Have you made the commitment to get out of debt so that you choose and own your adventures? I hope you have. In order to do that, we’re going to have to come up with some extra money to pay toward our debt snowball. To help you find some extra dollars in your budget I have two adventure destinations that I want you to become very familiar with.
First stop, your local library. The library has a wealth of resources for you to use, all for free. Books, movies, music.
Using these items allows you to cut your magazine and music subscriptions. You can also cut your cable or satellite bill. Many libraries offer free music and movie streaming in your own home, in addition to access to digital magazines, if you have a library card. In addition, you can cut the clutter in your home because whatever you borrow is taken back instead of being stored on your shelves. I’ve stated before how much I hate overconsumption, it makes so much more sense for us to share resources than for us all to buy our own.
The library also offers free classes and exhibits, which will help fill the time you would have spent watching TV. Learn to garden, make jewelry, write a novel. Meet local artists and authors. While you are there, log onto their free wi-fi. You can even use their computers and printers if you want.
Using their internet can help you cut your internet bill, along with cutting the data on your cell phone plan to the bare minimum. These types of budget cuts add up in a real hurry. And if you travel a lot you don’t want to be paying for services that aren’t getting used.
This is one destination that benefits your entire family. Your kids will learn to love the programs they have there, and it is so good for them to disconnect from the digital world and learn to use their imagination. I’m an avid proponent of reading, I think it increases your comprehension and communication skills. And how fun would it be to grab a bunch of info about your next destination, movies you can watch and books you can read together at your next family night?
Your next adventure destination is your own kitchen. Since we are paying off debt, we aren’t even going to consider eating at a restaurant or buying anything at a convenience store. Make a menu every week and cook dinner every single night. Take the leftovers for lunch the next day. Whether you want to cook for the whole week once on the weekend or cook each night doesn’t matter. Be brave, try new recipes and have fun. Let family members plan and cook a meal one day a week.
Try out some new camping recipes so you don’t have an epic fail while you’re in the woods without a lot of other options. Look on Pinterest to find recipes for refrigerator oatmeal that you can make then have in the fridge for breakfast (or lunch) all week. This includes snacks too. Especially while travelling. Make energy bites, cut up fruit and veggies, buy cheese sticks. Throw all this in a cooler and take it with you. Take some of your refrigerator oatmeal too. I guarantee you will enjoy your trip more and feel better when you get home than if you stop and pick up snacks at a gas station. Buy a good insulated bottle and bring your own water. You can also use the bottle to take your own coffee.
I have a favorite homemade pumpkin spice latte recipe I found on The Morning Fresh that is to die for. If you follow me on Pinterest you can see some of the really good recipes for energy bites I’ve got pinned. If you make your own snacks you can control the sugar content, avoid preservatives, and save a ton of money. If you need some good recipe books, pick some up while you’re at the library!
Have some fun with this. Be willing to try out new things so that it feels like an adventure instead of like you’re cutting back on your lifestyle. Take the money you save and diligently put it toward your debt. Remember the reason we are on our debt free mission; so that we can be free, so we can choose our own future, and so we can choose how we live. Maybe you want to retire early, maybe you want to travel, maybe you want to climb mountains. Whatever it is, you want to have the freedom to choose, and that freedom only comes when we are not slaves to our debt. Happy adventuring!