Individuals with personal financial struggles always try to find answers to questions such as “”How to become debt free?” and “How to get rid of credit card debt?” Therefore, learning the ways of successful savers can help someone get out of the debt struggle.
Secrets of Successful Savers
Create a Workable Budget
Becoming a successful saver requires the organization of your money. Hence, the perfect start to this process is to create a workable, realistic budget. To create a budget you must:
- Calculate your monthly take-home income. This includes your wages, your spouse’s wages, and any other sources of income you may receive. Remember to include alimony, unemployment, food stamps, child support, etc.
- Next, calculate your monthly living expenses. This includes everything from the food you buy to clothing, monthly bills, transportation, childcare, entertainment, and subscriptions. American Consumer Credit Counseling’s Household Budgeting Worksheet can help you detail these expenses.
- Calculate your monthly secured debt. This includes your rent, mortgage, student loans, auto loans, past due taxes and any other secured debts.
- Tally your monthly unsecured debts. These are credit cards, personal loans, medical bills and other loans that aren’t attached to collateral.
- Finally, calculate the summary of your budget. Take your total take home income minus total living expenses, secured debt payments, and unsecured debt payments. The number you determine is your disposable income.
Other Secrets to Becoming Successful Savers
In addition to creating a workable, realistic budget, there are ways to build savings by cutting back. The following tips will help you become successful savers.
Housing & Utilities
- Try to negotiate a lower rate or refinance your mortgage.
- Challenge your property tax assessment.
- Cut the cord. Swap cable for online streaming services and research cheaper options for the internet.
- Weather proof your house and seal all cracks to lower energy bills. Turning off lights and electronics and heat or AC when no one is home will make an impact as well.
- Most families spend an exorbitant amount of money on going out to eat. Avoid this at all costs.
- Bring meals to work. This includes coffee. You’ll be surprised how quickly small daily savings adds up.
- Give up unhealthy vices like soda and candy.
- Create a meal plan for the week before going to the grocery store. This will help you avoid extra purchases, like last minute take-out orders.
- Check to see if you are eligible for discounts on your insurance for a good driving history or multiple car account programs.
- Research carpools and public transportation. Since many employers offer subsidies you can find ways to reduce these costs significantly.
- Maintain your vehicle with oil and filter changes to avoid expensive repairs.
- Buy store brand or generic drugs. Also, remember to ask your physician about less expensive alternatives or even free samples.
- Take care of yourself by eating and exercising regularly to avoid getting sick.
- Be sure to utilize any reimbursement benefits that your health insurance may offer.
Clothing & Services
- Buy clothes out of season when stores discount them.
- Buy used clothing at thrift or second-hand stores or hold a clothing swap with friends.
- Get your hair cut at a beauty school for lower prices.
- Cancel your gym membership and use free workout videos or exercise outside.
Saving has to be a priority in your regular personal financial practices. As a result of planning your financials with a savings focus, you can achieve debt elimination sooner rather than later.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.