The past two years have been a little rough for our seasonal business. Thank goodness for living minimally and simply because it was easy for me to slip back into pay off debt mode. You will always have ups and downs when you own your own business but usually the ups outweigh the downs. If you want to know how to pay off debt by living minimally and simply, this essay is a step in the right direction.
I’m going to be 100% transparent by telling you that it’s been rough for the past 2 years. When you’re a seasonal summer, so many factors can affect your business including too much rain, knock-off products, not getting inventory when you expected it and the list goes on. Would I ever go back to being an employee and making money for someone else. Never. Would I like things to always go smoothly. Of course but life is never that simple is it? Luckily for me, I do have another business teaching families how important it is to live chemical free – which helps out when cash gets tight in the seasonal business.
So after two rough years, we have business credit cards to pay off and we’re going to attack this debt the same way we paid off our debt previously – by going back to the basics of living simply and minimally and reviewing all cash in and out to see where we may be able to save.
First step is going through our monthly expenses to see where we can immediately cut expenses and I’ve found a few that you should look at also if you are going to join me on this journey. They include:
- Satellite TV
- Dues and subscriptions that automatically renew
Starting with the first one, I called the telephone company and told them I no longer needed the landline since I always use my cell phone. After I explained I really do not use that phone line, they
cut the bill from $75 to $10/monthly for a basic line which allowed me to keep the landline available as we do live in a rural area. As soon as we are 100% comfortable with our cell phone service, we will cut the line completely. In the meantime, we have a phone that we can depend on in the event of bad weather plus we’re saving $65/monthly.
Next was the satellite TV bill. How in the world did it get to be $175/monthly? Running through the monthly bills, I caught that the “free” 6 month deals that were offered for HBO, Showtime, Cinemax now cost me almost $20 per month. Cut those very quickly through my online account. Also noticed a few pay per view movies but those happened when my daughter was house sitting and since I don’t pay her for that service, I’m okay with those small charges. The bill is now less than $100 but my goal is to get things moved around and turn in one of the receivers and cut that bill in half. That will put another $100 in my pocket.
Next were dues and subscriptions that automatically renew that I noticed this month on my American Express statement. American Express is by far the best card because it is paid in full each month and their customer service is amazing. After one phone call explaining that those charges should not have renewed, the amounts were credited back to my account.
Entertainment is a tough one but since I am on a spending freeze, I had to plan ahead. My entertainment is my half-marathons and triathlons so I have booked and paid this month for all events through the balance of 2016 including travel expenses. I will not add any other travel to my schedule for the balance of this year.
The four items listed above are just the beginning of my financial review and it’s really something we should do more often. Without sitting down and looking at my expenditures for this year, I would not have caught the increase in my cable bill nor the savings from my phone line. It was worth the few minutes it took to look at a few statements. If you plan to join me, start by reviewing your bank statements and receipts to see where you can cut costs immediately. You just might be in for a few surprises. I’m working on the next step in the process now so check back soon.
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).