March 26, 2012

Setting a Spending Plan

At the beginning of each year, many Americans include “get out of debt” on their list of New Year’s resolutions and then seem to live under the illusion that they will be able to wish this into reality since a spending plan is never created or written down. The most important part of taking control of your finances is starting somewhere and starting now.

The only way you will get out of debt is if you stop unneeded spending and start allocating the money you are saving toward your debts.

Money Saving Tips

    1. Stop eating out –  Even if you only eat out once a week, if you spend $25 each time you eat out, you’d be saving $100 per month—so there you go, that’s already $100 you are saving.
    2. Stop spending at Starbucks –  Let’s low ball this and say you spend $3 each weekday on coffee, meaning you spend $60 per month. Now you’re at $160 saved.
    3. Use coupons wherever you go – has a plethora of coupons that you can print out. No one wants to be dubbed coupon-crazed, but one or two dollars here and there will definitely add up. Just make sure you aren’t buying something just because you have a coupon for it (and you don’t need it).
    4. Cut out luxuries – If you’re serious about getting out of debt, you can find alternatives to these luxuries.
      • Ladies— getting your hair done; either go natural or do it yourself. Color out of a box will save you at the very least $50. This also goes for getting your nails done.
      • This one is for guys and girls—cancel your gym membership and go hiking instead. You’ll save $20-$30 per month and you’ll get some fresh air in the meantime.
      • If you can think of some other luxuries you can live without, like massages or having a monthly cleaner for your house, you’ll notice that you’ll save at least $100 on those alone.
      • Now for something a little harder to cope with for some—cable. Cancel cable and watch shows for free online at Most shows are available online and you can watch them at anytime. This will save you at least $30 per month.
    5. Downsize your living space. You won’t have to stay in this situation forever, but this could be an easy way to save a few hundred dollars a month.
    6. Downsize your car. Sell your car and buy a less expensive car if you would be able to make a significant amount on the sale. If your family has two cars, try downsizing to one and sell the other. It may not be very convenient, but if you are serious about getting out of debt as soon as possible, these are some options that could help you right now
    7. Sell some of your items on Amazon or eBay.
    8. Work overtime or ask for a raise (only if you deserve it). This also means it’s important to make yourself an asset at your company–do your job.
    9. Take side-jobs if you can. Learn a new skill or use a skill you already have to make some extra cash outside of your current job.
    10. Rent out an extra room in your house if you have one. Advertise this availability amongst your friends and family and post it at church. You’ll need to choose a renter wisely since they will be living under your roof.

Have more tips to add? Share them in the comments below!

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