One of the best ways to get control of your debt is by eliminating micro-purchases
Certain things are essential, and you’ll have to accept spending money on them. Food, toiletries, and any bills you are responsible for are all things that have to be paid.
Then there are things you enjoy, but can do without if you have to, such as new clothes, meals out, and entertainment like going to the movies.
Most people don’t realize how much money they spend until they force themselves to stop spending.
Let’s start with some math
A Grande Vanilla Latte from Starbucks averages $4.67. If you bought one of these every weekday on your way to work, it would add up to over $90 a month.
That’s about $1,100 a year!
Bottled water is another example of an extra expense. If you buy bottled water at an average price of $1.59 per 16-20 oz. size, you are spending over $12.00 a gallon for something that comes practically free from the tap.
What about ordering out? How often do you pick up fast food? Order pizza? Go out with someone to a restaurant?
Going to the grocery store hungry and without a list!
When you do this, you usually end up spending more than you should.
Establish a weekly grocery budget. Plan each and every meal and only buy what is on your list.
Look at your store’s coupons for that week when budgeting and use it as inspiration for your meal plans.
You’ll be surprised by how much food you have in your pantry and refrigerator when part of you says there’s nothing here to eat.
Make a weekly grocery list and budget. Then stick to it!
You’ll also be amazed with how much you save by eliminating those ‘quick’ grocery runs!
Audit and remove subscription services you don’t use often enough or can do without
Subscription services are cheap, but they add up, especially if you’re paying for five or six of them.
Do you actually use all of them?
What entertainment do you need that you can’t get from your library or YouTube?
Most libraries offer free eBooks, audio books, as well as free downloadable movies and TV shows.
Keep your favorite and drop the rest.
You can always come back later, but for now it’s time to tighten your belt.
Cancel cable and your unlimited data plan
You don’t need cable and an unlimited data plan if you have internet at home.
They’re conveniences, but they’re not necessities. So, turn them off.
If there are cancellation fees, save up until you have enough to pay them.
Sounds counter productive, but with them gone you’ll quickly start saving more and more cash each month that you can instead throw at your debt.
Ultimately, stop going to places where it will be hard for you to keep your wallet closed.
Meaning, don’t browse your favorite clothing store on the way home from work or school just because you have time to kill.
Take a book with you or call a loved one instead.
Each time you feel like browsing/shopping online, such as Amazon, play a game on your phone or jot down your thoughts in your notes.
Your brain is most likely craving for a quick escape.
There’s nothing you actually need right that moment from Amazon, so don’t even expose yourself to the temptation.
Don’t run errands around mealtimes. They always take longer than they should. When you do, you’re typically more inclined to pick up a quick bite for you and your family.
Pack snacks and drinks each time you head out of the house.
Explore free resources like your local library or the great outdoors to feel like you’re treating yourself.
We’re not suggesting you become a humble scholar or an ascetic, but part of the reason we spend so much is because we like to feel like we’re ‘accomplishing’ things.
So, give yourself something you can actually accomplish and benefit from!
Have a clear goal in mind, such as, “I will save two hundred dollars in two weeks.”
If you haven’t already implemented a savings plan, you need to start today.