When I first started getting out of debt (about 14 years ago now), I discovered that elimination and substitution were indeed my friends.
I made budget cuts, sold stuff and worked “extra” jobs like there was no tomorrow.
As I worked through the “8 Steps”, I became more and more motivated the more successes I racked up.
That’s the thing, the debt elimination process is “progressive” that way.
So don’t worry if you’re not willing to do all of these things right away.
If you just stick with it, you’ll be willing to do things six months from now that you can’t even dream of right now (like maybe selling that car).
So, whether you’re trying to get your $1000 emergency fund in place, or just need $1000 so you don’t dip into your savings, here are 3 quick ways to come up with $1k.
Find some “negotiables” in your current budget/spending and either cut them back, substitute for them or drop them altogether.
Cable TV is often the first to go. When most people sit down to do their budget and are able to see how much they're actually spending on cable (usually over $100 per month), that cord gets cut immediately.
With the proliferation of YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc., there are so many free and low-cost options for information and entertainment, why not?
Additionally, what are some things you can start doing for yourself?
Can you cut your own grass for a bit while you're getting out of debt?
Can you start doing your own nails? Is there another cell phone provider that offers a cheaper plan?
Can you start couponing for groceries or find a lower cost provider in the area? Aldi is the winner in ours. We routinely shave $50 per month off our grocery budget by shopping there. #winning!
This really just involves getting creative and being willing to take a second and third look at what you're likely just automatically spending money on without really thinking about it.
Have you taken a gander at the garage, the attic, the living room, the kitchen lately?
Is there stuff that you're not using (or haven't used in years maybe) and consider selling it on Craigslist, Ebay, etc?
If you’re anything like I was, there were small pile of this stuff, and those piles added up to about $20k in my pocket!
I did this when I was getting out of debt and it has now become a habit for my wife and me "inventory" all of our possessions about every six months to see what we can get rid of.
You don't have to become that extreme, but while you're trying to get this first $1000 into your hands, I'll bet there are some things that you're not using that could free up some cash for you.
Can you pick up some extra hours at work?
Can you get a part-time job in the evenings or start a side hustle?
What can you do to generate some extra income at least for a short time?
Think about this. Get creative and don't be afraid to get down to business so you can get this $1000 into your pocket.
A great resource I've used over the years to consider side-hustle ideas has been Nick Loper's "Side Hustle Nation" website and podcast.
While many of the ideas presented may take time to develop, you may ultimately find yourself in something so lucrative that it may eventually no longer be a side-hustle, but rather your main gig.
Whatever the case, I highly recommend you check it out!
This video is from our 30 Day Quick Start Challenge. Another great free resource for helping you get on track.
And here are some relevant blog posts:
Also, if you haven't yet plugged into a system, allow me to highly recommend our “8 Steps To Erase Debt” as your foundation.
It's what I used to eliminate $43k of consumer debt in just 2.5 years!
0. Stop All Retirement Investing (Until Step 4)2. Starter Emergency Fund of $10003. Eliminate Debts Smallest To Largest (a.k.a The Debt Snowball)4. Full Emergency Fund of 3-6+ Months’ Expenses5. Invest A Minimum of 15% Income Into Retirement Accounts (and increase savings rate to 50%+ if possible)6. College Funding (if applicable)7. Pay Off The Home Mortgage8. Build Wealth, Serve, Be Ridiculously Generous And Go FI (Financial Independence)!