You know which debt to pay off first (highest interest debt or smallest debt), and you understand that your return is better if you put your money toward debt reduction instead of into savings. There will be more money available for investing, retirement and emergency funds once you’re debt free. You know that there is no time like the present to start saving, and that every extra dollar that you can squeeze from your budget will make an impact in your debt.
So why are you still paying someone to pick up your trash, mow your lawn, or wash your car? These are just a few examples of convenience services that while they do save you time and effort, are taking away from your ability to get out of debt as quickly as you could otherwise.
I know it is not convenient to load up your trash and recycling into your vehicle and deliver it to the recycling center or garbage dump yourself, but it will save you money. In fact some of that recycling that you are setting out on your curb every other week can actually make you money that you can put toward your debt. It seems trivial to take your bottles and cans to the recycling center and get a few dollars for them, but compared to the monthly cost of paying to have them picked up for you, it’s not so trivial.
Most of the trash that you are setting out is food and paper. Paper is recyclable, and food should be an excellent place to try to maximize efficiency, thereby eliminating a lot of waste. I personally am saving just over $200 per year by taking my own trash away, in addition to the small amounts made from recycling.
Having a gardener is something that a person or family who is trying to get out of debt really shouldn’t have. A grass cutting service is a gardener of sorts. If you have any debt at all, you really should not pay others to provide services that you can do yourself. This is especially true if you also are paying for a gym membership to get exercise since you can get plenty doing this yard work yourself.
I am not saying that you need to learn skills in order to provide for yourself; if your roof leaks you do not need to learn to repair it, but you do not need to pay one of the grocery store clerks to carry your bags to the car if you are physically able to do so for yourself. Do you really need to receive the daily newspaper delivered to your door?
The pizza is rather expensive itself let alone paying for the driver to deliver it. I know that it is more convenient and you may not have much time after work to prepare your own far less pricey meal, but you can think about paying for convenience after you have paid off your debt.
You get gas and it only costs an extra $5 to get your car washed, so what is the harm in doing that? You only pay for this service eight or ten times a year, what harm can that be? Every time you think about getting that not so expensive car wash, you should send that $5 to help reduce your debt instead. While you are washing the car yourself, you can take solace in the fact that you are trying your best to pay off your debts and get back on the right side of the financial tracks. The more things that you do to help, the easier it will be to stay on track after you are debt-free.
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