Some people are always looking to get more and there is nothing wrong with that, but in my days in Banking I once heard a customer say, “It isn’t what you make, but what you save that is important.” That was no truer then than it is now and in this economy you need to save every cent you can. I will be showing ten ways to live debt free on $30K or less and I think you will agree that once you put a few of these suggestions to work for you, you will be much happier.
10. Start using things more efficiently – Like the old adage goes, “Waste not, Want not.” My mother always said that we should use what we already have, before buying anything more. Good organization will go a long way in aiding this process. Try to get the most use out of the things that you already have.
9. Cut food costs and hair cut costs – Be sure to shop around for the best deals on food by shopping the sales and using coupons. Sometimes the no frills stores are the best with their generic brands which are often produced on the same assembly lines as the name brand products. We have a great store in Northern -Eastern Illinois called Aldi food store and you can save tons of money. Because they charge for their bags, it promotes the use of reusable bags and can help cut down on polluting plastic bags. As for haircuts, I have found that the cheaper hair cut establishments will do as good of a job as the more expensive ones and sometimes if you have a relative or neighbor who can cut hair you can save that way also. I personally have found a hair stylist over the border in Kenosha, Wisconsin who will cut hair for $6!
8. Dress for less and look great! – You can dress great for less by simply doing a little window shopping at the expensive specialty stores and department stores. Then tip toe over to Walmart, Kmart, Target and your local thrift store and pick out the latest fashions from their selection. Sometimes Walmart has a package deal of a dress shirt and tie for less than $20 for the gentlemen in the crowd. There are other deals to be had and at the local thrift store. Pick through what they have and you might be surprised to see last year’s fashions from the specialty or department stores sitting on their shelves looking brand new. You just need to become a discerning hunter.
7. Work for yourself or at home – In this job market, sometimes a freelance job is better, because you have an interest in it. If you must work for someone else you can ask to work at home. Not only will it help the employer save on paying for your physical space at work, it will help you save on commuting, parking, lunch and babysitting and your productivity will most likely increase due to your pleasant and flexible working environment.
6. Cut the cable bill by getting your TV for free – Are you sick of those high cable bills? Then cut the cable! You can use an Antenna and digital converter box to get free TV. You can get additional television shows by using the internet. According to www.lifehacker.com , the top 5 sites to stream TV are Hulu, Surfthechannel, Sidereel, (the ABC Full Episode Player , the NBC Video Library, and CBS Video) and BBCiplayer. I personally love www.hulu.com and watch many episodes that I have missed on cable right from there and sometimes you can see old shows you haven’t seen in years.
5. Lower your cell phone and home phone costs – This is one bill that can be tough to cut, but think about how you use your phone service and cut accordingly. You may want to have only a cell phone and drop the land line. You can try to negotiate a lower bill with the cell phone company. Another way to cut costs is to drop those expensive cell phone plans and go with a pay as you go provider. Walmart has straight talk with unlimited minutes, unlimited text message and unlimited mobile web for $45 for 30 days. The cell phone companies may be begging for you to come back after a few months of pay as you go service.
4. Spend less and save more – You can do this by tricking yourself. One way is to pay with cash and put the change in a jar. Then after a month or so, cash the change at your bank and deposit it into your savings account. Also pay yourself first by saving in a 401K and/or Roth IRA for your retirement. I know, many of you are saying, “How can I save for the future, when I can’t pay my bills now?” The point is that if you take the baby steps in the other parts of this article, then you will have a little left over to save for your retirement.
3. Sell items you don’t need – Try selling items you don’t use anymore on Craig’s list, EBay or a yard sale. Remember, if you haven’t been used something in some time, then consider getting rid of it and making a little cash. The other benefit is that it will cut down on clutter and confusion in your life, which will definitely make you richer.
2. Simply ask for a better deal – You can reduce your bills by asking one simple question, “How can I save more on this product or service?” You will be surprised that a little knowledge can go a long way. Also do your homework when shopping and use ads and the internet to get the best deal.
1. Write out a budget – This simple task of writing out a budget of what is coming in and going out will allow you to hone in on where you are at in the vast scheme of things. Are you saving money or are you losing money every month? If you are losing money, look at the other ways to save money and try to perfect those tactics.
As you can see, it is not easy to live on less, but if you simply follow a few guidelines, things can get easier. It is important to watch every dollar that is spent and you should always ask yourself key questions, such as, “Do I need this or just want this?”, “Will I use this?” and “Can I live without this?” When you start to get your priorities straight, then you will not only be out of debt, but you will be saving for the future and things will be much brighter for you.