6 Tips for Going Back to School on a Budget

6 Tips for Going Back to School on a Budget

It’s almost time for kids to be going back to school, and back-to-school shopping can be hard on your wallet and can be a huge expense when it comes to spending money on the kids. Buying new school supplies, clothes, shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes, and electronics adds up quickly and can be expensive. Here are 6 tips on how to budget for back to school.

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5 Tips How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck & Start Saving

stop living paycheck to paycheck and start saving money saving tips

When I was going to college full time, I had a part time job and wasn’t making a lot of money. I didn’t want to take out a loan, so I tried to be as frugal as possible by managing my paychecks and paying for rent and food each month, and then saving as much money as possible so I could pay for each semester. You can read more about how I almost paid for college without taking out a loan here. It wasn’t easy. And there were months where I was barely scraping by from paycheck to paycheck and wasn’t able to put money into savings.

After I married my husband and we had our first child, that first year when I was a stay-at-home mom was challenging as we went from two incomes down to just one. We had to figure out how to make it work each month to solely live off my husband’s paycheck, and there were some months where we barely had enough from our paycheck to cover all of the bills. Even though those were hard months, we luckily weren’t at the point where we were living paycheck to paycheck. If for some reason my husband was suddenly unemployed, we would still be able to meet financial obligations for a short time because we had savings. We didn’t want to touch that savings unless it was for an emergency because we knew that if we had to regularly dip into our savings each month to pay bills, we would soon find ourselves in an extremely stressful and difficult situation. So we found ways to live frugally.

If you find that you can’t sustain yourself a few days without a regular paycheck coming in and you have to rely on each paycheck to manage your day-to-day life, then you won’t be able to plan ahead for unexpected situations that might occur, like a trip to the doctor’s office or a broken down car. You’ll end up using a credit card then have to work hard to try to pay it off. There are a number of reasons someone may end up living paycheck to paycheck. It could be an event outside their control or it could be a result of their own financial choice they made. Either way, it’s a stressful way to live.

I want to share with you some tips on how to stop living paycheck to paycheck and start saving money. It won’t be easy. It will take dedication and determination, and you’ll have to make sacrifices along the way, but in the end it will be worth it. You won’t have the stress of debt or trying to come up with money for the things you really need or those unexpected situations that might arise. Here are 5 tips to get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.

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How to Build an Emergency Car Kit on a Budget

Emergency Car Kit on a Budget

September is national emergency preparedness month, and it’s a good time to get an emergency car kit together before winter comes. Since purchasing our new vehicle with cash this past year, I’ve been thinking a lot about compiling an emergency car kit just in case anything happened while we were away from our house. We had some of the needed items in our car, but there is definitely more things that would be important to have on hand in the case of an emergency or being stranded by the side of the road.

While looking online, I found pre-packaged Emergency Car Kits ranging in price from $25 to $70 or more. In order to save some money, I decided to assemble my own emergency car kit. Don’t feel that you have to purchase everything for your emergency kit right now. Start out slowly by purchasing a few of the items you feel are most important, then save your money for the other items that cost more. I started out and put together a basic emergency car kit and will continue to add to it as we have room in our budget or we decide we should have that specific item. At least we have some basic items we need for our emergency car kit, and that’s better than not having anything at all.

There were many items on the list that I had around the house that I didn’t need to purchase. I just had to take time to put them in the container in the car. And there were some items I was able to find for a good deal. For those items that don’t go on sale, you’ll want to set aside and save money each month until you can purchase them. Here’s how to build an emergency car kit on a budget.

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10 Grocery Apps that Will Save You Money

grocery apps that will save you money

This past year I finally upgraded my basic cell phone to a smart phone. I know, I’m a little behind the times, but I couldn’t bring myself to pay more money for a data plan. After doing a lot of research, we finally found a cell phone carrier and data plan that was within the price range we were willing to pay, and that included being able to upgrade my phone to a smart phone. And I will say that I have loved it.

So now that I have a smart phone, I’ve been researching smartphone apps to find more ways to save money on groceries. These grocery apps have eCoupons or pay you money for purchasing groceries such dairy, produce, household items and more. I love saving money with eCoupons and earning money for products that I’m already planning on purchasing. And it’s nice that you don’t even have to hand clip a coupon. I have downloaded and used all of the apps, and the ones I use the most are Ibotta, Checkout51, Snap by Groupon, SavingStar and Savings Catcher. I enjoy sharing money saving tips, so I thought I’d share with you these 10 grocery apps that will save you money.

ibotta app1. Ibotta

Ibotta is a smartphone app where you can earn money by purchasing participating products. Ibotta’s product offers range from food and beverages to cleaning products, personal care and more.  Here’s how it works:

  • Register for an account, then download the Ibotta app to your phone.
  • Before you head to the grocery store, unlock Ibotta’s cash back rewards on products by completing simple tasks such as a survey question or watching a short video. The amount of cash back from each product ranges anywhere between $0.25 to $1.00 or more.
  • Head to a store on Ibotta’s list such as Walmart, Smith’s, Walgreens, Target and more to purchase the products you’ve unlocked.
  • Verify your purchases by scanning the product barcodes, then finish by scanning the barcode on your receipt.
  • Within 48 hours, you’ll have the cash deposited into your Ibotta account, and you can cash out via Paypal or an eGift Card once your account reaches $10.

In addition, Ibotta has a Teamwork Bonus, which is a monthly bonus where you and your friends work together to earn more money. Your team will consist of your friends on Ibotta who have connected their Facebook accounts to the app. And the more friends you have on your team, the faster you will earn. Each month, your team will be given a total earnings goal. Once you redeem one rebate and your team reaches the monthly goal, everyone on your team will earn a cash bonus. Join my team here.

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6 Ways to Save Money & Increase Your Savings This Year

6 ways to save money and increase savings this year

In June 2013, my father passed away. It wasn’t totally unexpected. He had diabetes, his health had been declining, and earlier that year, the doctor said his kidneys were failing. However, I was still shocked when my brother called me to let me know my father passed away. That week was stressful as we hurried to make funeral arrangements and clean out my father’s apartment. But the biggest stress was the financial burden of the funeral that fell upon me and my three siblings. (You can read the full post on on Money Saving Mom).

We had to come up with $7,000 to cover the funeral costs. Luckily, we were able to split up the cost between my siblings and uncles. That still meant that my family needed to pay $1,000. Thankfully, my husband and I had an emergency fund to pull from to cover our portion of the funeral. If we didn’t have an emergency fund, the financial burden would have been placed on my siblings or we would have had to put it in a credit card and go into debt.

It was a huge blessing that my husband and I made the decision years ago to build up an emergency fund. You never think something will happen to you until it does unexpectedly. It can happen to anyone at any time. It might be the death of a loved one, an unfortunate hospital visit, or a job layoff. What’s important is that you’ve planned for these unexpected events by having some savings. This is your financial cushion in case something goes wrong and you need to access money quickly. If you already have an emergency fund, it’s still important to continue setting money aside in savings so you can pay for items that your family needs or even wants without having to use a credit card and go into debt.

According to a study by Bankrate.com, more than a quarter of consumers have no emergency savings. It’s recommended that you put away at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses. If you have debt, the first step is to save $1,000 in an emergency fund, then start eliminating debt. Once your debt has been eliminated, then you can continue to build your three to six month savings. Here are ways to save money so you can increase your savings this year.

 

Tip #1 – Have a Plan and Set Goals

Think about what you are saving for. Is it an emergency fund? Is it extra money to pay off debt or pay down your mortgage? Or is it a family vacation? Once you know what you want to save for, then prioritize which one is the most important to you.

Now examine your financial situation, income, and needs. In other words, create a budget or a “spending strategy.” We all spend money each month, but a spending strategy will help you spend your money more wisely. Based on your spending strategy, figure out how much you can reasonably put towards savings each week or month and set some financial goals. These goals need to be achievable and have a time frame. And the goals need to be broken down into smaller goals.

For example, if you want to save $6,000 within one year (which would be a three-month emergency fund for your family), that breaks down to $500 per month, or $125 per week. So you would need to find an extra $125 in your budget each week in order to build a three-month emergency fund within one year.

Saving $125 each week, or whatever your goal is, may seem impossible because there are bills to pay such as the mortgage, utilities, groceries, a car payment, and possibly student loans. You may be thinking that you would like to save, but there’s just no money left at the end of the month. And that’s the problem. Most people save what’s left over after bills and discretionary spending. But by prioritizing, it’s possible to save that $125 a week or come close to doing it. This leads to Tip #2.

 

Tip #2 – Pay Yourself First

To pay yourself simply means that before you pay your bills, buy groceries, or spend any money, first set aside a portion of your income to save. You can make it easy by automatically depositing an amount or percentage of your paycheck into a savings account. If you arrange to have the money taken from your paycheck before you receive it, then you will get used to managing living expenses with what looks like a smaller paycheck. Most importantly, stay consistent and treat the money you’ve saved as if it is off-limits, except in a real financial emergency.

One benefit of paying yourself first is that you are encouraging sound financial habits. Most people spend their money in the following order: bills, discretionary spending, saving. It’s not surprising that there is usually little left over to place in the bank. If you turn it around and put it in this order: saving, bills, discretionary spending, then you are able to save the money before you spend it.

Almost everyone can save 1% of their income. Say your family’s monthly take home is $2,500. Saving 1% would be $25. Saving such a small amount may seem pointless, but it’s helping you to grow your savings. Plus, the process is painless. If saving 1% is easy, then try saving 5% or 10% a month. It depends on your financial situation and what you feel you can reasonably put toward savings each month.

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7 Tips to Save Money Now for Christmas

7 Tips to Save Money Now for ChristmasOne thing we don’t look forward to after Christmas is paying off the gifts that were purchased for Christmas. Hopefully many of us can say we don’t have that credit card bill after the holidays, but unfortunately a lot of people do. Here are 7 tips to save money for Christmas that have helped our family so we don’t have to pay off Christmas items after the holidays. And many of these tips you can begin doing now even though the holidays are coming up quickly.

1. Set a budget
Determine how much money you are going to spend on Christmas, and set a budget. To figure out how much you’ll spend, look back and calculate how much you spent last Christmas. That should give you an idea of what you think you’ll spend this year. It might also help you realize that you spent more than you planned and that you need to cut back on some Christmas items or presents this year. But when setting a budget, be sure not to set it too tight because it’s nice to have a little wiggle room for last minute purchases. And don’t forget to include in your budget the extras such stocking stuffers, Christmas cards, and holiday home decorations.

2. Begin Saving Now
After you’ve determined how much you think you’ll need, then break it down into how much you need to set aside each month to reach that goal. If it seems like there is no way you can set aside that much money each month, especially since the holidays are in a few months, then at least set aside something. You’ll have some money saved that will help out toward some of the holiday purchases for this year. You may also want to re-evaluate the amount and price of gifts you are purchasing for others. And look to see if there are areas in your holiday shopping that you could cut back on so you have enough money for the most important purchases.

Last year, I made it a point to set aside $50 every month for the entire year and place it into a “Christmas” envelope. There were some months that were tight and we had extra bills to pay, so I wasn’t able to put aside money each month, but by the end of the year, we were able to save $500 for our Christmas fund. It was nice to be able to pay for our Christmas items as we purchased them. And what’s even better is that with the money we didn’t spend, we put it toward our goals of paying down our mortgage and increasing our savings.

I realize this year you might not be able to save as much as you want, but save what you can now, then starting January try out the Christmas envelope budgeting technique so you can get a head start on next year’s Christmas.

3. Create a Christmas List
Write down who you are giving gifts to this year. Then decide how much you’re willing to spend on each person depending on how much you’ve budgeted and were able to save. If you don’t have enough money to cover all the people on your holiday list, then go through the list again and cut names or the amount you’ll spend on them.

Be sure to group people together on your list for whom you may purchase the same gift. You might be able to get a volume discount on the gifts or you might be able to save on gas and your time by shopping at one store for multiple gifts.

On my side of the family, I have five siblings. I can’t image the amount of money I would spend each Christmas if I were to purchase gifts for all of my siblings and their children. Instead, what we do each year is rotate names so each of us is just buying for one sibling and their family. I love all of my siblings and their families, but it’s nice to keep Christmas more simple and less stressful by doing it this way, and then my Christmas list isn’t out of control.

4. Shop for Sales Now
You don’t have to wait until the holidays to start purchasing items and checking off your list. Once you’ve compiled your list, then you can begin to shop for the items right now as they go on sale or as you see a really good deal. Be sure to always comparison shop before you purchase an item on sale, and be sure to not buy anything without checking for discounts first. If there is an item that’s on sale but it’s not on your list, even though we all love sales, be sure the money you are spending to purchase the item is in your budget.

Additionally, shopping right now will help you to avoid impulse last-minute buys, frenzied shoppers, and not finding what you need because its out-of-stock.

5. Cut Back on Extras
Sometimes I find myself spending more than I should on items because it’s the holiday season. However, constant spending on “extras” such as that photo with Santa or a new outfit for that holiday party can really eat away your budget. Before you splurge, make sure that it’s really worth the price.

6. Know When to Stop
When you’ve purchased all of the items on your list, then stop shopping! And once you are done, avoid heading out to the stores just to see what they have and what’s on sale. This can lead to poorly planned purchases and overspending your budget.

7. Remember the Reason for the Season
Keep a Christ-centered Christmas by keeping the spiritual message front and center. This will help during the holiday season so you don’t feel you have to buy items to give out to friends and family. You don’t have to spend money to give a gift. Some of the best gifts are intangible such as offering to watch a friend’s children or baking cookies as a gift for a neighbor. It doesn’t cost much, but the gift is priceless. And one of the best gifts you can give your family during the holidays is to spend time with them rather than running around purchasing gifts and holiday items.

It’s easy to get caught up in the spending cycle during the holidays, but if you have a plan and set a budget, then you don’t need to worry about overspending and racking up a credit card bill that won’t be fun to pay off in January. For our family, it’s made Christmas a lot less stressful when we save for Christmas starting in January. I know it’s sometimes difficult to come up with extra money each month because there is always something that you want or need to buy, but it will be worth it to prioritize and start saving money now for Christmas.

Below are some frugal Christmas gift ideas that you can make for family, friends, or neighbors during the holidays:

17 Christmas Gift Ideas
Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas (Part 1)
Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas (Part 2)
Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas (Part 3)
Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas (Part 4)

How do you save money for the holidays?

 

7 Tips to Save Money Now for Christmas Final

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How to Effectively Talk Finances with Your Spouse

Finances with Spouse Final

Money is one of the least-discussed subjects in a marriage, yet it’s also the major reason for fights and divorce. Talking about money with your spouse doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, you’ll have a better understanding of what matters to the other person in your relationships when it’s discussed. You’ll also receive the benefit of greater financial success in your lives by talking through big financial decisions before they become critical.

Start with the Right Approach
If you think you are in the right about the way the finances should be handled, the one thing that will put off your spouse is by starting the conversation by saying he or she is wrong or the finances should be done a certain way. Communication is key when it comes to talking about finances with your spouse. You can express how you feel about the finances, but you also need to be able to listen. If you show you genuinely want to hear your spouse’s views about how to manage the family’s resources, you’re more likely to come to a solution you both can live with, and get to that point with less stress.

Hold a Regular Finance Meeting
Managing finances together sounds simple, but the topic of money can sometimes bring emotions such as anxiety, guilt, or anger to the surface. It’s important to set aside a specific time and place to talk about finances so you can prepare and know what to expect, and you can avoid tricky conversations when they’re least expected or when you may already be irritated by something else.

Use the No Shame, No Blame Rule
Many discussions surrounding money can end in heated arguments.  By giving both individuals permission to have these discussions with no shame or blame, there is less room for heated discussions.  You will be “talking” through your problems and taking responsibility for your actions, rather than blaming or shaming. You may still have disagreements here and there about money, but because you are discussing finances regularly, it is less likely that emotions will take over and things will be blown out of proportion.

Set a Spending Threshold
One survey found that 82 percent of married people occasionally hide purchases from their spouse, while another reported that about 30 percent have been dishonest about their spending habits. Often the biggest arguments come from surprises such as when one spouse makes a big purchase without telling the other. To help out this situation, set a predetermined limit that each person can have and spend the way they want. It could be as little as $50 or as much $500. The point is that you discuss and decide that amount together.

Make Goals Together
Another cause of money fights are differing goals. Take time to sit down and make a list of everything you want that costs money. This includes both your short-term and long-term goals such as a vacation, clothes, eating out, retirement savings, paying off your mortgage, and getting out of debt. Next to each item, write down the cost. You’ll then prioritize these goals from the most important to the least important. Each of you will have to compromise a little in order to come to an agreement. Next, create a budget so you can figure out how much you can afford to put towards these goals.

Keep Track of Progress
Once you’re both on the same page about the financial goals you want to achieve, begin to keep track of your progress and what you’ve agreed to do. Write things down and revisit them during your regular meetings to assess how you are doing and if you are making progress toward your goals. If you are not making progress, discuss what needs to happen. The list can be a great way to manage your monthly conversations. Don’t be afraid to use it and hold each other accountable.

If you have additional tips on how to effectively talk finances with your spouse, please leave a comment.

Here are additional articles on budgeting:
How to Set a Budget
How to Maintain a Budget

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5 Tips on How to Maintain a Budget

Maintain a Budget
Last week, I posted 5 Tips on How to Set a Budget. Now this week, we’ll discuss how to Maintain a Budget.

Creating a budget isn’t very difficult to do, it’s maintaining the budget that is the challenge. Maintaining a personal budget requires discipline, flexibility and regular attention.  It usually starts with good intentions, but it’s easy to place it aside and not look at it again. Below are tips to help you maintain a successful budget.

1. Stay Positive
If you think of budgeting as a chore you’ll find that it is extremely difficult to keep it going. Stay focused on the positive aspects of having a budget such as what benefits you’ll receive by maintaining a budget. This could be saving money for a family vacation, retirement, a new home, or getting out of debt sooner. Budgeting is the tool to reach your financial short-term and long-term goals.

2. Be Realistic
Set goals that are challenging, yet realistic. If you set your goals too high, you’ll just get discourage when you fail to reach them. Begin by setting bite-size goals that will help you reach your bigger goals. This will help keep your goals manageable.

3. Keep the Budget with You
Carry a hard copy or easily accessible electronic copy of your budget with you. If you see a new outfit you want to buy, you can look to see if you’ve got the budget for it. If you don’t have enough in your budget, then you can either sacrifice something else to get it, or walk away and wait until the next month when you do have enough in the budget.

4. Review Budget Regularly
On a regular basis, sit down to review your budget to see if you are on track and whether the budget is realistic. If you continually exceed your limits in one category, then re-evaluate what you are doing and adjust the amount allowed on your budget as needed. This may mean that you’ll have to sacrifice other items in order to give yourself more budget in that category.

5. Reward Yourself
Sometimes the budget will become too much of a routine, and you lose motivation and become complacent. Make sure to budget some money to go out and have fun. Just a small amount of money set aside, so you can go out to eat a few times a month or go to a movie each month, will help you feel balanced.

Also, look for something that will push you to reach your goals. For example, if you have a goal to pay off your car in 12 months, challenge yourself to pay it off in 11 months. If you are able to do it, reward yourself with something you enjoy.

If you can continue to push yourself to reach your goals, you’ll be able to keep the motivation needed to maintain your budget.

Do you have any tips on how to maintain a budget?

And here is another article about finances:
How to Effectively Talk Finances with Your Spouse

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

5 Tips on How to Set a Budget

Set a Budget

When some people hear the word “budget” they feel that it’s a limitation of what they can spend. But in fact, budgeting helps you prioritize your spending and manage your money. By planning and monitoring your budget, it will help you identify wasteful expenditures, adapt as your financial situation changes, and achieve your financial goals. A budget also helps you to avoid going into debt, and it helps you to save money.

1. Evaluate Current Spending
In order to create a budget, you first need to identify how you’re spending money now. First evaluate your current spending by writing down a list of all the expenses you have over the course of a month. This includes a mortgage payment, car payments, auto insurance, groceries, utilities, entertainment, dry cleaning, auto insurance, retirement or college savings, and essentially everything you spend money on. The key for this process is to create a monthly average.

I like to use Excel to track our spending. If you aren’t familiar with Excel, then below are some examples of budget spreadsheets that will help you get started on how to create a budget.

10 Free Household Budgets
Free Budget Spreadsheets
Budget Worksheets

2. Total Monthly Income and Expenses
Once you place your current spending and income on a budget sheet, if the end result shows more income than expenses, you are off to a good start. If you are showing a higher expense column than income it means some changes will have to be made.

3. Make Adjustments
If you have accurately identified and listed all of your expenses the ultimate goal would be to have your income and expense columns to be equal. This means all of your income is accounted for and budgeted for a specific expense.

If you are in a situation where expenses are higher than income, then you need to look at your variable expenses to find areas to cut. You should be able to shave a few dollars in a some areas such as eating out less, cutting out cable, or not getting your nails done to help you get closer to your income.

If you feel you’ve cut everywhere you can, and your budget it still tight, then look for ways to bring in more income like selling items around the house, babysitting, or finding a part-time job.

If you have excess money in areas of your budget, plan to wisely use that money. The first thing you want to do is build up an emergency fund that is at least 4-6 months’ worth of your income. That way you can avoid using credit cards for car repairs, medical co-pays, or any unforeseen expenses. After you build an emergency fund, then prioritize the excess money to areas of your budget such as retirement, savings, or paying more on credit cards to eliminate debt faster, as well as saving for items you want.

4. Set Specific Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
Make sure to have specific short-term and long-term goals you want to achieve by sitting down and discussing with your spouse what it is you both want to work toward. This could be buying a new home, getting out of debt, starting a family, taking a family vacation, or purchasing a new vehicle. For our family, we regularly discuss our short-term and long-term goals. And many of the goals we work toward are things we want to do together as a family.

A big part of budgeting is assessing all your expenditures to see what can be cut and put toward your goals. Think about things from a cash perspective, especially the big-ticket items. The next time you want to splurge on an item, think about how many extra hours you’ll have to work to cover the cost. It’s important to also learn the difference between needs and wants. Aim to spend no more than 90% of your income. That way, you’ll have the other 10% left to save for the bigger goals.

5. Track Spending
Once your budget is created, then track your spending using a notebook or budget spreadsheet to make sure it stays within those guidelines. In order to not overspend, try using a cash-only budget. With each paycheck, take cash you will need during the month and place it in assigned envelopes. Paying with cash forces you to stick to your budget, and you will be more likely to carefully evaluate every purchase you make. You’ll also begin to ask yourself, “Is this in the budget?” and “Do I need this?”

A budget is something that will regularly need to be changed and tweaked. It is important to review your budget on a regular basis to make sure you are staying on track. You’ll be able to see where you did well and where you may need to improve. If you’re finding it hard to meet your goals, you may need to revise the budget to accommodate your needs.

What other tips do you have for how to set a budget?

And here are other budgeting articles:
5 Tips on How to Maintain a Budget
How to Effectively Talk Finances with Your Spouse

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

10 Tips to Get Out of Debt

Get Out of Debt

U.S. households owe more than $11 trillion in debt in 2014, according to the American Household Credit Card Debt Statistic. In breaking it down, Americans owe more than $1 trillion in student loans, $850 billion in credit card debt, and more than $8 trillion in mortgage payments. Living with debt can be stressful, and it can take a toll on your health and relationships. And getting out of debt and staying out of debt is not an easy thing to do. Below are tips to help you start paying off debt so you can reduce the stress of being in debt and put yourself in a better financial position this year.

1. Adjust your attitude toward spending.
The only way to take control of your financial life is to fix the root problem, which is to change your spending habit and to stop living beyond your means. If you change this spending behavior, you’ll live without financial stress, and you will have a vastly richer life. Once you get real about your debt, then you need to figure out how much debt you really have.

2. Make a monthly budget.
Create a realistic monthly budget for your expenses. List all monthly bills and necessities, and make sure they are covered by your monthly income. Allow only the money remaining after the bills are paid to be spent elsewhere. Stay within your budget guidelines.

3. Use a cash only method.
Learn to use cash instead of credit cards. From each paycheck, take out cash and place it in envelopes specifically listed as mortgage, utilities, grocery, etc. Have one primary credit card and use it only for emergencies or major necessities. Put your credit card in a safe place, not available for everyday use.

4. Cut down extra expenses.
Prioritize which expenses are most important to you to keep, then decide what you can get rid of such as cable or additions on your cell phone.

5. Reach out to creditors.
Contact your creditors and try to work out repayment plans and to bring down high interest rates. Many creditors are willing to work with you in a manner that will help them get their money without having to resort to debt collectors.

6. Bring in extra money.
Look for jobs to earn money to pay down your debt. This may be watching children, delivering newspapers,or cleaning houses. Also look into selling your assets. Gather items throughout your house, determine what you can live without, and then hold a yard sale.

7. Chip away at the debt.
Rank your debt from highest to lowest interest rate. Pay off the highest interest rate credit card first. Any extra money you have, use it toward paying off debt until it’s gone.

8. Trim unnecessary spending.
Cut down on your discretionary expenses. This includes dining out, buying expensive new clothes, taking pricey vacations, and other unnecessary expenditures.

9. Become a savvy shopper.
Look for deals, bargains, and savings. You can save a lot of money if you take the time to shop around. But make sure only to buy things that you need and not just because it’s on sale.

10. Get Organized.
Getting your documents in order will help you pay down your debt. If the documents are all over the house in piles, you won’t even know what debt you have. Use a file folder system and tabs. Do this with your spouse so you both understand the system.

What tips have helped you get out of debt?

And below are more articles you might like to read.

how to set a budget

How to Set a Budget

how to maintain a budget

How to Maintain a Budget

how to talk effectively with spouse

How to Effectively Talk Finances with Your Spouse

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