I have seen a lot of people’s financial information over the years and here is what I have come to realize. Very few people become debt free just by cutting their cable bill and their eating out fund (although it does help). Most people become debt free by increasing their income. Even though there are several ways to get more money, there is one avenue that is a sure fire way to help pay off your debt and fast.
I think it is safe to say most of us do not like working extra jobs. However, a lot of my clients need to gain an extra $500/month and they will be debt free in two to three years or less. If getting out of tens of thousands of dollars in debt can happen that fast, why not work a few extra hours a week (temporarily).
I will never forget one night when my wife Jessica and I enjoyed going to an art show, followed by going out to Red Lobster for our date night in Des Moines, Iowa. What made it even more enjoyable was that our date night did not cost us anything. Our date night was made free because the art show was free and we still had a $50 gift card to Red Lobster that someone had given to us as a Christmas gift.
After eating our meal at Red Lobster we got our ticket and it was right at $50. We each had our own entrée and water. That was it. We had no drinks or dessert. However, I happened to look over and there was a family of four that had ordered drinks, appetizers, entrees and desserts. I started to add up an estimate of what that bill would have cost and what kind of tip I would have to leave. That thought then led me down a path of thinking how much does a server make a night working here.
As our server stopped by to pick up our money to pay for the bill, I asked her what an average server makes at Red Lobster. She said she would share her story with me. She used to be a full-time nurse and work this job part time. She soon realized that she was making more money waitressing, so she switched the two around. (working at Red Lobster full time and her nursing job one night a month to keep her license). She told me she averaged $1,500 per week in tips nine months out of the year. That means she made $54,000 in nine months (not counting her small wage and the other three months of the year).
There are other ways to increase income for the purpose of getting out of debt. Sometimes though there is no substitute for getting your hands dirty and getting some work done. Yes it is not easy. If it were easy, everyone would be debt free over night.
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