The Very First Step of Your Debt Free Journey (If You Hate Budgeting)

Are you desperate to get out of debt and can’t wait to live a debt-free life?

If you’re anything like me, just typing the word “free” makes you feel both happy and sad.

Happy because you can imagine the great feeling of living a debt-free life with little effort.

Dreadful because you know what it’s like to be in debt.

There was a time when I hated debt so much.

The debt was all I could think about, to the point where it made me physically ill and emotionally drained.

Thank God, those ill-effects of debt are now in the past, not because I’m debt-free but because I’ve come to terms with them.

And most importantly, I’m doing something about it.

Below is how I started my debt-free journey, which I’m currently on. It might help you start your own.

B-Word and Spontaneous You

You’ve probably read millions of debt-free tips by now and come across the hideous b-word over and over: budgeting.

There seems to be no getting around it for anyone who’s serious about getting rid of debt.

And you might feel a tad depressed about it.

If you’re a spontaneous person, forever seeking fun and not much of a planner of any sort, naturally, budgeting might feel like the death of your life.

In your mind, there’s nothing more boring than budgeting.

That’s how I felt about budgeting for a long time until I was pushed over the edge and had to do something about the ever-increasing debt.

So, if you’re a spontaneous person and feel constrained or intimidated by the prospect of budgeting, here’s one suggestion that’ll get you to start off your debt-free journey:

It may not work for everyone—we all have different debt situations—but it worked for me.

In fact, with my strong spur-of-the-moment tendency, it was the only way to take back control of my finances and, therefore, my sanity.

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely recognised your debt issue. You want to live a debt-free life sooner than later.

So, what’s the very first step to take on your debt-free journey if you hate budgeting like I used to?

Here’s the answer:

Go gung-ho with your expenses.

Go cold turkey on your spending.

Cut expenses to the bone.

I know—I essentially repeated the same thing three times, not because I doubt your intelligence; I just wanted to emphasise that this thing really works.

It was the only way for me to start my debt-free journey with a clean slate.

I promise: you aren’t going to starve or die!

Why does this gung-ho thing work?

Here’s why.

You Take Immediate Action

When you don’t get along with budgeting, the chances are you’ll be spending way too much time thinking about “starting budgeting”.

Trust me. I’ve been there.

Maybe you’ve downloaded one of those fancy looking budgeting printables.

You take a quick look at it and think you’ll start budgeting from the next day.

The next day comes.

Oh, that excel budget sheet might be better.

Download it and put it on the back burner.

I’ll start after the next paycheck.


And then, before you know it, the whole month is gone, just like the previous month and the one before that.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Lao Tzu

Begin your debt-free journey the very same day you read this by cutting expenses straightaway.

I hear another “but coming…

“I’ve Got to Sort the Expenses”

I understand what you mean.


Knowing essential and non-essential expenses is an important part of tackling debt.

But let’s be honest:

Do you really need to sit down and think about it to know the difference?

If we’re really honest with ourselves, we already know enough to begin.

In fact, we’ve known it all along.

The problem is that we want to insist on non-essentials as essentials because there are things we don’t want to give up.

I used to do that all the time.

But this slack view on money and spending habits has to go when we have debt to clear.

If you’re unsure, ask yourself one question when you’re about to buy something:

Will I suffer without it?

Not a matter of life or death suffering, but close enough.

A tad dramatic?

What can I say? It works!

For example, will you suffer if you stop your monthly subscription for your broadband service?

I’m sure we both agree that the answer is a resounding yes.

In this day and age, the internet is not a want but a need, especially if you do side hustles to make extra money to pay off your debt, like blogging.

How about Netflix or Amazon Prime? And cable TV?

Not so much.

By the way, don’t confuse withdrawal syndrome with suffering.

A good way of looking at it is, can you fill the same time (=activities) with something else and be rewarded better for it?

For example, you may not be able to find an alternative activity to a side hustle and make the same extra money.

On the other hand, the benefits of reading, exercising, learning, or even cooking outweigh the money spent and time wasted on cable TV.

Final Thoughts

If you have that lingering thought in the back of your mind, “I’ve got to start budgeting,” but never get around to doing it (and feel guilty about it), just starting by cutting expenses will give you a head start.

Or try No Spend Challenge.

You’ll soon start taking control of your finances.

When you eventually sit down and budget, you’ll have dramatically reduced expenses.

In other words, it’ll make your first budgeting a lot easier, simpler, and faster when you finally get around to it.

I thoroughly recommend you take this first step in your debt-free journey, especially if you’re struggling with budgeting.

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