Currently, more than 43 percent of Americans owe more in debt than they earn. For those families, budgeting has become a huge part of daily life. That’s easier said than done. We have become so accustomed to the luxuries of life that we have started to view them as necessities. So, where exactly can you skimp on expenses to help pay down your debt? It might be difficult at first, but over time you will see the benefit from cutting back. Need help getting started? We have a few ideas for you.
Cut Back on Groceries
Usually the first to come to mind, your grocery budget is the one to be diminished first. But did you know that you can spend just $50 on groceries per week? Considering most families spend $100 or more a week, that is a pretty great savings. We have a full article with grocery savings tips. Check it out here.
Say Goodbye to Cable
We don’t actually need our cable or satellite packages. That is $40 to $150 being wasted each month. Cutting out that monthly expense can help substantially when trying to save and pay down your debt. Plus, is TV that important? You can also opt for cheaper streaming options. You can always work off of a DVD collection or Redbox rentals. No cable necessary.
Ditch Your Phone Plan
We know, we know. Cell phones are a huge part of our lives. We always have one in our hands or sitting beside us. Some even sleep in the bed with their phones, but that doesn’t make them a necessity. Cancel your phone plan and switch to a prepaid phone. Just like cable, you will save more in the long run without sacrificing that much.
Use Public Transportation
Instead of spending money on gas, use public transportation to get to work and back home. If you don’t have public transportation near your residence, try carpooling with coworkers or friends who work near you. Either way, you will save on gas, parking and maintenance.
Sell a Vehicle
If your family can manage without it, sell a spare vehicle. Not only will you get money for the car, you will also save on expenses like car insurance, gas, maintenance and auto payments. This is especially a great option when you have public transportation nearby.
Simplify Your Life
Make your coffee at home instead of heading to the coffee shop. That $3 a day will add up over time. Consider it, a $3 coffee every day ends up being close to $100 a month and more than $1,000 a year. Apply this idea to other parts of your life. Instead of the gym, exercise outside or to online videos until you are back on your feet.
Consider Debt Consolidation
No, we don’t mean consolidation loans (those are bad!), but rather debt consolidation programs. These programs help you consolidate your existing debt and lower your interest rates so you can pay off your debt faster. Also, when combined with a credit counselor, you can learn how to change your spending habits for the better.
Do you have questions about paying down your debt? Talk to one of our credit counselors today! They can help you manage your debt and discuss ways to save on monthly (or even daily) expenses.