Are you looking for smart ways to save money and be debt free? A lot of people that I talk to do not think it is possible to be debt free, but there are steps that you can take to help you reach your financial goals.
In the process of trying to become and remain debt free I have done a lot of research on ways to save money. There were a few things that stuck out to me over and over again. I noticed that most people I know that are living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to keep ahead of their debt had something in common. They all live beyond their means, spend more than they make, and then fight to stay afloat.
The people that I know that live comfortably and do not struggle financially also had something in common. They all live below their means, spend less than they make and have no problem paying their bills each month. I realized that I needed to take a good look at how I was living and begin making the changes necessary to get out of debt and save money.
I know the list below may seem basic, but a lot of people overlook the simple tasks that can make a huge difference.
Smart ways to save money and be debt free:
1. Create a budget based off of your income and stick to it. If at all possible, pretend that your income is less when planning your budget. The difference should automatically go into your savings account. If you make $2000 a month, create your budget using $1500 a month and put the $500 directly into your savings account. You may be living on a tight budget and think it is impossible to set aside any money, but think of any unnecessary purchases that you make like coffee or fast-food and try to cutback on those each month. Changing your bad spending habits will make a huge difference!
2. If you have already stopped spending money on unnecessary items and you still cannot build a savings account then you may need a second income. Look into a second job or ways to make money from home, such as selling on Craigslist or Amazon. There are a lot of side jobs that you can do from home in your spare time. I know this does not sound like the best option, but having extra cash each month will help you to get out of debt. Even if you can only do a few hours a week.
3. Start an emergency fund. An unexpected expense can completely blow your budget. Start a separate savings account that is just for emergency use so that you are prepared if something comes up. This will help alleviate you having to open a credit card or borrow money when an unexpected cost arises.
4. Keep one major credit card in your wallet that is only to be used in an emergency. Just in case your emergency fund does not cover the entire amount needed. Cut up any other credit cards and pay off any remaining balances. If you have a large credit card balance try to make extra payments each month and make sure you are paying the bills on time to eliminate any late fees or penalties.
5. DIY. When you do certain things for yourself, the savings adds up. Cook your own meals,make your own lotions, wash your own car. Think of all the things that you pay for day to day and if it is something you can do yourself, do it! You would be surprised at just how much money this can save. A specialty coffee drink can be $5 a day and a car wash may run $10 a week. That’s a savings of almost $200 each month.
Get yourself out of that financial hole and stay out of it. By using these tips, you will see that it is not as hard as you thought it would be. Nobody wants to be in debt. When you start saving money and getting out of debt it is a really great feeling and you will never want to go back to where you started.
What smart ways to save money do you know of, please share in the comments below!