I was listening to a Dave Ramsey Show podcast this past week and one of his “debt free scream” couples made a very interesting, and enlightening, statement. Dave will typically ask a standard set of questions; what was the hardest thing about paying off your debt, how much did you make during this time, what did people think of you during this, etc. Usually his final question is what would you tell people who are in your shoes now trying to paying off their debts. The wife of the couple said to, “Shop intentionally, not mindlessly.” She was obviously referring to all shopping, but more specifically grocery shopping. My wife and I can 100% relate to this callers sentiment because once we got on a written budget, we did our most mindless shopping at the grocery store, by far.
Once we began keeping track of our spending and creating a budget, we saw we were spending upwards or $800-900 per month on groceries…and that was for two people; my wife and I. We decided to really tighten our belts in this one specific category to dramatically cut our spending. We figured we could easily get by on $100/week or $400/month, which would leave us with roughly an additional $400-500 a month in income. Believe it or not, dropping our grocery budget this much was actually significantly easier than it sounds (considering we cut it more than in half).
I would strongly urge all of my Millennial reads to get on a written budget and see where you can severely trim expenses much like we did with our grocery bill. This bill gets a lot of people, as does shopping, going out/dining out, coffee shops, and the like. Force yourself to cut expenses and you’ll be amazed at how much more money you’ll have on a monthly basis to throw at debt and/or savings. It’s a great feeling.