A few of my Catholic friends are currently participating in Lent. They give up something that they love (usually soda, chocolate, fast food) or try to break a bad habit (swearing, smoking) for a month to show personal sacrifice. Even if you aren’t religious, I think you can learn a lesson from giving things up for a greater purpose. It’s about putting off your short-term desires for a long term goal. In my case, it’s about saving money. In your case, you might be wanting to pay off your mortgage faster. Whatever your savings goals, giving up unnecessary expenses is the fastest way to accomplish them and attain financial freedom. Check out this post by Gretchen at the Retired By 40 for things that she has gone without to pay off debt:
-A New Kitchen- If you can cook food in it, you don’t need to expand or remodel. Save the cash.
-Vacations- The cost of the vacation + the hours at work you are missing could add to multiple extra mortgage payments.
-A Data Plan- Calling and texting are all you need!
-Free time- Time is money. By picking up extra side jobs on the side, like dogsitting or freelance writing, you make more.
I honestly don’t know if I have the discipline to give up my precious data plan, let alone vacations and free time. However, by giving up those things, you could save thousands a year, and ultimately take off years of payment.
Photo Credit: Kalyan Chakravarthy