Can You Get Out Of Debt By Not Spending?

I have a confession to make (shamefully hiding behind my keyboard). Earlier this year I racked up a bit of debt.

$10,000 to be exact.

I know. Yikes.

You would think that this would be enough of a reason to want to drastically change my spending habits at the time, and become more frugal as the credit card was increasing. I didn’t. WE haven’t (yes, family, I’m not taking the entire blame, here, this involves you, too).

But I realised that surely I'm not the only one in a situation like this. This happens all the time right?

Of course at first I was in denial. Surely things will get better soon - it's just a waiting game right until things turn around. But that wasn't going to help me right now though.

I knew things had to change.

The Catalyst

My daughter had a cold and I was looking for the baby Vicks so I could rub it on her chest to help her breathe better. But I couldn't find it. I was getting frustrated the more I looked. (And believe me it wasn't the first time something got lost inside our home). Now before you jump to conclusions, I don't have a house that belongs on Hoarders or anything - it's a fairly normal house with fairly normal possessions. But like many people I had too much stuff.

That was where all our money was going. On stuff!

So then and there I decided to change. To stop buying things.

Obviously I already had everything I needed. Why did I think I needed more? Besides, how much money could I save if I just stopped buying things?

I started to get excited about the possibility.

So I created a challenge for myself. Don't spend for 30 days. Could I do it?

The Plan

The plan was simple.

I could spend money on things I absolutely had to - like food, mortgage payments, bills. But nothing else. No magazines. No lip gloss. No pretty little skirts for my daughter.

And you know what. It was actually fun! I had fun not spending money.

I felt like I was empowered - not being a slave to consumerism. And I learnt lots of tricks and techniques for saving money.

That's all great and everything. But how much did you save?

The month that I did it, we saved close to $1,000. That money went straight on the credit card of course.

Since then I've done one more month long spending detox, and another short one week one.

And we've also cut down our spending on the rest of the months.

Our credit card bill - as I speak today - is now around $2,000. So we still have a way to go - but it's getting there. I don't feel the sense of dread now when I receive a credit card statement in the mail.

Oh and I eventually did find baby Girl's Vicks - just in case you were wondering.

What About You?

So far, most of this post has been about me. But what about you?

I think challenging yourself to either stop spending or, at least, dramatically cutting down WILL help you get out of debt.

It's not easy. And it's not a magic solution.

But I think people need to try and take responsibility for the position that they are in. While I understand that some situations are out of our control, for the majority of people - the reason they are in debt - is because they bought too much stuff they couldn't afford.

So stop. Stop being a slave to consumerism. Stop buying everything little thing. Start spending time with your family. Start relaxing more at home. Start appreciating the little things in life.

It will not only make you richer, it will simplify your life and make you happier as well. Or at least it did for me, and I sincerely hope it will for you too.

Good luck on your own challenge.

Could You Stop Spending for a Month?

  • Yes - I could definitely do it.
  • No - Stop spending? Are you crazy?
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Comments 4 comments

tipstoretireearly profile image

tipstoretireearly 4 years ago from New York

Congratulations on making the decision to spend less. Not only is saving fun, but there's a sense of freedom in not being a slave to our possessions. Definitely a vote up!

JaneKnowsbest profile image

JaneKnowsbest 4 years ago

This is fantastic!!! And a great motivator for people like me who need to really work on controlling our spending :) Thanks for the encouragement!

Bewd13 profile image

Bewd13 4 years ago from Sao Paulo - Brazil

Great hub! People really need to stop being a slave to consumerism and engage with new ideas of sustainability.

Venus Rivera profile image

Venus Rivera 22 months ago from Chicago, IL

I fell in love with your title that why I had to take a quick peek inside. Your story rings true to so many spenders to slow down and take a look at what they're buying. Brilliant Hub!

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