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Hello friends! I am so excited to share this information with all of you. I truly believe that in order to live a healthy lifestyle you MUST reduce the amount of stress in your life. Ever feel like this:
I know I have. There are various ways to reduce stress but I am going to touch on the one I believe is #1. Money and debt.
I am not a financial advisor; I am simply speaking from personal experience.
I believe at some point in everyone’s life they will stress out about money, especially when the economy is the way it is. After college, my husband and I both had car loans, we had just bought a house, gotten married, and had student loans to pay off. The idea of paying off our debt seemed impossible. That was until I received some very helpful advice from a friend of mine at work. Her and her husband had recently paid off all of their debt in TWO years; I was excited to learn how they did it. The concept is actually quite simple, and although we are not following her plan 100% the idea is the same.
You have to make a plan you know you can stick with. I knew that we could never empty out our savings to pay our debt off, so we took baby steps. We started out with paying off the smallest loan. Then we took that monthly payment and lumped it into the next loan we wanted to pay off. Once that was paid off, we added those payments to the next loan, and so on and so forth. We have been on this plan since March 2011, and I am happy to say that we will be debt free (if all goes to plan) by the end of 2013 (other than our mortgage).
It takes a bit of time to accumulate enough money to start paying off big numbers, but once you get rolling it is an amazing feeling.
Another beneficial aspect of paying off your debt is that when you need to make a bigger purchase, for example if your car needs new tires or you have a big home repair to take care of, you will have that money. This past month my husband needed to buy new shocks for this car, so instead of dipping into our savings for the money, we are taking one of the extra monthly payments and using that money to cover the cost. Yes that pushes our debt payoff back another month, and my friend would probably yell at me for doing it, but for us it works. You cannot do it all the time, but if you know the money is there you will be less likely to stress out about it!
Now if paying off debt is too big of a step for you, I think the easiest money stress reducer is to save early for big holidays, and events. If you start at the beginning of the year and save $10 each week for Christmas or birthday presents, when it comes time to make those purchases you will not stress about where the money is coming from. Just $10 a week, give up that new pair of shoes, or cup of Starbucks coffee, and you can manage the $10.
As always, these are just my opinions based on personal experience. I am not a financial advisor and do not claim that my methods are perfect. Just remember baby steps!