Financial Tips | Debt Management

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Need More Money? Try Cutting Your Costs!

I had a unique experience yesterday afternoon. I was talking to a friend that was having trouble paying his bills. He was wondering how he was going to make next months rent payment (he lives in Los Angeles and thus his rent is very expensive), his car payment, his student loan payments, and all his other bills. He kept wondering and asking me how to make more money.

During our long conversation, I was amazed that he was considering getting a second job (considering he already worked 60 hours a week). What amazed me further is that he never considered cutting costs. His entire motivation was about making more money.

First, let me start that making more money is a great goal. The entire purpose behind this blog is to share knowledge on how to acquire wealth. However, wealth accumulation can be a long process. Absent hitting the lottery, millions of dollars do not come overnight. It takes hard work, dedication, and motivation.

Most people in my friend’s situation think one dimensionally. The problem presented in paying bills. They think “I do not have enough money to pay bills, therefore, I need to make more money!” This way of thinking is not incorrect, but it can create many problems in the immediate future. Let us say that my friend got a second job on his days off. I guarantee in a month, he would have no energy and his primary job performance would suffer, as well as his health and personal life.

An easier way exists. I told him he needed to cut costs. Cutting costs will have an immediate effect. I told him to stop going out to eat so much (he went about three times a week), brown bag lunch at the office, and stop buying unnecessary stuff. Additionally, I told him to contact his student loan office and ask for a month reprieve. I think that most student loan providers allow the payee to request a “month off” without penalty. Taking a month off will put him a month ahead on his student loan payment.

There are many other little costs he can cut that will add up big in the long run. My biggest piece of advice for him was to NOT form a budget. Budgets are too hard and people never stick with them. All I said was to keep track of the costs that you eliminated. This way, he will be able to see a noticeable difference in his checking account, and most importantly, he may not have to pick up a second job!

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