But that's just me. We still have mortgage debt. And my husband has some credit card debt.
We're working on it.
We're not alone.
According to Federal Reserve statistics, the average United States household owes $15K in credit card debt, $154K in mortgage debt and $34K in student loan debt.
Our long term goal is long term travel. We hope to buy income property here in the States and live comfortably on our retirement once we are in Spain full time. It's a lofty goal.
So how can we make this happen? How can you make your saving goals happen?
Here are some ideas.
- Pay down the debt. Pay off debt with the highest interest rate first. Then apply that payment to what is being paid on the next highest and so on. Keep working up until all debt is paid. Or start with the smallest debt and work your way up. And no new credit cards. Pick one (or two) and stick with it.
- Create a budget and stick to it.
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated and save in gas mileage.
- Try a savings plan like the 52 week savings plan.
- Brown bag your lunch and save up to $2500 a year.
- Consign clothes you no longer wear and items you no longer use.
- Install energy saving devices in your home.
- Turn down the heat/ac. Consider an automatic thermostat to regulate your temperatures.
- Quit cable and use Hulu or Netflix. Try a Roku and stream on your television.
- Find a meet-up group centered around fitness and put your gym membership on hold. Get outside.
- Cook at home and take the money you would have spent and add it to your savings.
- Make your own coffee.
- Set up automatic savings from your paycheck to a savings account. It all adds up.
- Have friends over for a get together instead of going out. There is more than a 300% markup on alcohol in bars and restaurants. The savings on drinks alone makes it worth it to have your wine, beer and drinks at home.
- Use generic items. You may have some non-negotiables, but most items are just as good as the brand names.
- Consider a dollar store...you may be surprised by what you can find these days.
- Use only your bank's ATM and avoid costly fees. Get free checking with no fees.
- Shop at a consignment store. Or, if you go retail, only shop on sale. Take the money the receipt says you saved and add it to your savings.
- Use your library instead of buying books. Many libraries have e-books that can be sent directly to your e-reader.
- Know your prices and only buy things on sale. Save where you can.
- Walk, bike ride, use public transportation, or carpool whenever possible. It saves energy and money.
- Have a movie night at home, or if you want to see a first run movie, go to the last matinee of the day. Also, around here, Tuesday is "Cheap Movie Night" where the theater charges matinee prices for prime time showings. Check out your local theater...maybe you can find a deal.
- Use savings sites like Groupon or Goldstar.com to find deals on entertainment.
- If you're not using it, shut it off.
- Give up a vice. It may save you hundreds per year.