No stones should be left unturned when it comes to cleaning up your debt. If the weight of accumulating debt is weighing heavy on your shoulders, it’s time to get smart about finding more money in your budget to pay it off.
No matter how frugal and budget-savvy you are, there are likely to be hidden pockets of money here and there. Even if they only add up to a small amount of cash per month, you’ll still be able to come up with a little extra money to pay down your debt. Use these tips and tricks to uncover careless or needless spending for better debt management.
Drop Daily Extras
Do you stop by the local café on your way to work or conveniently purchase lunch at the company cafeteria? Little extras such as these can add up to be a great deal of money over the course of the month. If cutting them out completely seems too extreme, then alternate between coffee one day and lunch the next to save 50 percent without feeling deprived.
Remove Unused/Unneeded Expenses
At least twice per year it’s smart to price check and compare your utilities and auto insurance to make sure you’re not paying for a service or package that you don’t fully use. For instance, paying for a second phone line you never use adds up to a lot of wasted money over the course of the year. Re-evaluate semi-annually to tighten up your budget.
Saving at the Grocery Store
Grocery store savings should be a no-brainer nowadays with all the apps and gadgets available. A few simple rules to abide by include making a list before you shop and sticking to it, shop the no-frills grocery stores to get lower prices and use coupons and discounts to reduce your grocery bill.
Stop Buying on Impulse
Impulse buying is a problem because the money spent is seldom recorded, leaving you in a lurch when it comes time to figure out why you keep going over budget and why the debt is piling up. Follow the 24-hour rule to avoid making unnecessary impulse purchases. When you see something you just have to buy, wait 24 hours so you have time to think about the item without standing in front of it on the shelf. More often than not, you’ll decide you don’t really need it and avoid spending the extra cash.
Earn Extra Cash
In addition to finding hidden pockets of money in your budget, you can also bring in extra cash without having to get a second job. Sell unused or unwanted items laying around the house on eBay or in a yard sale. Participate in a paid medical trial to raise extra cash, or ask about working extra hours once in a while at work.
You probably didn’t rack up debt overnight, so plan to work at lowering it for a while. Consistent efforts on your part will help you chip away at credit card bills and loans until you can pay them off completely. Allow each payment you make to feel like an accomplishment as you watch your credit balances go down and the amount of extra money in your budget go up.