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A Honest Review: Round Up To Zero

A Honest Review_ Round Up To Zero

This post may contain affiliate links. Check out my Disclosure Policy for more information.

Student loans are something that most people have to deal with directly, or know someone close to them that is dealing with them. Without a solid plan, student loans can seem daunting and overwhelming. I know I felt like I was drowning when I faced my $200k in student loans. But, with a solid plan I managed to pay off $105k in 3 years.

Luckily there are so much tools out there now that is encouraging student loan plans that allow you to get out of debt faster. One of those tools that I have recently found is Round Up To Zero, which allows you to round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and then make a student loan payment with the money.

The company is pretty awesome and is made up of people that have dealt with student loans. They created this platform because they wanted to do something to help other people get out of student loan debt.

How Round Up To Zero Works

After you create your account, you’ll connect your bank accounts and student loan accounts to the platform. Basically how it works is that they will round up all of your purchases to the next dollar. That money will get added to your account and eventually be transferred to your student loan. The platform allows you to play around to see how much extra payments will impact your pay off date and interest paid.

What is really cool and unique about this platform is that they let you connect other people to your account. This allows you to pay off your loan faster. Basically what happens is that your purchases and their purchases will get rounded up. The more people you add, the more money will get rounded up and applied to your student loans.

There is a fee that comes with using this service. Right now, they are charging 0.99/month to use the platform. Also, there is a transaction fee of 4.97% of the transaction. These fees cover the banking fees that the company gets charged for completing these transactions for you. Round Up To Zero hopes to make this service free eventually.

You’re able to set limits on how much extra is applied to your debt each month, if you want. For example, if you’re someone that has a zero based budget, you can set the limit you want to go to your debt.

 

My Opinion of Round Up To Zero

Personally, I think the platform is really well designed and easy to use. The people behind the platform are incredible and have the desire to help people get out of student loan debt. I will support most companies that are trying to help people get out of student loan debt, since I am dealing with them myself.

With that being said, I’m not the biggest fan of charging the fees, but I do understand why they are there. Round Up To Zero would have to foot all the transaction charges that they get without having the fees. That just isn’t realistic. I do appreciate that their ultimate goal is to make the platform free to use eventually.

Who Round Up To Zero is for

Round Up To Zero is perfect for someone that wants to effortlessly pay extra on their debt. If you are just starting to think about applying extra to your debt, this may be a platform to look into. This platform would be great for someone that is overwhelmed by their debt, and can afford to pay a little extra each month. It also would be great for people that have family or friends that want to help you pay off your debt.

I wouldn’t recommend this for someone that is already budgeting strictly and is putting extra money to their debt. If you are doing what the platform provides already, there is no reason to use this service. Some options for you would be to utilize undebt.it to plan your payoff strategy, or consider refinancing your loans to get a better rate.

Overall, I think Round Up To Zero is a great platform for a specific group of people. I love the company’s goal of helping people get out of student loan debt and I think they have created a platform to do this. How do you plan to pay off your student loans?

Debt

The Habits You Should Continue to Remain Debt Free

The Habits You Should Continue to Remain Debt FreeThis is a guest post written by Good Nelly, founder of My Way Of Viewing, check her out for tips on all things personal finance.

Paid off debts? What habits should you continue to remain debt free?

It requires no mention that life without debt is what we all want to achieve. No one of us want to be in debt. There are so many things to do in life than wasting your precious time worrying about how to pay off debt.

But, what happens when you pay off all your debt… Do you go back to your old habits and routine which led you to debt? No!

On the contrary, when you have finally been successful of getting out debt, don’t leave any stone unturned to put debt away from your life.

Few debts you should always avoid are credit card debt, payday loan debt, personal loan debt, and so on. However, you can take out a mortgage or an auto loan but make sure you manage them efficiently.

Here are a few habits which you should continue or develop to keep debts at bay.

Revisit your budget and make modifications

Instead of thinking ‘budget’ a thing that existed in the past and you no longer need it, revisit your budget and make modifications. I won’t attach the line ‘if required’ because most likely, you need to make modifications from time to time and it’s not a one-time affair. Then only, you’ll be able to manage your financial life the way you want.

First of all, revisit your budget at least once in three months to be sure that everything is working in your favor. However, if you’re expecting any financial change, then I would suggest that you revisit your budget every month.

Making even minute changes can help you follow it and at the same time, help you attain your financial goals.

Carefully examine what and how much you’re spending

You were compelled to change your spending behavior to clear your debt. Continue that habit. I would say that now you should scrutinize it even more since you’ll have to get back on track and build a good financial future.

So, stop splurging your hard-earned dollars and maintain strict vigilance on what and how much you’re spending. Curb your desire for spending since you have some liquid money after a long time.

However, celebrate occasionally but not spend more. And, when you want to spend on something, think and plan it carefully.

Allocate a significant amount towards achieving your financial goals

If you look this way, you have wasted a few years struggling to pay off debt and not able to pay attention to achieve your financial goals. So, now devote time and save a significant amount to attain your short-term and long-term monetary goals.

You should deposit an amount into your retirement fund, buy a house if you don’t have one, save for your children’s education if required, and plan for your financial future.

Also, have an emergency fund if you don’t have one. It may help you avoid falling into debt in the future.

Continue checking your credit reports at regular intervals

The financial advisers always say to check your credit reports at least once a year even when you’re into debt and you know that there are negative listings in your report.

However, keep this habit as you can dispute inaccurate negative lists, if any, which can reduce your score. Pull your three major credit reports, which is usually free of cost, once a year.

Make sure the spelling of your name, your address, and other important personal details are accurate in the credit reports.

Manage your credit card accounts and don’t close them

Paying off credit card debt is a bit tough since you have to deal with relatively high-interest debts. So, when you pay off debt, make sure it doesn’t come back again.

So, what habits will you follow even after you pay off all your debts?

Do not make the mistake of closing your credit card accounts, especially the oldest one. The length of your credit history is an important component of your credit score. Another thing, when you close a credit card, your credit limit decreases, thus increasing your credit utilization ratio.

Therefore, keep the habit of managing your credit cards by paying back the outstanding balance at every billing cycle.

Above all, make a promise not to fall into debt again!

Do you know the most important habit which you should continue? Just as you promised yourself to get out of debt, now, make a promise every day not to fall into debt again.

Believe me, it will help you make the necessary decisions and maintain certain habits to achieve it.

You make certain rules to follow like:

  • Not spending above a certain amount during weekdays
  • Allot a certain amount, to spend during the weekends, beyond which you won’t spend. This will help you to enjoy but within your limit.

One important piece of information:

If you can foresee that you’re about to experience a financial hardship, inform your creditors beforehand. For example, if you guess that you can be laid off, inform your creditors instead of waiting for that to happen.

When you inform a credit card company about your situation, it can reduce the interest rate temporarily. It may also extend your payment deadline so that you have some time to make the payment.

So, maintain these habits, have faith in your decisions, and a enjoy a debt free life!

Good Nelly analyzes financial happenings and writes articles to aware and help her readers plan for their financial future. You can go through her blog My Way Of Viewing. She has been associated with Debt Consolidation Care for a long time. However, she has contributed her articles to other websites, too. Be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and G+.

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How to Pay Off Debt on a Low Income

How to Pay Off Debt on a Low IncomeThis post may contain affiliate links. Check out my Disclosure Policy for more information.

When you search the internet for debt pay off motivation, it can be a wonderful motivator or it can quickly turn into wasted time filled with, “I’ll never be able to do that.” This was definitely me when I first started my debt free journey in 2015 with $201k in student loan debt and living on a teacher’s salary.

At first, I had plans to get my first apartment after college and find a teaching job in the area. That dream was quickly shut down when I had the harsh reality that my teaching income wouldn’t be able to support my $2,000/month minimum student loan payment and living. I figured I’d never pay that off early and just make that payment for the rest of my life basically.

That’s when I started getting really angry about my debt and realized that I’d never be able to do anything with that large of a monthly payment. I knew I needed to create some sort of plan to get out of debt and I’m sharing with you my exact steps that I took when it seemed impossible to pay off my debt on my low income.

Step #1: Create a budget.

This is crucial if you haven’t done this already. When I made my budget, I realized that my low income couldn’t support my loan payments and the cost of living in New Jersey. If I hadn’t done this, I most likely would have moved into an apartment, I couldn’t afford, because that’s what the plan was. Go to college, get a teaching job and get my first apartment.

By creating my budget, I quickly realized my expenses would be way more than my teaching income. This made me tweak my entire plan and led me to complete step #2.

Step #2: Cut your expenses.

Once you have your budget, you need to cut any expenses that you can quickly and easily. I recommend doing anything that won’t change your lifestyle first. The reason I say this is because you want to create new habits and if you try to cut everything at once, you’re going to hate this process. Once you have cut the easy expenses, start trimming down what’s left slowly. Cut your grocery budget a little bit at a time and see how low you can go. Little changes you make slowly will add up.

The quickest and sometimes easiest way to cut expenses is to find ways to cut down your spending in necessary categories. For example, rent in New Jersey is outrageous, so I moved back home with my parents. This was a quick way to cut a large expense from my budget. Yes, as a 20-something I’d love to be living in my own place, but that just wasn’t an option for me when I had so much student loan debt and a low income. Especially since I was a 10 month employee, so I’d have no income from my teaching job in the summer months.

This obviously isn’t an option for everyone, but my point is to find ways to cut those expenses that you need to make. Maybe get a roommate, downsize, or move to an area with a lower cost of living. These kinds of cuts will make major impact on your budget each month.

Step #3: Create a debt payoff plan.

There are plenty of ways to create a debt payoff plan, you can use a spreadsheet and create it yourself, or you can use a website, like undebt.it to create a plan for you. I personally used undebt.it because it does the work for me and I’m all about saving time. This website allows you to input all of your debt information and has you input any additional payments you can make. This allows you to see how much an extra payment can impact your debt pay off date and interest saved.

You need to decide what pay off plan you’re going to go with. The 2 most popular are the debt snowball and debt avalanche, but there is also one other one that I am currently using. The important part of any plan is that you are focusing on one account at a time while paying minimums on the other. If you have a lower income, I suggest you use the plan that I am currently using to free up money faster.

This step is what really motivated me to get serious about my debt pay off. When I saw how much time and money I was wasting to interest, if I didn’t make extra payments, I knew I needed to get this gone ASAP. This motivated me to keep cutting my expenses and to do step #4.

Step #4: Add side job(s) and earn cash back on required expenses.

When you have a lower income from your day job, it can feel like you’ll never pay off your debt. There just isn’t enough money left over at the end of the month, even when you cut your expenses as low as you can. By adding a side job or jobs, you can increase your income and allow that entire income to go straight to your debt. Side jobs have been a major help in me being able to pay off $105k in 3 years on my teacher salary. My salary from teaching hasn’t increased since 2016, but my side job income can increase easily if I choose to work more. Depending on how much I have going on with school, I work more or less.

I also use different apps for cash back on my groceries and toiletries. My favorite is Ibotta, this app allows you to take a picture of your receipt and earn cash back on the purchases that qualify. Using my link gets you $10 when you scan your first receipt!

Step #5: Sell everything.

I was shocked by how much stuff I had sitting around my house that I wasn’t using. I’ve held garage sales, sold on Poshmark, sold my textbooks on SellBackYourBook, and dabbled with Facebook Marketplace. All the money made can go to your debt payoff and it feels great to get rid of things you aren’t using anymore.

Remember: As long as you aren’t adding any new debt, you’re still moving forward.

Debt payoff is hard, there is no doubt about that. When you are inching forward slowly, it can seem like you’re never going to get out of debt. As long as you don’t add new debt, you are still moving forward though. That’s what is important to remember, if you aren’t adding any new debt, it is still moving forward. How have you paid off debt on a low income?

 

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$105,405 Paid off in 3 Years on a Teacher’s Salary

$105,405 Paid off in 3 Years on a Teacher's SalaryThis post may contain affiliate links. Check out my Disclosure Policy for more information.

I graduated from graduate school in August 2015 with about $200k in student loans from undergrad and grad school.  My private loans went into repayment on November 2nd, 2015 and my private loans in March 2016. My debt free journey has been going on for three years now. I truly can’t believe it’s already been three years and I think it’s super important to reflect on my last three years of repayment to see ways I can improve my current plan.

Total Principal Paid Off to Date: $$105,405.82

Current Payoff Date: July 2021

Debt Free Journey: How I Paid Off $ of my Student Loans in Three Years

  1. Sacrifices. As a twenty something who recently graduated from grad school, the first thing I always wanted to do was rent my first apartment and start my teaching career. However, I knew that wasn’t the best choice for my current financial situation. Instead I found a teaching job 20 minutes from my parents house and moved back in with them. This was the biggest way I have been able to pay off so much in three years.
  2. Budgeting. These past three years I have really cracked down on my budget and tried to be very strict with it. This has helped me immensely to pay down my debt.
  3. Side Income. This was huge for me in the last three years. Throughout the year I managed to add 4 different streams of side income through 2 different after school programs, private tutoring, and babysitting. At this point, I can completely cover my monthly expenses through my side income with some left over, my entire salary and some of my side income go straight to my loans. Find out how I make on average $1,200 per month in side income.
  4. Debt Payoff Strategies. Since I have such high interest rates, I chose the avalanche method. This allowed me to focus on my highest interest, largest accounts first and then apply that payment to my next account. This continues until all accounts are paid off. This worked out wonderfully for me. Now that I refinanced my private loans and have a lower rate than my federal, I actually changed my debt payoff strategy to focus on the highest monthly payment. This allows me to still focus on my private loans and will allow me to move out on my own sooner. To figure out the best strategies, I always put my debts into undebt.it to figure out the best strategy.
  5. Refinanced my Private Loans. Refinancing is definitely not for everyone, but it definitely can save you a lot of money in interest, if done correctly. If you’re curious if refinancing is for you, check out my post to help you decide! I refinanced my loans with Earnest and got a lower interest rate and shortened the life of my loan. This resulted in my monthly payment increasing slightly, but in the long run, I will save money on interest. If you use my referral link from Earnest, you’ll get $200 when you refinance.

Debt Free Journey: My Plan to Make Even Larger Payments

  1. Selling Items. Recently I have started purging my belongings that I don’t use anymore, like clothes and purses. It is crazy how much stuff we accumulate and don’t even realize it. In the next year I am planning to get more serious about selling my items I don’t use anymore to apply that money to my debt.
  2. Side Income. In the last year I have added many new students to tutor, it is now getting hard to schedule new clients because my schedule is so booked. I’m now going to focus more on creating income streams from my computer. I plan to find new ways to make money from home, since I have reached my maximum amount of babysitting and tutoring I can realistically schedule.

I’m very proud of myself for being able to make my money work for me and pay off so much of my student loans in three years of repayment. My goal was to finish paying off these loans by my 31st birthday, which would be April 29th, 2023, since I have clearly met that goal, my new goal is do everything I can to pay these off before my 29th birthday, which is April 29th, 2021. I’m so excited to improve my strategy and plan to pay off even more in the next year to pay off my debt even earlier! How much were you able to pay off in three years of repayment? What was your strategy?

Debt

A New Debt Payoff Strategy

A New Debt Payoff Strategy

This post may contain affiliate links. Check out my Disclosure Policy for more information.

When I first came to the realization that I had $201k in student loan debt, I immediately hit the Internet to learn how I could manage this absurd amount of debt on a teachers salary. All things about finances came up, zero based budgeting, debt pay off plan, Dave Ramsey, the list goes on and on.

It was overwhelming, but while reading article after article, I slowly created a plan to tackle my debt. I wasn’t as overwhelmed by the process because I saw how others had done it. I knew I wasn’t alone in this and could tackle this debt.

That was 3 years ago and I swore by the debt avalanche method for the last 3 years. If you don’t know what the debt avalanche or snowball is, check out my post here to learn what these two methods are. Both methods are great and ultimately you need to decide what works for you.

Now that I’ve paid off $102k of my debt, I’m beginning to experiment with my finances a bit more. I have more wiggle room in my budget to get creative with my strategy and I’m definitely a lot more confident in my financial decisions.

The first change I made in my plan to pay off debt.

I refinanced my private loans. This isn’t for everyone, but after paying off my debt for 3 years, I wanted to see if I could save money in interest by refinancing. I refinanced with Earnest (use my referral link and get $200 when you refinance) and lowered my rate to 4.97% and shortened the life of my loan to 5 years instead of 20 years. If you’re considering refinancing, check out my steps to decide if refinancing is right for you.

Yes, refinancing gave me a higher monthly payment on my private loans, but it is saving me money in interest every month and throughout the life of the loan. When I refinanced, I continued using the debt avalanche method, which meant my focus account was now a federal loan I have. This is when I began to really think about my future.

My new strategy to pay off my debt.

Lately I have been really thinking about my future. In all aspects really, my career, my living arrangements, etc. This has made me think more deeply about my debt payoff strategy. I have made the decision that I want to start looking at places to live so that I can move out of my parent’s  house next summer. This will obviously slow down my debt pay off, unless I can find ways to increase my income.

My plan is to now focus on paying my debt with the highest monthly payment, which would be my private student loans. The reason I am doing this is because when that is paid off, it will free up $865/month in my budget to throw at debt, or afford living expenses that I will be adding to my budget. It also makes more sense since my federal loans have so many more options for me, especially being a teacher.

Once this debt is paid off, I will be moving onto my federal student loans and switching back to the debt avalanche method for these. The reason I will be switching is because those loans don’t have individual monthly payments, they are all wrapped up in one monthly payment. This will allow me to focus on one loan at a time based on the largest balance and highest interest rate, saving me more money in interest in the long run.

Remember: Personal finance is personal.

I preach this all the time, personal finance is personal. What I do may not be for you, but it works for me. The important thing to remember is that we are all working towards reaching financial freedom and a stepping stone to do that is to pay off all debt. It’s important to evaluate and change our plans as our lives change, which is exactly what I am doing. How have you changed your plans as your life has change? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

 

Debt

5 Tips to Avoid Burning out While Paying off Debt

5 Tips to Avoid Burning out While Paying off Debt

This post may contain affiliate links. Check out my Disclosure Policy for more information.

Being on a debt free journey is hard. It’s hard to change habits, it’s hard to say no, and it’s hard to see how much money you are throwing away in interest. That last one kills me every month, literally makes me want to throw in the towel and be done with all this nonsense.

I’m being dramatic, but you get my point. It’s hard. There is nothing easy about this journey and burning out from it is very real.

Whether your journey is less than a year, or is going to be more than 5 years, it’s important to recognize how you are doing throughout the journey. Check in and make adjustments if you feel like you’re slipping into burning out. Throughout the last 3 years of my journey to pay off $200k in student loans, I have come to, or close to, this feeling a lot.

But, there are ways to avoid it, and handle it when it actually happens. These are the tips I have learned through my journey so far:

1. You can do anything for a short time, but not for a long time.

You need to determine your debt free date before you do anything else. If your date free date is 6 months to a year away, I say go absolutely gazelle intense until your debt is gone. The sacrifices you make for that year will be totally worth it to be debt free in a year or less. Do everything in your power to get them gone, so you can live your life on your terms. However, if your journey is going to be longer than that, I would highly suggest not going crazy gazelle.

I’m not saying don’t pay off your debt, I’m saying that you need to plan your budget a little differently. For example, I sat down with my budget when I started this journey and decided what I valued and what I didn’t value. Things that I value that stayed were saving and investing money for my future (I cut down this category, but it stayed), my health, and spending time with friends and family. This means that I have a higher grocery budget and I keep fun money in my budget to go to happy hour and dinner with friend and family.

My journey was planned to be 8 years and I was definitely not giving those things up for 8 years. I would go absolutely insane and definitely risk burning out. Of course, you’re going to have to spend money on things you don’t value, but you can find creative ways to make them more affordable. For example, I moved back in with my parents to save money on rent.

2. Celebrate smaller milestones before burning out.

This is important, especially if you’re tackling a mountain of debt. If you wait until you have completely paid off you’re debt, you are going to burn out. If you don’t, you’re amazing and I give you major kudos because I could never do it. Figure out what you need to keep motivated and celebrate those wins. This might be celebrating every $10k paid off, or it might be celebrating every loan paid off.

For me I do a combination of both, it really depends on how big the loan I’m focusing on is. Now that I’m more than halfway paid off, my loans are rather larger. I celebrate percentage paid off and paying off individual loans. It’s important to note that I don’t go crazy with my celebrations. I treat myself to a meal out, or I get my nails done. Something small that I don’t normally put in the budget, but will when I know a celebration is looming.

3. Make your money go further.

Budgeting allows you to make your money go a lot further. What I mean by this is that you know exactly where your money is going. This allows you to stop your money from going to certain things. This goes back to number 1, cut out all the things you don’t value. Do you really need that subscription service, is there a cheaper alternative that provides the same service? When your money is going to so many different things it can seem like you have no money to go towards debt.

When I fist started cutting my expenses I was scared to change my lifestyle. When done properly, you probably will see that your money is going towards a lot of things that don’t bring much value to your life. Once your budget is more simplified and only the things you truly value, you will see that you have a lot more money to play with. By taking the time to simplify your budget and your expenses, you will avoid burning out in the future.

4. Recognize your accomplishments.

When paying off a lot of debt I definitely recommend focusing on what you have accomplished. Yes, it is important to know how much debt you have, but try not to focus on that. To avoid burning out, you need to focus on what you have done so far. There are many different ways to do this. I recommend using undebt.it to track your progress and to always know when your debt free date will be.

When you focus on what you have left, it can feel more overwhelming. By focusing on what you have done, it acknowledges what you have done and doesn’t make the rest of the journey seem so hard.

5. Don’t be afraid to stray from the plan.

When you’re on a long debt free journey, it’s important to listen to how you’re feeling. I wouldn’t recommend making rash decisions based on emotions, that’s just a recipe for disaster. What I do recommend is sometimes changing the plan based on how you’re feeling about your debt.

For example, I was so angry at my private student loans and how much money I was losing on interest that I ended up refinancing with Earnest to save me money. I only recommend this if you are doing it to save money in the long run, not to lower payments and cost you more long term. I am happy to help you through this process, if it’s something that intimidates you. I totally was before I learned about refinancing and making it work for you.

Another example is to change your debt payoff order based on how you’re feeling. I was struggling through one of my large loans and was getting pretty annoyed that I hadn’t paid anything off in awhile. So, I decided to switch my focus to a smaller one that I could pay off in a month. This gave me the quick motivation I needed and freed up some cash to go towards my snowball.

Remember: This is your journey, do what you need to do to keep going.

Make your journey your own and listen to your body and your thoughts. If you feel yourself getting worn down, do something to fix it. If you’re frustrated, find a quick win that will keep you going. I’m always here if you need help getting through this, I love helping people figure out their debt free journey 🙂

Debt

6 Strategies to Help with Anxiety While Paying Off Debt

6 Strategies to Help with Anxiety While Paying Off DebtSomething that I haven’t shared with you all is that I deal with anxiety pretty regularly. I have found ways to keep it under control, but there are times when it completely tears me down.

This happened to me last month. It was a tough time for me with changes at work, side jobs, everything seemed to be changing. And I wasn’t happy about a lot of the changes.

With a lot of change, comes a lot of over thinking for me. Do you my new co-workers think I can handle this job? Am I doing a good job in this new role? Am I doing everything right?

Making a huge life change, like getting your finances in order, is bound to cause some overwhelming feelings. I’ve been on this journey for almost 3 years and have been budgeting for 4 years. I still am facing anxiety over my finances.

It usually creeps up out of no where for me and leaves me with knots in my stomach, my thoughts going a million miles a minute, and usually is accompanied by nausea and not being able to sleep.

Luckily, I have found some strategies that have worked for me to handle anxiety when it gets to be too much.

1. Stop the anxiety before it really starts.

This can’t always be done, but when I have been able to get myself before I really nose dive, it is very helpful. If I notice myself over thinking about something or fixating about a situation, I will do my best to get my mind off of it.

Find things that are distracting to you. For me, it depends on the situation. Sometimes, I need to go do something active, sometimes I need to just zone out with a movie or TV show, sometimes I need a book to get lost in.

It’s always different for me and it usually depends on how far gone I’ve let myself go into overthinking. Sometimes this doesn’t work at all. This strategy has been less effective for me recently and I think it’s because I do a lot in my day to day to help with my mental health and my personal development.

In the long run, this is good, but when I find myself fixating on something, it usually takes much more to get me out of it now.

2. Invest your time into personal development.

This has been wonderful for me. I can’t speak highly enough about the importance of personal development and spending time to do it every single day. This could be through a book, audiobook, video, whatever interests you and you think you need to work on.

This has helped me so much in my day to day and I really don’t find myself with a lot of anxiety inducing thoughts anymore. It usually takes much more for me to get into the pits now, which is good overall.

I didn’t think I had the time in my day to devote to this, but I found that I could make my commute time more productive. Whenever I’m going to be in the car more than 15 minutes, I put on the audiobook that I’m listening to. This has helped me so much and almost always boosts my mood and gets me ready to tackle the day.

3. Prioritize your health every day.

I find that when I am regularly being active, getting a good amount of sleep, and eating healthy, I’m generally in a better head space and can handle the stress that gets thrown my way. When any of these things don’t happen, I find it harder to manage my emotions and stress on the daily basis.

By making it a regular priority, it helps in the long run to manage your anxiety, and it helps you save money on medical expenses. Win!

4. Complete a daily mental dump.

Every day I start off and end my day by completing a mental dump. What I mean by this is that I write down all the things that are bogging down on my thoughts. Usually they are things I need to do, those things are kept for me to cross off throughout the day or week. For things that I am overthinking about, which is pretty regular for me, I write those down and then throw them out.

It may sound corny, but getting all of my thoughts down on paper and doing something with it, really helps me manage it all.

5. Step away.

Something I really struggle with is knowing when to take a break. When my anxiety starts up I do one of two things, tackle everything head on, or completely shut down. When I can’t use the above strategies to manage it, I usually shut down. However, when I manage my anxiety on the day to day basis, I am usually able to be productive, especially if I first step away from the things that are triggering my anxiety.

It’s important to know when you need a break to reorganize your thoughts. A quick walk with nothing to interrupt me does wonders for my productive when I’m feeling my anxiety creeping in.

6. Avoid caffeine after a certain time.

This is one that I never thought about doing. I’m a teacher, I practically survive off of caffeine some days. But, the reality is that when I’m feeling anxious about things, I’m overthinking. Overthinking doesn’t just stop because I’m tired and sometimes it can be really hard to shut my mind off at night. During the week, when my anxiety is usually at the worst, I don’t drink caffeine after breakfast.

Of course, there are some days when I’ll have tea because I just can’t make it to my side jobs, but overall, I don’t drink it after breakfast. This means I’m typically completely exhausted by the time my head hits the pillow.

Paying off debt can be very overwhelming and if you’re someone that struggles with anxiety, it can seem impossible. I hope these strategies help you, like they have helped me over the years. Overall, these strategies have helped me so much in managing my anxiety on the daily basis. Of course, sometimes these strategies won’t work, I’ve been there. But, these strategies have helped me gain better control of my daily life. How have you managed your anxiety?