This content is provided courtesy of SavvyMoney.
If you found a $100 bill lying around on the ground, what would you do with it? Share a nice dinner with a friend? Buy a new outfit? Or, put it toward your debt?Hopefully by this point in your boot camp, you answered “put it toward my debt.” Paying off debt can seem an overwhelming challenge and this itself discourages people from making little choices that can add up? If I have thousands of dollars in debt, why should I put that $100 toward my debt when it seems so insignificant? The simple truth is that great things are usually done as a series of small steps but unless we can take the small steps, we never get to the great thing. Here are a series of small steps that you can take. Each will matter over time. Cut recurring spending Famous bank robber Willie Sutton once told a report that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.” We hear a lot about cutting discretionary spending (the “latte effect”) but for most people the money isn’t in impulse spending, it’s in big, recurring expenses—decisions we made a long time ago but just keep paying month after month.
- Look at your rent: Can you realistically afford what you’re paying, given your other expenses? If not, consider cheaper alternatives. Active military families can often save significantly by living on-base.
- Examine recurring service plans such as cable TV, cell phone service, exchange deals, or living off base. Downgrade your plans or cancel your service altogether. Be bold and experiment—you can always add it back later if you find you couldn’t live without it.
- Turn clutter to Cash: Go through your household and sell items lying around that you never use.
- Improve your pay grade. You may be able find additional sources of cash by volunteering for an assignment or going back to school to receive certain qualifications that would result in more pay. Explore all the options available to you within the military.