One of the first steps to getting out of debt is to start saving money. We may think, “I can barely make ends meet as it is. How can I save money?” The fact is that no amount you save is insignificant. We are also going to discuss how to use the extra money once you have built it up. Following are five suggestions on how to start getting out of debt and stay out of debt.
1. Write Down All Expenses
Make a list of all expenses that you have to pay every month. This would include housing, utilities, and so on. Total these up and subtract from your monthly net earnings to see what you actually have lift over each month.
2. Deposit Money Each Week
This may not be as overwhelming as it sounds. Try to put at least a dollar a day into a jar or coffee can at home. If you don’t have a dollar a day, put any loose change you have accumulated that day. My husband doesn’t like to carry change, so when he makes a purchase and gets change, he brings it home and puts it in a coffee can. That loose change has gotten us out of rough spots often.
Every Friday, take what you have collected in your jar that week and deposit it in your bank account. In a month you will have around $30. In a year, you will have over $360.
3. Pay Bills with the Money You Save
At such times that you have a little money left over, pay your bills in advance. Make an extra payment of $10 to $15 here and there, and you will be surprised at how it reduces the balance. If all of your bills are caught up, put some extra in the bank.
4. Stop Eating Out
One instant way to save money is to eat at home as much as possible. You will save a lot of money, and the food will probably be much more nutritious. Packing a lunch for work instead of buying it could save several dollars a day. If you are a coffee drinker, as I am, make yourself a thermos in the morning and take it with you rather than buying individual cups through the day. If you even save only $10 a week by following these suggestions, you will have over $520 at the end of the year.
5. Coupons and Specials
I’m not advocating extreme couponing unless you prefer to do that. But think of coupons as money. Check your Sunday newspaper for coupons and store sales and specials. There are many excellent websites and blogs that daily update coupons and match them with individual stores. You could subscribe to their newsletters and keep an eye on the deals. There are also many sites that have printable coupons.
Websites such as mypoints.com have deals where you can earn free figt cards and discounts just for surfing the web.
If you only save $5 a week on items that you already buy, that adds up to $20 a month and over $240 a year.
In conclusion, many of us are feeling the crunch of the economy these days. It doesn’t look like it’s going to improve much any time soon. So we have to take things in our own hands when it comes to providing for our families in the best and most frugal way possible. By taking small steps we can save money here and there, and work our way towards a debt-free life.
By Jessica Gerald
If you often wonder where all of your money goes or if you need a more frugal mindset, check out Dig out Of Debt and learn more about how to keep more of your money.