Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Getting Out of Debt Strategies

There are strategies that I implemented to get out of debt several years ago. They worked and it may work for you (if you don't have as many obstacles as I do). Let's get started by recapping the lessons I learned.

Reduce your Daily Expenses
This is a no brainer. You need to step back and look at what you spend your money on. Do you indulge in buying coffee every morning? Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme may be making a small fortune from you. Those two dollars you drink away every morning adds up. Do you smoke? That is an expense that you can do without. You will be healthier too! Do you buy the paper every morning? Another expense you can do without, at least until you pay off those bills. Instead of buying the paper, catch up on the news through the internet or the TV. You're already paying for those luxuries. Little expenses here and there add up to a chunk of change. If you put all the money you save in a jar, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the amount of money you will have at the end of the month. You'll save this money by just cutting back on the little expenses that seem so trivial.

Reducing your Monthly Expenses
With all the competition for your business, phone companies are now teaming up with internet companies and cable service providers to give you big savings incentives. IO has a very attractive promotion where you get broadband internet service, phone service including unlimited long distance to the US, Canada and PR, and cable service for one low price of $99.00 (excluding tax). That averages out to $33.00 a month for each service. It helps cut back on the amount of time to pay the bills (online) or the postage for three different bills, not to mention the two extra checks you'll NOT be writing. It is an attractive deal and something to look into.

Reducing your Utilities
There are now programs where you can switch your energy supplier. Look closely at your bills. Programs like Power Switch can help you save some money on your heating bills. Insulating your windows, doors and roof (for homeowners) also helps. Turning the heat and/or AC down when you are away can help your savings. Buy a thermostat with a timer, so that you can have your home at your comfortable level when you arrive.


Reducing your Gas Consumption
Go out only when you need to. Take less trips and don't make any unnecessary trips to the store. Try to schedule your errands at the same time, so that you make the most of your time and money. Take your car to be serviced regularly. When your car is properly taken care of it runs more efficiently.

Reducing your Grocery Bill
Clip coupons. There are supermarkets that triple the amount of your coupon. That means that .75 off the cereal really takes off $2.25. Not bad huh? Buy no frills when you can. For example, buy the store brand lettuce as opposed to the Dole. I know that not all no frills can cut it. I NEVER buy no frills Oreos or Chips Ahoy. I only buy them when they are on sale at the lowest possible price. This has to be covered in a post by itself, I can tell you stories. You can visit the site found on the right sidebar and print coupons for your next trip!

Reducing Credit Card Debt
Most companies don't want to lose you as a customer. So, you can convince them to lower your interest rate by making a simple phone call. You simply tell them that you received an offer from a competing credit card offering you a tempting interest rate. Then you ask them if they can match it. What's the worst that they can say? No? Try it. I convinced my father to do it and guess what? They gave him a lower rate!

These are just a few of the lessons I have learned. I will elaborate on each of these and more in the future. For now, try some of these and let me know how it went.

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3 comments:

Debt Settlement said...

Reducing expenses is a good advice, but it's possible only to some extent. How can you reduce expenses on groceries? I mean, you can't tell the shopkeeper to reduce the prices, because you can't spend that much amount on a certain item. You can just cut down the expenses on luxuries, not on the necessities.

sara said...

Getting out of debt or reducing it is very much possible. Few changes in day to day life can produce wonder.

People should try to reduce or eliminate habits like smoking or other luxury to save money in order to make savings. A healthy budget is required to shape up the financial
life. To know how to set budget, take up free counseling session
from http://bestdebtcare.com/.

debbie said...

Great article now if we would all follow your examples we might be able to make it through this recession/deppresion.