Having too much credit card debt can be stressful. You can try to ignore it, but if you do, it will only get worse.
Once you realize your debt is out of control, you need to do something about it right away. Solving your debt problem will take some effort and sacrifice, but you can make it happen.
You don’t have to give up everything to cut spending, but you will need to make some changes. Here are 7 ways you can cut spending when you’re in credit card debt.
Shop With a List
Have you ever gone to the store for one item but come out with your cart full of items you don’t really need? Who hasn’t?
This is so easy to do and a bad habit to fall into. You come home with items you don’t need, and you add to your credit card debt in the process.
Before you head to the store, consider what you need. Make a list, and remind yourself to stick to the list.
This will help you eliminate impulse shopping which only adds more debt to your credit cards. If you feel tempted to buy something that’s not on your list, go home and think about it.Â
If you still want it, add it to your next shopping list. Careful shopping is smart shopping and can help you save money and avoid more debt.
Plan Your Meals
Eating out is convenient but expensive. It always costs more than cooking at home.
Whether it’s a workday lunch, your morning cappuccino, or afternoon snacks from a vending machine, those small purchases add up. You can avoid this expense with a little planning.
Buy food you like and take your lunch to work each day. Drink the office coffee and bring your own snacks from home.
You will be amazed how much you’ll save each week.
Take a few minutes each week to plan your dinners for the week. Shop for the ingredients you need and cook at home.
You’ll be less tempted to head to a restaurant or the fast food drive through if you have a plan. And you will eat healthier too.
Reduce Electricity Usage
For most people, the electric bill is a big expense each month. You can save money each month by using less electricity.
That doesn’t mean you have to live in the dark or change your lifestyle. Instead, just make some smart changes.
Turn off lights when you leave a room and unplug appliances you aren’t using. You don’t need your air conditioner running at a low setting or your heater at a high setting while you’re at work all day.
Make sure your attic insulation is in good shape. Insulate your doors and windows too.
If you have preprogrammed utilities like your heater, AC, or sprinkler system, make sure they are only coming on when you want them to. Make a few changes and look forward to a lower electric bill next month.
Switch to Store Brands
It’s a myth that name brand food items always taste better than store brands. In many cases, they’re the exact same product.
You pay extra for name brand items, and switching to generic labels can cut 20-25% from your weekly grocery bill. Many grocery chains have their own products and even offer organic choices.
Take a look at the products you buy often and see if there’s a cheaper version available. Small changes can help you save money and avoid adding to your debt.
The best reason to quit smoking is for your health. You know it’s horrible for you, but it’s also an expensive habit.
The average price of a pack of cigarettes is over $6.00. If you smoke a pack each day, you’re spending $185 or more a month on a bad habit.
That’s over $2,000 a year that you could save or spend on something you need. Kicking the habit is good for your health and your wallet.
Pay More Than the Minimum on One Card
You want to pay off all your credit cards and get this debt off your back. But trying to pay them all off at once isn’t a realistic goal.
Trying to pay them off one credit card at a time is a better choice. Start with the card that has the highest interest rate or highest balance.
You can choose any card and focus on paying more than the minimum payment each month. Continue paying the minimum on the others.
Once you have paid off the first one, choose another and do the same.
Try a Spend Free Weekend
If you’ve been spending more than you have for a while, it can be tough to break that habit. Try to stop spending for an entire weekend.
Eat what you have at home instead of eating out. Watch a movie, read a book, take the kids to the park, or have a game night.
Staying at home and spending time alone or with your family doesn’t cost anything. You do not need to spend money to have a good time.
A spend-free weekend can help you recognize the destructive pattern of overspending and remind you of what really matters.
Cut Spending and Get Rid of Credit Card Debt
These are just a few ways you can cut spending, save a little money, and get on the right path to reduce your debt. Although you must make a few changes, it’s worth the effort.
Being saddled with debt is stressful and will only get worse until you address the problem. You can make the decision to focus on buying only what you need and start driving down your credit card debt.
It may take some time to get things under control. First, you have to take an honest look at your debt and then take the steps to remedy the problem.
If you feel like you need some assistance getting your credit card debt under control, we are here to help. Contact us today.