The first step towards eliminating debt is to look at all areas of your spending and slash the items that aren’t vitally necessary for your survival. You are in survival mode now so you need to think in that manner. Luxuries are off the menu until you are in a position to sleep peacefully at night and not fear the phone ringing thinking it is a debt collector on the line.
This topic right here is one of my very, very favorites to write about. I have a passion for not spending too much money. In fact, it might even borderline as a sickness because sometimes I obsess about the potential of spending a penny that I didn’t have to. For instance, if I forget my coupons, or if an item is cheaper somewhere else that I didn’t know about in my hundreds of hours of research, or if gas is cheaper down the street. It kills me. That reminds me about a post I wrote about a year and a half ago about how efficiency is killing me, brought on because I was paralyzed in the parking lot of the grocery store because I forgot my coupons! See? Sickness.
Day to day spending of ‘petty cash’ adds up to a considerable amount over the course of a year and it could be enough to clear one of your outstanding high interest debts.
Even buying one coffee a day can amount to quite a bit of money at the end of the year. Not only will that reduce part of your debt but you will also be saving interest that you would have been paying on that debt and the compound effect is more significant as time goes by. It is the compound part that you need to keep front of mind. Pay it off early if you can.
Making your own lunch and taking it to work rather than buying it from the shop can also save a lot of money and you might be doing your health a lot of good in the process by eating better food. Shopping at a dent and scratch store can save a ton!
Menu planning and batch cooking your evening meals at home rather than going to takeaways or restaurants is one of the best ways to start slashing your spending.
Maybe you spend a little too much on clothing and you really don’t need to have the latest fashion item when other suitable clothing is still hanging in your closet unused. Shop on eBay!
Are there any places that you could walk to rather than drive the car and save money in gas? And if you have to use gas are you getting it at Costco where it is normally $.10 cheaper than elsewhere? How about fuel rewards if you don’t have a Costco nearby? Be sure to use the GasBuddy mobile app to find the cheapest gas too.
– Pablo Picasso
Shopping at a dollar store is a good way to save money, but just be aware that not everything in a dollar store is a good deal. Save bigger purchases for the holiday deals. Buy college textbooks online rather than the school bookstore, and when the semester is over turn around and resell them online to finance the next semester’s books.
Prepare a shopping list before you go shopping for groceries and make sure you stick to that list rather than buying anything that catches your eye while you are in the grocery store. Steer clear of the impulse buys, unless it is part of an entire meal that you have planned out. Above all, use coupons especially when you are grocery shopping because it is probably the only area where you can save hundreds easily.
There is a way in almost all areas of life where it can be easy to slash your spending without impacting your lifestyle all that much. It is these little drains on your income that happen on a regular basis that are responsible for much of your debt today.
It is the little things that you don’t even notice that you are spending money on before it’s too late. But you do notice the debt that accumulates because creditors are knocking on your door asking for repayment, right?
Write down every dollar that you spend for the week and then add that spending up to see just how much money you waste without even thinking twice. Add this to your budget and then work towards slashing as many areas of spending as possible.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial professional and don’t play one on tv. The information provided on Single Mom on a Budget.com is my own opinion and should not be construed as fact or advice, and you follow it at your own risk. You are responsible for your own personal finances and should not rely on this site to make the final decision for you. This blog is my means of communicating my experiences to you and to prompt you to think and consider your own situation, but you are 100% responsible for any actions you take. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.