Many of us live beyond our means. We can’t help it, it’s a normal way of life. However, do you really want to be in debt for the rest of your life? It’s definitely not the best way to live. Here are 10 reasons people are stuck in debt and can’t get out. Are you guilty of any of these? Do you think you can make some small changes in your life to get out of debt?
1-You pay the minimum balance on charge card bills and keep charging
Pay your charge card in FULL each month. If you can’t pay in full, don’t charge. When paying the minimum, you’re probably only paying the interest, if even. Do this, and you’ll never get out of debt!
2-You eat out weekly. Sometimes, multiple times a week. Maybe even daily.
Eat at home. Pack your lunch. Eat leftovers if you have them. Everyone deserves to eat out every once in a while. Cut back to once or twice a month.
3-You “buy” things you really can’t afford.
If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Need a new purse? Don’t buy a Coach purse just because you’ve always wanted one or you think you deserve it. One day, when you get out of debt, maybe you can afford one, but for now, buy within your means. We’re doing better financially, then we were years ago. When my youngest was born, I got practically everything from garage sales. That was what we could afford and we made it work. Living within our means kept us from getting into debt.
4-You care too much about your physical appearance
We all want to look good and get pampered. However, if you can’t afford weekly manicures, don’t get them! They aren’t necessary. Neither are fake eyelashes, or the latest hairstyle. I just don’t see why people care so much about those things when they’re running up their credit cards in the process. It doesn’t make any sense, and isn’t helping you in the long run. Be smart financially now, and in the future, you’ll be able to do the things you’ve always wanted!
5-You have a vehicle that uses up too much gas even though you don’t need it.
Although gas prices have gone down some in the past month, they’re still high, especially here in Hawaii where we’re currently paying well over $3.00 a gallon. Large vehicles tend to be gas guzzlers. Imagine how much money you can save each month by switching to a vehicle that is better on gas. Yes, your big truck or SUV looks nice, but if you’re single or have a small family, it may not be necessary. Another way you can save money on gas is by carpooling. If your co-workers live nearby, set up a carpool schedule, everyone saves, everyone wins!
6-You don’t shop sales, clearance, or use coupons
I always shop sales. Nearly every purchase I make, is a sale or clearance item. If not, I have a coupon. Sometimes, you really need an item, and it’s not on sale. If it’s something you really can’t live without at the moment, buy it. If there’s a generic brand of that item that costs less, buy that one instead. If you can live without it for a while, wait for a good sale or coupon, then purchase the item. You can really save a lot by shopping sales and clearance. Coupons help a lot too, especially if you stack them on a good sale or clearance price. Also, always search for a coupon code before making an online purchase and shop through a site like ebates to earn CASH BACK on your purchases.
7-You smoke cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes. Do you know how much money you could save every month if you quit? Not to mention how much healthier you’d be. Cigarettes are such a waste of money. I understand that it may be difficult to quit, but you’ll feel so much better when you do.
8-You have cable
You can barely put food on the table, and owe your mom some money, yet you pay for cable each month? Where are your priorities? Cable is not a necessity. Shut it off and save quite a bit every month. If you have an internet connection you can watch many shows and movies for free online. Netflix is another cost effective alternative.
9-You have an expensive data plan on your cell phone
These days, cell phone bills are pretty ridiculous, especially for those of us with smart phones. Believe it or not, I only switched to a smart phone about a year ago. Although I love it, our monthly bill went up quite a bit. We’re currently on one of the lowest data plans, and we try our best to stay within our limits each month. When there’s no wi-fi available, we’ll only use our phones if completely necessary. I found that many locations offer FREE wi-fi such as Starbucks, McDonald’s, Target, and Home Depot. When near those locations, I make it a point to use their wi-fi connection.
10-You don’t save. If you have extra money, you spend it.
Try your best to SAVE some money each month. Don’t spend every last cent. Whether you’re able to save $5.00 a week, or $100, every little bit helps! Once you put that money away, don’t touch it. Pretend it’s not there unless an emergency comes up. One day, you may really need it, and you’ll be happy you have it.
What are some things you do to stay out of debt? What have you done to get yourself out of debt? Please share in the comments below!