How to Look and Feel Fabulous (Even When You’re Paying Off Debt)
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Debt repayment is something many of us think about all the time, myself included. In fact, Pew Charitable Trust reports that 8 in 10 Americans have some form of debt. However, it can be hard to get on the debt free bandwagon when you think about everything you have to give up to get there.
Aggressively paying off debt usually involves quitting expensive gym memberships, not buying new clothes and avoiding eating at restaurants. However, you can still look fabulous and feel great while paying off debt. Here’s how:
Shop The Perimeter
When you stop going out to eat, you free up a lot of your budget. Trust me, I love going out to eat, but when I saw how much I spent on it every month, it was easy to let it go in favor of paying off more debt.
For the past year, I’ve been focusing hard core on eating at home. A surprising benefit has been weight loss and feeling much healthier. One trick I use to achieve this is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store. This saves me time, money and helps me to eat better.
Grocery stores are full of things that promise to make our lives easier, from pre-made meals, frozen pizzas, and tons of chips, cookies and crackers for those quick snacks. However, most of those things are stocked in the center of the store.
The perimeter of the store has things that might take longer to make at home, like chopping fresh vegetables, fruit and fresh meat. If you just shop the perimeter and get whole ingredients, you’ll save money and you’ll feel better too.
Have a Clothing Swap
One of the things I miss the most about my old neighborhood were their quarterly clothing swaps. Every season, my neighbors and friends would get together to purge unwanted clothing items.
The best part for me was that most of the women there were slightly older than I was with better budgets giving away better clothes than I had! The rule of the clothing swap was that as long as you brought your own items to donate to the cause, you could pick out whatever you wanted and leave with it, no charge.
I can’t tell you how many amazing outfits, skirts and children’s clothing items I got at these clothing swaps. Everyone would usually bring an appetizer or a drink too and it would turn into a fun party. Plus, there’s nothing better than free clothes!
Have an Accountability Fitness Group
We all know that you can work out for free using YouTube videos, but what’s even more motivating is having a group of people to work out with you, even if they are virtual accountability buddies and accountability is the key to feeling fabulous when you’re paying off debt.
There are many different fitness groups on Facebook you can join to get accountability. I just did a quick search of fitness groups for moms, and it yielded a ton of results. What you’re looking for is a group that doesn’t charge and doesn’t push their products or coaching services. After all, the point is to look and feel great while you’re paying off debt.
Other Debt Repayment Tools
As you can see, there are many different ways to look and feel great without spending a lot of money. You can change your diet, cut out restaurants and join free fitness groups to feel great and attain better health. You can also arrange clothing swaps with friends to get new clothes without having to spend any money on them!
In addition to these lifestyle changes, there are also some tools that can help you in your debt repayment journey. My favorite tool is Personal Capital, which is basically like putting your entire financial life on one dashboard. You can see your spending, expenses, income, retirement portfolio and more with one free account. I personally use it to track my spending throughout the month.
I also really like using Digit, because they save little bits and pieces of money for you without you even noticing. Then, you can take your savings and apply that towards your debt at the end of every month or every quarter!
So, what about you? Are you in debt repayment? Do you feel like you have to give up a lot of life luxuries to achieve it or are you still enjoying life and feeling great even though you’ve cut out a lot? What are some hacks you’ve found to still enjoy the small things while paying off debt?
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