As you know, we Americans are consumers of debt. This fact has meant that many of us are in over our head and some of use can’t even manage the interest on the debt we carry.
For this reason, paying off debt should be your number one priority. Of course, to pay off debt you need income.
Here, we point out six compelling areas where you can save money each month and use that to pay off debt.
See much money can you save per month by complying with the following tips:
1) Reduce your cable bill!
Let’s face it – most of us never watch even 10% of the channels that are available. Reducing your cable bill is as easy as making a call to your cable provider. Tell them that you are looking to reduce your bill and are thinking about cancelling it altogether. They will likely put you in touch with a “retention specialist” whose goal it will be to keep you from canceling. This is very good news as these workers have the ability to lower your bill. When I called my cable company, they offered to reduce my overall monthly bill by 30% as long as I would agree to a year contract. Since my wife watches several different channels I decided that this was a good proposal so I accepted. I had instant savings of roughly $50.00 per month. If you want to cut your cable bill altogether, then ditch your cable provider and buy an electronic antenna. This will allow you to see most of your local channels for free. Add in Netflix or Amazon Prime and you can watch movies and TV shows for less than $10.00 per month. If you are paying in upwards of $200.00 for cable that is a huge savings! If you don’t want to go this “minimal” in your TV downsizing, then you might also consider switching your cable to a satellite service. They will likely offer you a year-long package that will be much lower than your current cable bill.
2) Food costs can be quite expensive but certainly you will want to avoid eating out if at all possible.
A typical meal in a restaurant can be up to 10 times more expensive than cooking at home. If you must have an occasional meal out, then skip the alcoholic or soft drinks and drink water instead. When you are eating at home, be sure to clip coupons and look for sales at your grocery store, and buy the most expensive items in bulk at stores like Costco or Sam’s Club. Also, consider switching to store brand generic products versus the name brand items that you are used to. Oftentimes the generic versions are simply the big brand products with a different label. Most of this switch is in your head so you will want to commit in order to make this work.
3) Coffee….oh coffee – certainly one of my few vices.
I have broken myself of the habit of driving through my local Starbucks but I’ll admit – it wasn’t easy as it was my one indulgence. However, buying a $3.00 cup of coffee versus brewing your own at home just doesn’t make good financial sense. Skip Starbucks and you will save tons of bucks!
4) Perhaps it is because I am inherently lazy when it comes to food preparation, but I was always very bad about packing my lunch. However, spending close to $10.00 per day to feed myself at the local sandwich shop has been replaced with me making my lunch at home.
I do this religiously every day and have become quite used to it. I imagine I am saving at least $40.00 per week, which obviously is $160.00 per month. That is a lot of money that can be used to pay down debt. I will have my occasional sandwich shop day but for the most part, I am very proud of packing my lunch. This gives me a great sense of accomplishment (it’s the little things people!)
5) Comb through your expenses to see what can be cut right away!
Things like magazine subscriptions, health club memberships (assuming you are not an active user), and any other expense that is a monthly obligation. The goal here is to reduce your monthly required spending on unnecessary bills. When my wife and I went through this process, we were able to save an immediate $45.00 per month.
6) Shop the rates for your auto and homeowner’s insurance policies.
When was the last time you got a quote from a different company? Rates change often and it will be worth the 15 minutes it takes you to contact Geico, Farmer’s, and other large companies in your area. Even if you can cut 15% from your monthly premiums this will save you some good money. Let me tell you, some people have even saved hundreds of dollars when shopping their insurance coverage with different companies.
These six steps should allow you to save quite a bit of money each and every month. How best to spend that money that you are saving? Simply put, you will want to put it towards debt. Remember, pay your highest interest credit cards first and get those paid off.
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