Making Sacrifices to Get Out of Debt

Making Sacrifices to get Out of DebtThis one is where the rubber meets the road. This is where we see how bad you want to be out of debt.

The sacrifice is only temporary!

The most important thing to remember as you are reading this is that it is ONLY TEMPORARY.

By making a sacrifice, you are not condemning yourself to that for the rest of your life. You just need to make up for all the overspending that has taken place in the past.

If you have done some of the things mentioned in the last few lessons, you are on a better financial footing than you were.

But, if your expenses are still greater than your income, then we are going to have to take a few more steps.

Sacrifice your stuff and sell it!

Like we mentioned before, your balance sheet is the true indication of whether or not you are progressing financially.

But, if your expenses are greater than your income, it is highly unlikely that you are increasing your net worth. So, in order to move forward, you either have to cut expenses or increase income.

So far we have mostly been focusing on the less painful ways of cutting expenses in order to increase our net worth. Depending on how deep in debt you are, you may need to take drastic measures to get yourself back on solid ground.

What do you have that you owe money on?

Take out a piece of paper and write them down. Do you have loans on your house, car, boat, living room set, or anything else? The goal is to minimize our expenses, so what better way than getting rid of some of the stuff we owe on? Don’t worry, you will be able to get it again later, but now your goal is to break free from the bondage of debt!

You have to open your mind to things that you might not have wanted to do. This is probably one of them.

Cars are terrible investments!

Like we’ve talked about before, we pay a lot of money for them and they basically only go down in value until they are sent to car heaven. In my opinion, cars get people into financial trouble more than anything else. Most people don’t spend tens of thousands of dollars on something that knowingly goes down in value.

The way to defeat this of course is to drive older cars (older cars have already suffered much of the depreciation and therefore lose a whole lot less in value each year).

What is good about this is that if you have a car that you paid $25,000 for and it is now worth $17,000, you can sell it, take the $17,000 and use $6,000 to buy an old car and use the remaining $11,000 to pay down your debt. Just think about this for a second. You can knock out $11,000 of debt just by making one sacrifice: driving an older car.

Now I know not everyone is in that situation, but the principle still applies. So, if you have a boat that you owe thousands on still, or a couple cars, it doesn’t really matter. If you are making payments on it, you should consider getting rid of it.

And come to think of it, if you do own it and it is still worth a decent amount, you can sell that too!

“But if I get an older car, it will be expensive to maintain.”

Not necessarily. Go to Consumer Reports and give them $5.95 for one month of access to their website. They have, hands down, the best and most useful information for buying a used car. They rate just about every car in the book for all kinds of criteria. Not the least of which is reliability.

What you will find is that over the years, Honda and Toyota (on average) have consistently made the most reliable cars. If you were looking for the single best old car that is cheap & reliable, I would say it would probably be a Civic. But, do your own homework at Consumer Reports.

Sacrifice your time and get to work! Again.

Yep, if everything up to this point isn’t getting you into the black, then you may need to think about getting a second job. The good news is that second jobs aren’t what they used to be. I remember when I was younger I would put in a hard day’s work at the grocery store and then make my way to the restaurant for the completion of about 12-16 hours on my feet.

Needless to say those days were very tiring, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many work-from-home opportunities that you could get involved in as you work to knock out the debt.

Work Overtime

Ask your boss if he/she has anything extra you can work on to pick up some extra hours. This will likely be the best paying additional income you could find.

Sell on Ebay

This is probably the most popular method these days for people looking to supplement their income. The greatest part about it is that you can start with stuff laying around your house. If you have not sold on Ebay before, I highly recommend it as a way to generate some extra income. For more info, you can read the earlier article I wrote for beginners called 7 Steps to selling on Ebay.

Freelance Work

Do you have a skill that you could make some money on the side with? If so, you can post an ad on Craigslist for free. You can check out or one of the millions of Freelance job sites out there. Google “Freelance work” to get a small sampling of what is available.

What sacrifices are you making or have you made to get out of debt?

Ready to Quit Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck?

Just click to join 225,000+ others and take our FREE email course to better manage your money, pay off debt, and save! And get FREE access to our money-saving workshop ($29 value)!

Related Articles:

  1. mameecloset

    im glad that ebay allows me to stay at home and take care of my 2 babies! 🙂

  2. Denise

    Wow, great article. I complete agree that sacrifices are needed if you really want financial freedom and out of debt.

  3. Eliane


  4. Rebecca K

    The only problem with the selling the car situation — you bought for 25,000, now worth 17,000, is you’d better hope you only owe 11,000 on it. The banks will usually not release the lien on the title unless the loan is fully paid off. You might have to refi into an unsecured loan or home equity (if it’s available) to pay off any remaining money you owe after the 11,000 is paid – or hope you have the straight up cash to do so. So make sure you look into that before you jump into selling the car. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you’ve promised to sell someone the car, and can’t get them the title.

  5. Tim @ Faith and Finance

    Selling stuff you don’t need can be a great way to pay off debt. Books, electronics, and old sports equipment can add up fast – plus you’re able to clear out space in your house – something a lot of people need to do anyways! 🙂

    Good article Bob!

  6. Fiscal Fitness

    Excellent post! Deferred gratification can be difficult, but it’s so worth it in the long run. Great points about cars as well.

  7. Bekah

    can you tell me more about do you know anyone who has gotten work from the site or had someone work for them?

    • Bob

      Bekah, I have hired some things out with them and haven’t had any issues. I haven’t done any work on elance, but know quite a few people who have – it is a pretty big operation.

  8. whitney

    we have a leased car….is there anyway to get out of a lease????

  9. Mike D.

    My wife and I made a lot of sacrifices getting out of debt, including both of us working two jobs, getting rid of cable TV, and not going out much. It was very worth it and was only for a relatively short period of time. It’s not as bad as it sounds either. I really liked my second job (more than my first actually) and didn’t miss cable once it was gone. Since then we got cable back but have gotten rid of it again because we realized how little we actually watch it because we enjoy other things.

  10. GIGINS

    The sacrifices we make today, pave the way for a future we’ll enjoy. It is far better to give than receive, making tough sacrifices actually leads to a happier life.

  11. Lisa

    I have been trying to do all the steps so far and it’s just not working for me. Could someone please try to help me? I can’t seem to pay my bills twice a month. I’m always behind. How can I change this? My husband gets paid weekly and I get paid every other week. The budget is not really working for me either. Is there something I’m doing wrong?

    • Christi

      I have a notebook and write out the bills I have monthly and their due date beside that. If your bank has bill pay, use it so you’ll never be late. If they don’t, go to the company’s website and pay that way.

    • Kathy

      Lisa, it’s been a while since your comment.If you are still in need of help, please post again and I may have some suggestions for you. Are you in nerd because there is not enough money to go around or do you need help with organization or both ?

  12. Angela

    your course have motivated me more. bill payment schedule sure help a lot.just seeing on paper what my monthly expenses are put a new prospective on the way I spend . still struggle but not giving up. Blessed love.

  13. Jen

    Hi all, I know budgeting is hard but sure there is a way to make it work. My husband is paid twice a month, I have listed and printed all the bills for the month and divide them according to when they come due. So Basically i have a clear picture of what needs to be spent for bill payments for each pay check. I add them up and make sure i didnt forget anything and see what is left to spend for other stuff like food& gas etc. It is true that you have to make some little sacrifices if you want to pay off debts which is my goal this year. On top of this i use sticky note on what actually i paid and wait to see if it clear the bank, btw i do check our bank online regularly, this kind of monitoring always works for us.

  14. yardley

    What I don’t understand abour the car advice is the focus on depreciation. If you plan to drive a car as long as is possible-10 years plus-the loss in value on a new car is just “phantom” money. It’s NOT a loss.

    Especially if you can pay cash, I don’t see the evil in a loss that’s only on paper. I’ve purchased 5 cars in my life.3 were used & 2 were new. I drove them all until they were irreparable or the repair cost exceeded the value.

    And I think there is huge value in being the only owner of a car if you plan to keep it forever. With the used ones, there were so many repairs, I couldn’t save for another one. My last one I bought new & financed at 2% interest (which is less than I’d lose to inflation at .04% in a savings account.)

    Since I bought new, I have maintained it well & when I paid it off, I started saving. Still no big repairs, so I can save more & I plan to get at least 12 years out of it.