway.

And with the rise of blogs, books, and movies about minimalism, I think you guys agree. Whether you’re venturing into minimalism, doing a No-Spend Challenge or just trying to spend less, getting rid of stuff is a wild way to spend a Friday night and a cathartic activity.

So if you want to go further than just “not spending” and make your home and life more minimalist and cozy, here are 7 tips for de-cluttering your house and where to sell your stuff for quick cash.

Also, if you like this topic I cover this and much more in my book The No-Spend Challenge Guide. Check it out to help you save more, spend less, and make the most of your time paying off debt.

1. Mentally Prepare

When purging unused items it’s important to go in knowing what you’re up against. The goal isn’t to go from hoarder to Ikea in one day. Purging is a process. The reason I love de-cluttering while on a No Spend Challenge is that it’s unlikely I’ll replace the stuff I get rid of during that process.

Also, you have to give up the “I paid $$$ for this” mentality. What you paid for it mattered to your budget (or lack of) when you bought it. It’s non-use matters today. If you haven’t used it this year then you can live without it.

2. Physically Prepare

You can start your purge up to a year before you actually get rid of anything. Try this hanger trick, made famous by Oprah. Go into your closet and turn all the hangers the wrong way (whatever that means to you).

Whenever you put a garment back into the closet after wearing it put it in with the hanger facing the right way. At the end of six months or a year whatever hangers are still facing the wrong way can easily be gotten rid of.

3. Keep – Sell/Give – Store

For going through drawers and closets that have become a black hole of clutter, find three boxes and label them: keep, sell/give, and store. There could also be a fourth box for trash but I like to keep it simple and just bring the trash can over.

The “Keep” box is for things you use and still need to easy access to. The Sell/Give box gets an attempt at selling then if that fails goes to charity, and the Store box is for things you need or want but can go into deep storage.

I also like the Store box as a tester for getting rid of more on my next purge. If you’re holding that snow globe from middle school and you’re having a hard time parting with it, you don’t have to make a decision yet. Put it in the Store box and come back to it in a month.

4. Don’t Call It Junk

When we were hosting a garage sale for my mom we had a lot of clothes leftover. I went through and tried to separate out what we could sell to Clothes Mentor which buys and sells gently used clothes for women.

There were these two pairs of corduroy overalls, one with Eeyore on the front, the other with Pooh and Piglet. Assuming that I knew what was in style I put those in the Give box but Travis saw me and was convinced they would sell. I don’t remember everything I said but it was something to the extent of “you’re crazy, these are ugly.” But because I wanted to prove him wrong I let him take them.

We ended up taking the clothes to Plato’s Closet, which sells teen clothing because Clothes Mentor wasn’t buying at the time. I was prepared to make very little because the clothes were definitely for an older crowd. When we picked up our two bins of clothing they’d agreed to buy three items from us. Two of them were the overalls.

That story to say, I don’t call anything junk anymore (well, I’m at least trying now). You’d be shocked at what people will buy online or at gently-used stores. It’s usually the things we think will sell that don’t and the things we think will never sell do the quickest.

5. Free Your Flat Surfaces

I read this online and it’s become my mantra when I only have five minutes to clean. Clearing off countertops, the coffee table, dining table, desk, anything flat can transform your house.

This is especially true in a small house. We didn’t have many flat surfaces in our apartment; it was pretty much just the kitchen table. So it ended up being a catchall for mail, papers, etc. The first thing to get cleared was always that table and it made a huge difference right off the bat.

6. Find Storage

Don’t buy storage. You’re trying not to spend money remember? You don’t even know how much storage you’re going to need until after you finish. Trust me, I too have dreams about the Container Store but use it as a reward instead of a necessity.

Use what you have for free first. Wrap boxes with ribbon or washi tape for custom storage or look for free storage on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. I try to make it my goal to get rid of enough stuff to eliminate the need of containers.

Wait a few months after finishing the de-clutter, if it still bothers you then you can go buy exactly what you need, but chances are you won’t even think about it once it’s done.

7. One Room at a Time

Don’t try to tackle the whole house in one day, not even a month. 2-4 hours is about how much most people can handle. So start small and tackle one room, closet or drawer at a time and just keep going.

I suggest starting with the most used room down to the least. For me that’s the bedroom or kitchen.

Suggestions for quick purges:

  • Old Magazines
  • Stretched out Hair Ties
  • Unused CDs & DVDs
  • Unused Makeup & Skincare
  • Free T-Shirts
  • Unwanted Gifts
  • Unused Purses

Now here’s the fun part. Where you can make some money off your efforts. There are a few ways to go at this. You can sell items yourself on eBay, Poshmark, or Amazon. Or you can sell to reselling services like DeCluttr, ThredUp, and Gone.

You’ll get more money doing it yourself but it also takes more time. Either one is a good option because you’re making some dough and you have a clean house! Here are some more ideas on where to sell your stuff and what these services buy:

  • DeCluttr- Games, CDs, DVDs, Books, Tech
  • Gone- Electronics
  • ThredUp- Clothes
  • Poshmark- Clothes
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Letgo
  • OfferUp
  • Mercari
  • Amazon

If you have a lot of stuff to sell (or you have friends with stuff to sell too) you can go with a good ol’ fashioned garage sale. I highly recommend having a multi-person yard sale. We did one this way and in addition to having more variety, we had a lot of fun together.

So what are your tips for de-cluttering your house? What’s the first drawer, room, or closet you’re going to tackle this weekend?

<img data-attachment-id="1557" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/tips-for-de-cluttering-your-house-2/how-to-declutter-effectively/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/How-to-Declutter-Effectively.png?fit=750%2C1300&ssl=1" data-orig-size="750,1300" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="How to Declutter Effectively" data-image-description="

How to Declutter Effectively

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/How-to-Declutter-Effectively.png?fit=173%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/How-to-Declutter-Effectively.png?fit=346%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-title=”Tips for De-Cluttering Your House and Getting Paid for it” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-1557 jetpack-lazy-image” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/tips-for-de-cluttering-your-house-and-getting-paid-for-it.png” alt=”Home decluttering ideas to help delcutter and organize and make money from it! Woo!” width=”346″ height=”600″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ data-lazy-srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/tips-for-de-cluttering-your-house-and-getting-paid-for-it-1.png 346w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/How-to-Declutter-Effectively.png?resize=173%2C300&ssl=1 173w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/How-to-Declutter-Effectively.png?resize=100%2C173&ssl=1 100w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/How-to-Declutter-Effectively.png?w=750&ssl=1 750w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 346px) 100vw, 346px” srcset=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″>

<img data-attachment-id="1557" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/tips-for-de-cluttering-your-house-2/how-to-declutter-effectively/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/How-to-Declutter-Effectively.png?fit=750%2C1300&ssl=1" data-orig-size="750,1300" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="How to Declutter Effectively" data-image-description="

How to Declutter Effectively

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/How-to-Declutter-Effectively.png?fit=173%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/How-to-Declutter-Effectively.png?fit=346%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-title=”Tips for De-Cluttering Your House and Getting Paid for it” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-1557″ src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/tips-for-de-cluttering-your-house-and-getting-paid-for-it.png” alt=”Home decluttering ideas to help delcutter and organize and make money from it! Woo!” width=”346″ height=”600″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/tips-for-de-cluttering-your-house-and-getting-paid-for-it-1.png 346w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/How-to-Declutter-Effectively.png?resize=173%2C300&ssl=1 173w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/How-to-Declutter-Effectively.png?resize=100%2C173&ssl=1 100w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/How-to-Declutter-Effectively.png?w=750&ssl=1 750w” sizes=”(max-width: 346px) 100vw, 346px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

<img data-attachment-id="4550" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/tips-for-de-cluttering-your-house-2/mf-how-to-declutter-and-sell-your-stuff-to-payoff-debt-faster/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/MF-How-to-Declutter-and-Sell-Your-Stuff-To-Payoff-Debt-Faster.jpg?fit=700%2C1350&ssl=1" data-orig-size="700,1350" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="Tips to Declutter and Make Fast Cash" data-image-description="

How to declutter your home and make tons of money!! #declutteryourhouse #howtodeclutteryourhouse #makemoneysellingyourstuff #sellingyourthings #flippingforprofit #makemoremoney #sidehustles #sidehustleideas #makemoneyfast

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/MF-How-to-Declutter-and-Sell-Your-Stuff-To-Payoff-Debt-Faster.jpg?fit=156%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/MF-How-to-Declutter-and-Sell-Your-Stuff-To-Payoff-Debt-Faster.jpg?fit=311%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” width=”311″ height=”600″ data-pin-title=”Tips to Declutter and Make Fast Cash” data-pin-description=”How to declutter your home and make tons of money!! #declutteryourhouse #howtodeclutteryourhouse #makemoneysellingyourstuff #sellingyourthings #flippingforprofit #makemoremoney #sidehustles #sidehustleideas #makemoneyfast” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/tips-for-de-cluttering-your-house-and-getting-paid-for-it.jpg” alt class=”wp-image-4550″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/tips-for-de-cluttering-your-house-and-getting-paid-for-it.jpg 311w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/MF-How-to-Declutter-and-Sell-Your-Stuff-To-Payoff-Debt-Faster.jpg?resize=156%2C300&ssl=1 156w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/MF-How-to-Declutter-and-Sell-Your-Stuff-To-Payoff-Debt-Faster.jpg?w=700&ssl=1 700w” sizes=”(max-width: 311px) 100vw, 311px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com

11 Steps to Avoid Burnout When Paying off Debt

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

The key to avoiding burnout while paying off debt is to reinvigorate your motivation. Here are 11 ways you can stay motivated and energized to avoid burnout when paying off debt.

1. Work With Purpose

The first step to any journey is identifying the destination. It’s no different in becoming debt free. But debt freedom isn’t the destination. It’s an essential stop along the way, but understanding that there’s life after debt is imperative to making it out of debt and staying there.

What’s your purpose for getting out of debt? Ours is to have career and lifestyle freedom. We want to be able to quit or be let go from our jobs and have savings to hold us over until we find something else or create our own career.

When the struggle is real it’s this purpose that will grab you from your whiney tower and pull you back down to reality.

2. Use Time Management Hacks

Do you feel like you need more hours in the day? Maybe you just need better management of those hours.

There are productivity methods you can use to be more efficient and avoid burnout. I’ve been really interested in the Pomodoro method of breaking tasks into 25-minute chunks with 5-minute breaks. Lots of freelancers swear by it.

Start with the tasks you have, do those more efficiently and see if extra time to rest doesn’t pop up right when you need it.

3. Eliminate Tasks

Maybe with the best productivity hacks, you still can’t fit it all in. Between multiple jobs, family, friends, errands, keeping a semi-clean house, cooking, etc, etc, etc; you can’t do everything.

If your time is worth more working than doing simple tasks then you can afford to delegate rather than work less. You can hire someone to clean your house, have your groceries delivered, or buy the precut veggies.

Prioritize the tasks that get you closer to your goal and eliminate the ones that don’t.

4. Give

Giving time or money can feel like you’re connecting to the world even in your gazelle-intense bubble. We do it by volunteering and giving to our church but there’s no shortage of options for you to sacrifice a little to make a big difference in others lives.

I also think giving of your experience is helpful. It’s cathartic, reminds me what I’ve accomplished and helps others learn how to live through my story. You can do it through Facebook, Instagram, or by starting a blog.

I’m obviously an advocate for sharing stories through a blog. The number of people you can reach is huge. It’s also a way to pad your income and lay a foundation for establishing career freedom. You can read my how-to on starting and monetizing a blog here.

5. Exercise

I use exercise to break up the monotony of my day. When I was working three very inactive jobs exercising was the outlet where I could make the stank face I wanted to make all day and no one would ask me what was wrong.

And I don’t need to remind you of the physical benefits exercising has on improving energy, sleep, and motivation — but clearly I will.

I pay big bucks for Crossfit because the community and direction are invaluable to me. But there are plenty of ways to work out for free or cheap if it’s not as high on your priority list.

6. Celebrate Wins

Every time we pay off a loan we have a little celebration. Sometimes it’s as small as texting a ton of emojis back and forth and sometimes it’s having a meal out.

More than once my disdain for cooking has motivated me to put a little extra on a loan to clear it up and go out for dinner. Having fun times to look forward to keeps us motivated and has ultimately helped us get where we are quicker.

7. Stop Being a Perfectionist

Perfectionism is the enemy of progress. Relinquish the need to have a perfect budget, perfect income, or perfect life circumstances.

Emergencies will come up, weaknesses will win, and income may fluctuate but if you drive yourself crazy over every setback you’ll never win!

Embrace the mistakes and “Murphies” and you’ll have a much better time getting through this thing.

8. Track Progress

In our apartment we had a thermometer we’d color in when whenever we made a payment. It got lost in our recent move (RIP thermometer).

People have come up with really cool ways to visually track their debt progress. You can check them out here where I also have a downloadable thermometer pdf you can print off and color yourself!

9. Share Your Successes

I have a friend living 1200 miles away from me who texts me whenever she pays off a debt or makes a substantially good money decision. It allows me to encourage her by telling her how proud I am of her, how great she’s doing and I send lots of bitmojis.

Travis and I do this too. When we do well with money we lift each other up and encourage each other in our strengths.

Hearing from someone else that you’re doing well isn’t fishing for compliments, it’s reassurance that you’re making it! Find someone you can share with. This is really easy with a spouse but a supportive friend works just as well.

10. Keep Good Company

Having friends that are also paying off debt or are supportive of you doing it is clutch. Saying no to spending money can be isolating. Having friends who want to hang out at home or at parks instead of bars and restaurants make the weekends much easier.

Some people don’t care about their financial future right now. It doesn’t make them bad people or even irresponsible.

I repeat: It doesn’t make them bad people or irresponsible.

But you’re in a different place than they are and you need to keep company that’s on the same page or you’ll keep spending and spending because saying no every week is near impossible.

11. Be Real

Don’t be fakin it. If you’re behind on your debt snowball don’t pretend you’re doing fine.

The more you lie about your progress the more backed up you’ll feel which could lead to giving up. When you’re honest with yourself and the people around you, you’ll stay committed to the process and help more people with your story.

I hope these steps will help you avoid burnout and stay committed to this process, because it is worth every sacrifice and every no that comes out of your mouth. And I’ll be here every step of the way to see you through it.

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avoid burnout when paying off debt

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/1-e1496167199424.png?fit=170%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/1-e1496167199424.png?fit=339%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-title=”11 Steps to Avoid Burnout When Paying off Debt” class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-1073 jetpack-lazy-image” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/11-steps-to-avoid-burnout-when-paying-off-debt.png” alt=”We have been so burnt out! These tips were so helpful in motivating us to start again!” width=”400″ height=”707″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ srcset=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″>

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avoid burnout when paying off debt

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/1-e1496167199424.png?fit=170%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/1-e1496167199424.png?fit=339%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-title=”11 Steps to Avoid Burnout When Paying off Debt” class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-1073″ src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/11-steps-to-avoid-burnout-when-paying-off-debt.png” alt=”We have been so burnt out! These tips were so helpful in motivating us to start again!” width=”400″ height=”707″ data-recalc-dims=”1″>

<img data-attachment-id="4790" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/steps-avoid-burnout-paying-off-debt/mf-11-tips-to-avoid-burnout-while-trying-to-payoff-a-ton-of-debt/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/MF-11-Tips-to-Avoid-Burnout-While-Trying-to-Payoff-a-Ton-of-Debt.jpg?fit=735%2C1102&ssl=1" data-orig-size="735,1102" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="Got a ton of debt to payoff?" data-image-description="

Tips to help you payoff a ton of debt without burning out. Tips and tricks from a woman who paid off over $78,000 in under 2 years on average salaries. #debtpayofftips #debtpayoffmotivation #budgetingtips #budgetinghacks #moneytipsformillennials

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/MF-11-Tips-to-Avoid-Burnout-While-Trying-to-Payoff-a-Ton-of-Debt.jpg?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/MF-11-Tips-to-Avoid-Burnout-While-Trying-to-Payoff-a-Ton-of-Debt.jpg?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” width=”400″ height=”600″ data-pin-title=”Got a ton of debt to payoff?” data-pin-description=”Tips to help you payoff a ton of debt without burning out. Tips and tricks from a woman who paid off over $78,000 in under 2 years on average salaries. #debtpayofftips #debtpayoffmotivation #budgetingtips #budgetinghacks #moneytipsformillennials” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/11-steps-to-avoid-burnout-when-paying-off-debt.jpg” alt class=”wp-image-4790″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/11-steps-to-avoid-burnout-when-paying-off-debt.jpg 400w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/MF-11-Tips-to-Avoid-Burnout-While-Trying-to-Payoff-a-Ton-of-Debt.jpg?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/MF-11-Tips-to-Avoid-Burnout-While-Trying-to-Payoff-a-Ton-of-Debt.jpg?w=735&ssl=1 735w” sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com

10 Free Activities For Couples Paying off Debt

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

When my fiance told me he wanted to pay off his student loan debt as fast as possible, my short answer was “NO.”

The little voice inside my head kept reminding me of all the things I’d miss out on if I couldn’t spend money.

It’s not that I didn’t want to pay off my student loans. In grad school, my plan was to have them paid off before I turned 30. But somewhere along the way the compounding interest and dinners out with friends paralyzed me into thinking it simply couldn’t be done.

So when I [finally] got on board with this crazy idea that we’d pay for our wedding in cash and pay off both our loans (and a car loan I’d picked up along the way) I was terrified I’d be a friendless hermit by the end of it.

How to Pay Off Debt Without Becoming a Hermit

But it didn’t take long to see that there’s a lot more to living than tacos, coffee, and vacations. I didn’t stop spending altogether (at least all the time) I became more selective with my spending.

And being selective with my spending means I no longer waste my time on things I only kind of like and I value the things I really do enjoy so much more.

So in order to do more of the things I love that do cost money, we trade in activities like movies, theme parks, and weekend getaways for free activities. Here are some of my personal favorites that you might like too.

  1. The Library

The library is a treasure trove of fun. It’s grown from novels and encyclopedias to include eBooks, DIY books, CDs, movies, and so much more than I could’ve imagined as a kid.

I’ve discovered amazing recipes, learned macramé, and my husband, who doesn’t love reading, has even gotten in on it recently. And it’s free. You don’t even have to search high and low for what you want.

Search the library database from the comfort from your home and request a hold on any item, they’ll deliver it to the library of your choice and alert you when it’s there. Easy peasy!

It’s also an alternative to coffee shops for getting work done. There are quiet spaces and even room rentals available.

  1. Social Running Groups

We love the running group we’re a part of. You can find them at most running stores or groups and events on Facebook. For us, there’s at least one on any given side of town and usually every night of the week.

Most do a 5K(ish) run that starts and ends at a store or bar. Trust me when I say all levels of runners/ walkers/ joggers participate. And since the pack disperses pretty early on it’s easy to cut your run short and not be noticed (not like I ever do that ;))

Trav and I don’t always run together, but sometimes we do, other times I’ll run with a friend or by myself. Everyone meets back up at the end and hangs out. Some groups have raffles or free beer at the end.

  1. Yelp Events

You know about Yelp right? It’s a website/ app that you can find new places to eat, drink, and play. Each city has a Community Ambassador that hosts Yelp events, they are awesome and make for a great free night out.

We’ve been to many and have been thoroughly impressed. The ones we’ve been to have included free food from local restaurants, free (alcoholic) drinks, and lots of free Yelp swag. One even gave us an hour of unlimited gameplay at an arcade, so fun!

You have to be diligent in checking for these official Yelp events, they always fill up. When you find one RSVP on the event page then wait for a confirmation email. There are no +1’s so everyone has to RSVP and get confirmation individually to attend together.

  1. Pantry (Dinner) Party

The dinner party is an oldie but a goodie. You may have to buy some groceries for this one or you can use it as an excuse to clear out the pantry and fridge.

A side dish that goes with nothing? Vegetable about to go bad? Anything [almost] freezer burned?

Get some friends together and it’s sure to be a food match made in conglomerate heaven. And you get the bonus of spending time with good friends or building relationships with new ones!

  1. Bike Ride

Self-explanatory. We love a good bike ride. We live right off a trail and it’s another great exercise activity to do with your significant other, friends, or just by yourself.

And if you want to meet new people, many cities have biking clubs on most days of the week and ranging in speed/experience.

  1. Home Improvement Class

If you own a home or are thinking about purchasing one, this is a great one. Home Depot offers free workshops on everything from installing light fixtures and tile to water conservation hacks and a DIY dog feeder.

Even if you don’t own a home these are great tricks to have up your sleeve for when that time comes.

And it’s empowering to know that if something breaks I can fix it or if he’s at work I can install it. There’s something to be said for the confidence (and frustration) completing a home improvement project can bring.

  1. Events in the Park

We live in a city that loves to be outside and that means tons of free events, orchestra nights, movies on a big screen, fireworks, and parades to name a few. We love bringing a blanket, some chairs, and a picnic for the evening.

The trick is getting there early to find free parking and bringing your own food to avoid the temptation of all the vendors.

This is also a great activity to do in groups because a lot of these things only happen once or twice a year and everyone attends, so why not go together!? Find your city’s event calendar or downtown blog to find out what’s available.

  1. Volunteer

We volunteer at our church and at a foster group home in our area. Volunteering is an amazing way to see your partner interact with others, to grow in boldness (hi introverts) and get to do something for free that helps others and makes you feel good.

I love Habitat For Humanity (make use out of those home improvement classes!) and Big Brothers, Big Sisters (there’s a Big Couple option that’s really fun.) There are options for all time commitments.

And it’s not limited to humanitarian groups. You can volunteer at events like music and food festivals for a couple hours then enjoy those events for free!

  1. Find Water

As a couple who lives 15 minutes from the beach, it’s a wonderful place to relax and feel like you’re somewhere else for a few hours. Trav can play Frisbee with his friends while I nap under the umbrella (I’m dreaming of it right now!)

You may not be close to a beach but you’re probably near some body of water (even if it’s frozen over right now.)

Bring your own drinks and food for the day and it’s a free vacation! You may have to do some extra searching beforehand to find free parking but it’s totally worth it. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen! Even in winter!

  1. Pokemon Go

And last but not least, the phenomenon that really inspired this post several years ago, Pokemon Go. Can you believe people are stil playing this game!?

Seriously though, it’s amazing to me how addictive this game is and the fact that it’s totally free. Trav and I have been in a head to head battle to see who can catch the best Pokemon, who can level up faster, and walking/running like crazy to hatch those eggs!

Bonus: your group run can double as a Pokemon adventure. I’ve hatched many an egg that way.

And I think a little competition in any relationship is a good thing, just know when to comfort your brokenhearted husband when you catch the Pikachu first. Love it or hate it this is a fun game to play together.

<img data-attachment-id="2601" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/10-free-activities-for-couples-paying-off-debt/10freeactivities-2/" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/10freeactivities.png?fit=735%2C1102&ssl=1" data-orig-size="735,1102" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="10 free activities for couples paying off debt" data-image-description="

10 free activities for couples paying off debt

” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/10freeactivities.png?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/10freeactivities.png?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Are you tired of feeling like you have to stay at home 24/7 while paying off debt? Here are 10 free activities to do with your partner while paying off debt. #debtpayofftips #debtpayoff #howtogetoutofdebt #freecouplesactivities #freedatenightideas #frugaldatenight” data-pin-title=”Free Activities to Live a Little While Paying Off Debt” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-2601 jetpack-lazy-image” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/10-free-activities-for-couples-paying-off-debt.png” alt=”These 10 free activities for couples paying off debt are great! #payoffdebt #frugalfun” width=”400″ height=”600″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ data-lazy-srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/10-free-activities-for-couples-paying-off-debt.png 400w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/10freeactivities.png?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/10freeactivities.png?w=735&ssl=1 735w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” srcset=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″>

<img data-attachment-id="2601" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/10-free-activities-for-couples-paying-off-debt/10freeactivities-2/" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/10freeactivities.png?fit=735%2C1102&ssl=1" data-orig-size="735,1102" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="10 free activities for couples paying off debt" data-image-description="

10 free activities for couples paying off debt

” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/10freeactivities.png?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/10freeactivities.png?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Are you tired of feeling like you have to stay at home 24/7 while paying off debt? Here are 10 free activities to do with your partner while paying off debt. #debtpayofftips #debtpayoff #howtogetoutofdebt #freecouplesactivities #freedatenightideas #frugaldatenight” data-pin-title=”Free Activities to Live a Little While Paying Off Debt” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-2601″ src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/10-free-activities-for-couples-paying-off-debt.png” alt=”These 10 free activities for couples paying off debt are great! #payoffdebt #frugalfun” width=”400″ height=”600″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/10-free-activities-for-couples-paying-off-debt.png 400w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/10freeactivities.png?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/10freeactivities.png?w=735&ssl=1 735w” sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

<img data-attachment-id="4453" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/10-free-activities-for-couples-paying-off-debt/mf-10-free-activities-for-couples-paying-off-debt-to-avoid-boredom/" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MF-10-Free-Activities-for-Couples-Paying-off-Debt-to-Avoid-Boredom.jpg?fit=700%2C1350&ssl=1" data-orig-size="700,1350" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="Free Activities to Live a Little While Paying Off Debt" data-image-description="

Are you tired of feeling like you have to stay at home 24/7 while paying off debt? Here are 10 free activities to do with your partner while paying off debt. #debtpayofftips #debtpayoff #howtogetoutofdebt #freecouplesactivities #freedatenightideas #frugaldatenight

” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MF-10-Free-Activities-for-Couples-Paying-off-Debt-to-Avoid-Boredom.jpg?fit=156%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MF-10-Free-Activities-for-Couples-Paying-off-Debt-to-Avoid-Boredom.jpg?fit=311%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” width=”311″ height=”600″ data-pin-title=”Free Activities to Live a Little While Paying Off Debt” data-pin-description=”Are you tired of feeling like you have to stay at home 24/7 while paying off debt? Here are 10 free activities to do with your partner while paying off debt. #debtpayofftips #debtpayoff #howtogetoutofdebt #freecouplesactivities #freedatenightideas #frugaldatenight” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/10-free-activities-for-couples-paying-off-debt.jpg” alt class=”wp-image-4453″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/10-free-activities-for-couples-paying-off-debt.jpg 311w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MF-10-Free-Activities-for-Couples-Paying-off-Debt-to-Avoid-Boredom.jpg?resize=156%2C300&ssl=1 156w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MF-10-Free-Activities-for-Couples-Paying-off-Debt-to-Avoid-Boredom.jpg?w=700&ssl=1 700w” sizes=”(max-width: 311px) 100vw, 311px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com

November 2016 Budget

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

I’m on a financial high going into November. It’s my favorite time of year; the weather is crisp, people are happier, and my favorite holiday, Black Friday, is right around the corner. I’m on cloud 9.

And I have one more thing making my money-saving heart flutter (or palpitate, I can’t tell the difference lately.) My student loan is now 4 digits. I’m finally under 10 grand! I didn’t see this day coming anytime in my 20’s and it’s here. You guys, hard work and perseverance pay off! And I’m really excited to have you to share this moment with.

So in November we decided to kick it into HIGH gear to get my student loan completely paid off by the end of the year. This was our original goal but we had a setback in April that made us plan to have it paid off in January. But thanks to a lot of overtime and the fact that I get paid on Wednesdays (and there are 5 in Nov this year!) we decided to get a little crazy.

Also Read: October 2016 Budget

In October you’ll remember we budgeted $3800 for student loan payment and we ended paying $4070 (Again thanks to Travis’ overtime from volunteering to pick up shifts.) I was on a shopping ban which basically meant no impulse buys. I worked from Starbucks once a week because I had a gift card and I bought shampoo and a shirt for Halloween (because these were at Goodwill and look how cute we are!)

Volleyball Player Costumes

Volleyball Player Costumes

We did pretty good sticking to the line items but went over in restaurants this month. Fitting since I just wrote a post about how much you can make by eating out less. But we spent less in gas than we budgeted so it evened out by the end.

Our Real Budget

November 2016 Budget

November 2016 Budget

We used EveryDollar to copy October’s [revised] budget and made a few adjustments. We cut our lifestyle budget almost in half this month and all the extra money we’re making is going to our $5,000 debt payment. Yes, you read right, $5,000.

I’m doing another month of the shopping ban because I used my personal money on some blog related items in September. You have to spend money to make money, especially in a competitive space like the Internet. But so far those investments have been paying off and I’ll definitely tell you about them someday.

I also wanted to point out our “giving” category. I’ve had surprisingly mixed responses to this one. We decided at the beginning of our debt freedom journey on a consistent $500 each month. This was definitely a compromise we had to make early on and once we found a number we were both comfortable with we just stuck with it.

Some very generous people can’t see giving less than 10% even while going into debt and some people won’t give anything while they’re paying off debt.

I give now because my end goal is to be outrageously generous. Giving is a gift not only to those who receive it but to me too! I don’t feel guilty about feeling real good when I give. Ultimately though, it’s whatever helps you sleep at night.

I run half marathons and nowhere along the race do I wish I’d trained less.

Giving now is like my training to give more later. And that’s how I justify spending more right now on giving than on my lifestyle. If you’re interested in this subject I highly recommend Generous Justice by Timothy Keller. A great read on why social justice is important and how you can be generous most effectively.

Our Real Budget

Our Real Budget

<img data-attachment-id="4828" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/november-2016-budget/mf-how-we-paid-off-over-4000-of-debt-in-october/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/MF-How-We-Paid-Off-Over-4000-of-Debt-in-October.jpg?fit=600%2C900&ssl=1" data-orig-size="600,900" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="How to pay off a chunk of debt in a short time" data-image-description="

Tips to help you pay off a chunk of your massive debt quickly. #budgetingtips #budgetinghacks #debtpayofftips #debtpayoffhacks #budgetingtricks #payingoffdebtquickly

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/MF-How-We-Paid-Off-Over-4000-of-Debt-in-October.jpg?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/MF-How-We-Paid-Off-Over-4000-of-Debt-in-October.jpg?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” width=”400″ height=”600″ data-pin-title=”How to pay off a chunk of debt in a short time” data-pin-description=”Tips to help you pay off a chunk of your massive debt quickly. #budgetingtips #budgetinghacks #debtpayofftips #debtpayoffhacks #budgetingtricks #payingoffdebtquickly” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/november-2016-budget-2.jpg” alt class=”wp-image-4828″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/november-2016-budget-2.jpg 400w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/MF-How-We-Paid-Off-Over-4000-of-Debt-in-October.jpg?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/MF-How-We-Paid-Off-Over-4000-of-Debt-in-October.jpg?w=600&ssl=1 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com

How we Paid off $78K of Debt With Average Incomes

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

It’s a new year! And you’re probably reading this because you want to make a change with how you handle your money in 2020. You want to pay off your student loans, start investing, and maybe save up for a big girl vacation, like, to Europe or something.

You want to make big changes but very rarely do big things happen to move the needle. It’s the little things that sustain you when you’re trying to make big changes.

Like, pay off more money in debt than you make in a year.

My husband, Travis, and I paid off nearly $78,000 of student loan and consumer debt in 23 months. When we started, we were making less than $50,000 between the two of us. I have no clue what made us think we could do this.

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The story seems like a big deal now but it didn’t feel that way when we were in it. I remember being halfway through, tired, and hopeless because there was no light at the end of my tunnel.

It’s no wonder more people don’t pay off their student loans. According to the US Dept. of Education’s Direct Loan Portfolio by Repayment Plan, almost 3 million borrowers are in programs that offer a loan forgiveness option.

But… people’s reliance on the loan forgiveness concept is slipping. In the same report, you can see that the number enrolled in Income-Based Repayment has fallen every quarter since the end of 2016. People are realizing that the government is not going to take care of their student loan crisis.

So where do we go from here? You can’t go from drowning in debt to financially independent overnight. It’s a hard road. There’s a glamorous story to tell at the end but the process is anything but.

I’ll tell you honestly, it’s the everyday things that get you through this process.

There’s no magic bullet, there’s no personality, job, or location that makes someone better suited to pay off debt. It’s the small habits you build and perform day-in and day-out that make it possible. And there are dozens of them. But you can get started with just a few.

These are the 17 easiest and most import habits I’ve found that you can start to incorporate into your life to pay off debt and create the financial future you want. I hope you don’t think they’re trivial. Taking a small step forward is vastly more impactful than doing nothing and some days it’s all we’re capable of.

Even if you’re not getting there as fast as you think you should you’re still moving forward and it’s a better place than you were yesterday.

Daily Habits

  1. Drink a Glass of Water Upon Waking 

After 8 hours (hopefully) of sleep, your body is massively dehydrated. Drinking 16 oz. of water before you do anything will potentially aid digestion and other bodily functions.

But why in the world is this a good “financial” habit?

Your body can mistake thirst for hunger when you’re dehydrated. Being well hydrated in the morning can help you avoid that starving feeling that starts when you’re on your way to work and conveniently driving past a coffee shop or bakery.

There are tons of mornings that I have my perfectly portioned breakfast ready to go but my hunger is so big it doesn’t seem like enough. But on mornings I’m not hungry I don’t even think about stopping for coffee and pastry, which costs me $6 a trip.

  1. Eat Protein in the Morning 

For most people, our days are back-loaded with protein. We eat granola and the light turkey sandwich for lunch and a big ol’ steak for dinner. It should really be the other way around.

Protein stabilizes blood sugar levels, which strengthens your concentration and reduces brain fog. It also boosts energy levels and keeps you fuller longer. All this is essential for the avid side hustler.

When I have protein throughout the day I’m more productive at work and I could go home with enough energy to work my side hustle and not crash after. If I forgot about my diet I would feel tired, worn out, and eventually get sick.

  1. Do Your Least Favorite Task First

This one could also be “do your most inconvenient task first.” I’ll never say I’m perfect at these. I am still know for putting off important tasks for weeks when they could be over in 5 minutes.

Things always come up during the day and they always seem more important (translation: easier) at the time. Calls to creditors, applying for jobs, and completing freelance work are some of the tasks I’ve had to complete first to make sure they get done before the last minute.

  1. Respond Open Endedly to Invitations

We get invited to new things everyday. Whether it’s via Facebook events or in-person requests we want to do everything but we can’t afford everything. We’re those people who respond “interested” to events and say “I’ll check my calendar” to most invites.

If it’s free we won’t hesitate to say yes but anything that’s going to cost money has to thought about before agreed to. Eventually, we got good enough to immediately suggest free alternatives to coffee dates and expensive restaurants but some invites don’t have alternatives.

We’ve had to turn down wedding invites, out-of-state birthday trips, and dinners out. They were nothing to cry about but had to be thought through instead of impulsively agreed to.

  1. Track Spending Manually

Apps like Mint are nice because they track you spending automatically. But when you’re on a budget you shouldn’t be looking back at the end of the month to see where all your money went, you should be actively managing it.

Manually tracking your spending every night helps you see where you are on your budget and helps you know whether you can say yes or no to those friendly invitations. I like EveryDollar, it’s a beautifully designed app and it’s free.

  1. Admit & Respond to Your Mistakes

When you’re avoiding sweets and you find yourself eating a cookie do you give up and say “Oh well, I’ll try again next month” and proceed to finish the box of cookies? We are so prone to give up if we make a mistake; that is a seriously limiting mindset.

When you buy something you regret, miss a day of your side hustle, or fall short of your debt payment it’s not an excuse to quit. It’s also not a time to start justifying the reasons behind all your mistakes. Call it what it is, decide how you’re going to respond better next time, and move on.

This is a daily practice because I don’t know anyone, myself included, who can make it through a perfect day while paying off debt.

  1. Celebrate Small Wins

As frequently as we call out mistakes we need to be calling out wins. Every day has something that’s worth celebrating. I prepped all my produce for the week last night, I celebrated that, I was two days late in prepping it but I got it done.

When I say celebrate I don’t mean go out or throw a party. Simply saying out loud what you accomplished or writing it down will suffice. Just identifying the good and progress everyday is what you’re going for.

Weekly Habits

  1. Make Manual Payments

In addition to automatic payments for debt payments and savings goals it’s good to make manual payments too. This allows you to actively participate in reaching your goal.

Sure you could do all your payments automatically (and you should on some) but adding additional payments manually helped us regain motivation, make bigger payments, and pay off the debt faster.

  1. Meal Plan & Prep

Setting aside an hour each week to meal plan and make a grocery list is essential to paying off debt. Honestly it’s essential for anyone who doesn’t want to blow all their money on food.

Meal planning isn’t hard and there are options for premade meal plans if you absolutely hate it, but don’t use the excuse of “not having enough time” to skip this. It’s that important.

One thing I was missing for a while was actually cooking the meals I’d planned for with the ingredients I’d bought. I was too busy (or lazy) throughout the week to go through the monotony of cooking, until I started prepping.

Now after I get home from the grocery store I meal prep produce according to all my recipes and even pre-season vegetables so during the week all I have to do is dump and cook. It’s helped me reduce food waste, which has saved even more money.

  1. Always Check For Savings Before You Buy

Dont get in the checkout line or hit “Buy Now” before you search for a coupon, cash back, or cheaper option. Here are my favorite places to check for deals.

  • Use Blink to save on prescriptions.
  • EyeBuyDirect to save on prescription eyewear.
  • Energy saving methods like low-flow showerheads to reduce our utility bill.
  • Sites like Restaurant.com for dining deals.
  • Groupon and LivingSocial for deals on activities.
  • ThredUp for nice secondhand clothing at steep discounts from retail.
  • I take advantage of free trials at gyms.
  • Shopping through Ebates when making any purchases online will get you cash-back from virtually any retailer.
  • Apps like ibotta and Checkout51 to save at grocery stores and other big box retailers.
  • Use healthcare sharing to save big time on health insurance.
  1. Help Someone

When I was a year into our debt payoff I was feeling really hopeless. The first year was so hard and we were only at the halfway point. It was like finishing a half marathon and feeling accomplished only to remember you’re running a full marathon.

What helped me regain my motivation was helping people with the knowledge and skills I now possessed. I started a blog but you don’t have to, in fact I think you can help more people without one.

Facebook groups are a place people ask questions all the time and there’s a thriving #debtfreecommunity on Instagram where people are honest in their accomplishments as well as their shortcomings. These are great places to start and it’s energizing to find others with as much zeal for being debt-free as you.

  1. Write a Thank You Note

Sometimes living on a limited budget can feel isolating. Everyone is travelling, going out, and growing closer while you sit at home. That’s why it’s important to be intentional about cultivating the relationships you do have.

Saying thanks for little things and big things in a handwritten note or on Facebook is how you forge deeper relationships in less time. When you know someone is grateful for you don’t you go out of your way more to accommodate them?

Obviously your gratitude should be sincere and not to get something in return but don’t feel like your missing out on relationships if you don’t participate in everything.

Occasional Habits

  1. Put it On Ice

Huh?

Sounds funny right? I discovered Icebox, a free Google Chrome extension, last year and found it to be an awesome idea. The idea is to minimize impulse spending by replacing the “Buy Now” button on over 500 online stores with a “Put It on Ice” button.

This button saves the product in your “Icebox” for a period of your choosing, then it becomes available to buy. The hope is that after a cool down period you’ll rethink the purchase and save your money for something better. Watch the video to see it in action:

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Impulse shopping is a monthly obstacle for most millennials, and it actually affects more males than females. I’m all about working smarter, not harder, and anything that forces me to think more about my spending is a welcomed inconvenience.

  1. Automate Everything

Its 2018 and you might think you’re automating everything but this. But somehow we can’t find the 3 minutes it takes to set up auto-pay on something and we miss deadlines. It might sound silly but it’s worth the reminder.

We recently got a new debit card for Travis, we forgot to change the card number on our cell phone bill and got hit with a late fee. Our utilities don’t allow us to automate online and I had to go during working hours to set up auto-pay. Everyone should be regularly auditing their bills to make sure cards aren’t expired, numbers are up to date, and that you’re not incurring random fees.

  1. Unfollow People on Facebook

I did this regularly while paying off debt because I had a big ol’ case of FOMO. Friends were doing things and getting stuff that I wanted and I couldn’t participate. Well, I could but my bigger goals won out.

I never unfriended people, they weren’t doing anything malicious; I just wanted to live in ignorant bliss. And it helped a lot. Instead of following friends who were living their best lives now, I started following Instagram accounts of people paying off debt and it made social media an inspiring waste of time vs. a depressing one.

  1. Look For More Money

Every opportunity we get Travis and I look for ways to make money. Whether it’s an online survey, mystery shop, or freelance gig we spend our free time productively.

Most of these side hustles are a refreshing change of pace from our 9-to-5’s so they don’t drain energy like a minimum wage hourly job would. But hey, if you like your hourly side job stick with it! But it should pay at least $10 p/h. 😉

  1. Shop Used First

One of the most deeply ingrained habits in American culture is that if you need something you go to Target or Walmart and buy it. Or if you can wait two days for it you order it on Amazon. But even though you think you’re getting a bargain, you’re probably still paying way more than you could if you got it used.

Instead of taking the easy way out check Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, pawn shops, consignment, and thrift stores for your needs before buying new. It only takes a few extra steps and you will save thousands of dollars by making this a habit in your life.

We didn’t adopt all these habits overnight. It snowballed with one here, one there, until we were practicing all of them. Start with two or three and work on incorporating more healthy financial habits for the rest of your life. Paying off debt is only the start of your prosperous financial journey.

<img data-attachment-id="2547" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/9-2/" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/9.png?fit=735%2C1102&ssl=1" data-orig-size="735,1102" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="One Couple’s Story of Paying off Debt Quickly" data-image-description="

One Couple’s Story of Paying off Debt Quickly

” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/9.png?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/9.png?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” width=”400″ height=”600″ data-pin-description=”Do you want to learn how to pay off debt fast on average incomes? Here are 17 tips to implement today. #payingoffstudentloans #payingoffdebtquickly #howtogetoutofdebtfast #debtsnowball #debtpayoff” data-pin-title=”17 Things This Couple Did to Pay $78,000 of Debt on Average Incomes” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-we-paid-off-78k-of-debt-with-average-incomes.png” alt=”One Couple’s Story of Paying off Debt Quickly” class=”wp-image-2547″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-we-paid-off-78k-of-debt-with-average-incomes.png 400w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/9.png?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/9.png?w=735&ssl=1 735w” sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

<img data-attachment-id="4459" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/we-paid-off-78k-of-debt-on-average-incomes/mf-17-strategies-we-used-to-pay-off-78000-of-debt-without-big-incomes/" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/MF-17-Strategies-We-Used-to-Pay-Off-78000-of-Debt-Without-Big-Incomes.jpg?fit=700%2C1350&ssl=1" data-orig-size="700,1350" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="How to Pay Off Debt Fast on Average Incomes" data-image-description="

17 strategies one couple used to pay off $78,000 in under 2 years on average incomes. #getoutofdebtquickly #debtpayofftips #howtogetoutofdebt #debtpayoffhacks #howtogetoutofdebtfast #howtogetoutofdebtquickly

” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/MF-17-Strategies-We-Used-to-Pay-Off-78000-of-Debt-Without-Big-Incomes.jpg?fit=156%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/MF-17-Strategies-We-Used-to-Pay-Off-78000-of-Debt-Without-Big-Incomes.jpg?fit=311%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-title=”How to Pay Off Debt Fast on Average Incomes” data-pin-description=”17 strategies one couple used to pay off $78,000 in under 2 years on average incomes. #getoutofdebtquickly #debtpayofftips #howtogetoutofdebt #debtpayoffhacks #howtogetoutofdebtfast #howtogetoutofdebtquickly” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-we-paid-off-78k-of-debt-with-average-incomes-1.jpg” alt class=”wp-image-4459″ width=”276″ height=”532″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-we-paid-off-78k-of-debt-with-average-incomes-3.jpg 311w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/MF-17-Strategies-We-Used-to-Pay-Off-78000-of-Debt-Without-Big-Incomes.jpg?resize=156%2C300&ssl=1 156w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/MF-17-Strategies-We-Used-to-Pay-Off-78000-of-Debt-Without-Big-Incomes.jpg?w=700&ssl=1 700w” sizes=”(max-width: 276px) 100vw, 276px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com