You Don’t Have to Struggle with Debt if You Follow Some Easy Rules

Many work-at-home women don’t realize that they are financially far better off than they may think. Even if that doesn’t sound like your situation, let’s take a closer look. Maybe the problem isn’t that you don’t have enough money; maybe it’s that you spend more than you need to on some things. Believe it or not, most of us are wasteful spenders – but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Here are 10 ways to reduce wasteful spending without diminishing your quality of life or resorting to taking on more work than you’d like.

1.     Stop paying those crazy high interest rates. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to stop using your credit cards. We all know that consumer credit is a financial killer, but we continue to rack up those fees. Instead, try using checks for making those purchases. You can order discounted checks online and save money over what the banks charge.

2.     Review your expenses. Look for things that you pay for but don’t use much. Some examples might be a cable package with more channels than you ever watch. Also review those magazine subscriptions for the ones you never read. You might also review your car and homeowner insurance policies to make sure you are getting the best rates you can without paying for too much coverage.

3.     Do lunch. This one is an easy step that can save you a bundle. For a family of four, if you aren’t packing lunches for your kids, your spouse and yourself, you could be wasting as much as $600 a month! Think about it:  between school lunches and the fast food, those lunches can really add up. And that’s not to mention how unhealthy it is for you and your family to eat this way. By planning dinners with a little thought, you can pack nutritious food for all of you and cut back on a huge expense.

4.     Don’t pay fees. Or rather, don’t let those fees accumulate in the first place. Pay bills on time, don’t get overdrawn at the bank, don’t forget about that pesky parking ticket until it doubles (or better yet, don’t get one).  You get the idea.

5.     Change the way you view money. If you look at money management as a chore, or as something you do only part of the time, you’re dooming yourself to wasteful spending. Create a budget for your family. Look at your discretionary expenses, like that treasured morning latte, and add it up. You’ll be amazed at how much money you can save by foregoing that expense – even once or twice – and putting that money into your stash account instead.  Make that your reward!

6.     Pay attention. Take the time to review your monthly expenses and really look at them. Ask yourself whether you can do without or cut back on any of them. Then add up the potential savings. What is it worth to you? Then multiply this monthly cost over an entire year. By really scrutinizing your expenses, you can find a huge amount of money that can be saved over time.

7.     Choose to be frugal. Consider alternatives to the expensive choices that we all make. Going out to a movie? That can really break the bank these days. Instead, get the family together for movie night at home and make a big deal about it. Homemade popcorn with real butter is so much tastier and better for you anyway!

8.     Create Goals. Ultimately, the goal is to get out of debt and to keep more of the money you earn. Setting smaller goals for savings can help you to reach this overall goal. Review your debts and choose the one with the highest rate. Make a goal to pay off that debt as quickly as you can. Then choose the next one…

9.     Bargain shop. First off, don’t buy anything that you don’t absolutely need. Consider repairing what you have if that makes sense. If you do need to make a purchase, try to find the best deal that you can. Make it a game to shop around and see how much you can save. Look at the coupons – in the paper, and online. There are deals out there for those who take the time to look.

10.  Don’t impulse shop. Avoid making those purchases that feel good at the time, but are so detrimental to your financial future. Make a shopping list and stick to it. Set a budget for your clothing and accessory purchases, and plan to buy when they are on sale so that you get the most bang for your buck.

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AUTHOR BIO:  Author Kim Moore is a stay-at-home mom who regularly contributes guest articles to various blogs.  She keeps her own spending under control by cooking at home, doing her own waxing, ordering checks online instead of from the bank, and watching movies instead of cable.

Image source: parentsociety.com

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