Before sharing these recommendations, we suggest that you have a way of tracking your expenses. This will give you a clear picture of what you spend daily, weekly and/or monthly and aid you in reducing expenses where needed.
- Accept the fact you are in debt and forgive yourself. If you are in denial, you are more likely to repeat the pattern.
- Reduce monthly expenditures.
- If you’re a person that makes several trips to the grocery store during the month, reduce the number of trips to once a month except for fresh vegetables. This will reduce the number of times you have to put gas in the car. Today, it costs more just to leave the house to get groceries as well as going to work.
- With the increasing utility bill, begin making repairs to your home now such as getting a programmable thermostat and set it to a certain temperature so that it will automatically come on.
- As an option, temporarily get a second job for supplemental income.
- For a single person in debt – if you are off on weekends, temporarily get a weekend job and put those funds towards the bills along with your regular income.
- If you have a cell phone and a regular phone that both have long distance, re-evaluate having both phones. It can get expensive to have both with long distance. Maybe you can remove the regular phone and just use your cell phone if most people call you on that number.
- Be sensible about your expenditures when it comes to your children. For example, a six-month-old baby does not need name brand clothing. They need to be clothed.
- Maintaining your vehicle is a necessity but going to a car wash every week is not. You can wash your car at home. Re-evaluate how you are spending your money.
- If you are a person that likes to go out to eat, reduce the amount of times per month you go out to eat. Begin cooking at home since you are buying groceries for the month.
- Entertainment – whether it is going to the movies, bars or happy hour – these expenses add up.
- Add up how much you spend at a vending machine per week when you are at work if you work outside the home. Consider taking snacks from home.
There must be some structure during these difficult economic times. However, these times do not have to be so hard that you cannot enjoy life.