Make More Money, Get Out of Debt, and Live Your Life

make more money

For many of us making more money and getting out of debt is a top priority. Just take a look around at all of the Personal Finance blogs that talk about saving and spending money, as well as making more money so that they can pay off their bills and get out of debt.

My husband and I have a considerable amount of debt which honestly feels quite overwhelming at times. To combat that we work on following these simple steps so that we can still enjoy life, while we work towards becoming debt free.

Think about How Much You Need to Work

When you’re lining up work or contemplating a new job, think about your expenses and make sure you can earn the money you need to live comfortably. Keep in mind how many hours you can work while still having time for the things you love to do.

  • Consider if you’re eligible to work overtime. A few extra overtime shifts a month could make a considerable difference in paying off some debt.
  • Consider starting a side hustle doing freelance work based on something you enjoy and are good at.

How Much is Your Time Worth?

When you’re considering a job or a commission, you need to think about making sure you’re getting paid what you are worth.  If you are worth more money, don’t take jobs that pay significantly less unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

  • Try negotiating with your employer for an increase in salary, a higher hourly rate, or a performance bonus structure. If you have experience in a highly specific field it generally earns you a higher salary.

Use Public Transportation

The price of gas is high and it’s only going to go higher.  Think about alternative means of transportation and think about what you can do to reduce the wear and tear and the gas consumption of your car in general.

  • Check out the local bus or train schedules and if they meet your needs, consider selling your car to pay off some debt. Selling a car will eliminate a car loan, gas costs, maintenance fees, and insurance premiums.

Buy Locally

When you’re looking to buy produce, take the time to buy from local vendors.  Not only will the food taste better, but you won’t be billed the extra transport costs and you’ll be supporting local business.

  • Visit the local gift shop for that birthday gift rather than heading to the mall. Or have dinner at a local restaurant rather than a chain restaurant. You’ll likely save money on gas while supporting your local businesses.

buy locally

Work Locally

If you work close to home you’ll have lower transportation costs and more time to spend with your family.  This can make a job worth keeping.

  • Working locally also allows you to run errands during lunch breaks so you have more family time on the weekends.

Avoid Late Charges on your Bills

Avoid late charges on your monthly bills by setting up automatic payments for the monthly amounts.

  • Set up online banking so each month your bills will be paid automatically. No more forgetting to mail the cheque or going into the bank!

Budget Your Money

Make sure you know how much money you earn each month and exactly where it’s going. Don’t forget to figure in small costs like gas, dry cleaning, and snacks. Every dollar matters when you’re trying to get out of debt.

  • Call your utility companies and ask to be put on their budget plans. Paying the same amount each month for electricity or oil is much easier than paying a $600 bill during the cold winter months.

Ask Yourself: Do I Need It?

Impulse buys can take a real toll on your cash flow.  Before you buy anything, give it a second thought and discuss it with your spouse or friend.  Can you get it cheaper elsewhere? Do you even really need it? 

  • Walk away for a day and think about whether you really need to spend the money or ask the salesperson if the item will be on sale soon. But chances are you really don’t need it in the first place.

Keep the Thermostat at a Reasonable Temperature

When you want to keep your bills low, you will find that one of your heftiest bills will be the heating bill if you live somewhere cold, and the AC bill if you live somewhere hot.

  • Learn to wear layers of clothing and agree on a preset temperature with your family. Installing an electronic thermostat allows you to program the times and the temperatures so no one has to touch the thermostat.
  • To help deal with warmer temperatures make sure your blinds and draperies are closed all day long to block out the heat. Try using fans to circulate the air, and of course wear lighter clothing. Of course when it hits 100 degrees as it has recently in many parts of the world, nothing beats turning on the AC. You might just have to eat less next month.

Buy Good Quality Items

It might seem counterintuitive, but buying more expensive things that are of a higher quality can be useful when you’re looking to save money.  Quality things break less frequently so you don’t end up buying the same items over and over.

  • This doesn’t mean you have to shop for designer clothing that’s out of your budget range. Simply look for higher quality items and buy fewer clothing pieces this season.

Being conscious of how much money you spend each month is critical to getting out of debt, but that doesn’t mean you have to live like a hermit without any entertainment. Choose some of these easy ways to save money and enjoy living your life simply!



    • My Canuck Buck

      My Canuck Buck 07/10/2012 5:12 a.m. #

      I love the graphic at the beginning - I'm trying to remember to live my life like that. This is a great list of tips - I'm definitely a big fan of the cutting down on cars if you can. We had 2 for years, even though my hubbie never drove to work. Eventually went down to 1 and the savings have been great!

    • AverageJoe

      AverageJoe 07/10/2012 5:59 a.m. #

      Great ideas. I need to shop at the farmer's market more often. When I go, I love it...I just don't go. Time to form a new habit.

    • Money Beagle

      Money Beagle 07/10/2012 9:55 a.m. #

      When shopping for clothes, look for stuff that you can mix and match so that you can create a lot of different outfits from less items of clothing. This will stretch your budget and you'll get full use out of the clothing you do have.

    • Kaylan

      Kaylan 07/10/2012 11:34 a.m. #

      I never even thought about buying locally from this standpoint before. I enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, but I never even thought about the price difference! Thanks for pointing that out!

    • Sean @ One Smart Dollar

      Sean @ One Smart Dollar 07/10/2012 12:20 p.m. #

      I love the summer for the Farmers Markets. Great way to support local business and get inexpensive produce.

    • Money Bulldog

      Money Bulldog 07/10/2012 2:28 p.m. #

      Good point about buying locally. I know so many people who travel long distances just to save some money but lose out because it cost them so much to get there!

    • Anthony Thompson

      Anthony Thompson 07/10/2012 5:08 p.m. #

      Good points, Sicorra! I recently started using public transportation, and it has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. It not only saves me money, but also keeps me sane from having to deal with car traffic and drivers.

    • From Shopping to Saving

      From Shopping to Saving 07/11/2012 2:25 p.m. #

      All great ideas! Except for the gift shop one - personally, I love to shop online to compare prices and deals. I usually try to buy gifts and xmas gifts way in advance. I tend to freak out if I have to buy a real gift in person. At that moment, I'm thinking I won't be able to get any discounts or use coupons. Lol!

    • Budget & the Beach

      Budget & the Beach 07/11/2012 9:41 p.m. #

      I think I find myself using the "do I need it" tip most of all. It's amazing how many times you can answer no.

    • femmefrugality

      femmefrugality 07/12/2012 12:43 p.m. #

      I love how you are always reminding us to enjoy the life we're living and to live it the best we can! Will take a lot from this.

    • Stephanie @ Empowered Dollar

      Stephanie @ Empowered Dollar 07/13/2012 11:27 a.m. #

      Great insights :) I love those reminders to enjoy life, too. I heard a quote last weekend: "Your priorities are what you do, not what you say you are going to do." I think that applies to money, too. Your spending reflects your priorities. If you're spending all of your money on restaurants and bars but you really value travel, you need to adjust your priorities!

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