Many people today struggle with the problem of getting out of debt, but let’s face it – the best option is to avoid it in the first place. I know that sometimes that’s easier said than done, especially if you already have debt from credit cards, etc., that you are struggling with.
However, when you become well aware of this fact and refuse to let bills become overdue, this saves you a great deal of time and agony. With that in mind, we have prepared a few useful tips to avoid debt and help you stay out of your creditors’ doghouse.
Tips to Avoid Debt in Your Everyday Life
Pay With Cash
It may be tempting to avoid making dinner at home by dining out on a regular basis, or to use credit cards to fund the purchase of a new pair of shoes. However, such decisions will only serve to increase your debt. Ask yourself honestly if the item you wish to buy is a need or a want, and act accordingly. Try to avoid using credit cards to make impulse purchases, and pay in cash whenever possible. If you do not have the money on hand, this is a sign that you need to stay out of the mall until your financial situation improves. 🙂
An additional benefit of avoiding impulse purchases is that, if you impose a mandatory 24 hour wait period upon yourself, sometimes you may arrive at the conclusion that you really do not need the item anyway! Even better, right?
When you have to make a major purchase, it is always a good idea to shop around first. Don’t simply accept the first price that is offered to you! Take the time to research a variety of outlets. Online is often cheaper than brick and mortar stores, but not always, and it totally depends on which type of product you are purchasing.
From there, all it takes is a quick comparison to see which purchase you should be making. Perhaps you will be able to find a special occasion or an appropriate coupon that will make your shopping more budget-friendly. For example, there are various Discountrue coupons for Sears that can help you buy a wide range of home necessities or clothes – your wallet will not regret it!
Stick to a Budget
The next time you are heading out to shop for necessary items, do not bring credit cards or take more cash than needed. Make a budget for the trip that you are going on, bring exactly that amount and stick to your plan. Let’s say you are heading to the mall to meet a friend for lunch – instead of bringing debit and credit cards with you, withdraw the money required to pay for the meal (your best guess, of course) and not a cent more. Or even better, invite your friend to your home for lunch and save money that way!
Oh- and don’t forget to make sure you figure out where your bank has ATM machines, to help you avoid using other ATMs that might charge you huge fees for the convenience of using them!
Know Your Balance
There is no good reason why a person should ever fail to know their approximate bank balances. By keeping close tabs on these balances, you can avoid overdraft fees and keep your spending within reason. When a person does not know the state of their account, this often leads to unnecessary additional spending and, eventually, debt.
Record Your Credit Card Purchases
Keep a record of your credit card purchases and review it on a regular basis. You’ll also want to look your bank statements over carefully when you receive them. This will help you to steer clear of any areas where your spending may be problematic. Also, by keeping a close eye on your monthly spending you can more easily identify when you are reaching the max of what you may be able to pay in full on the next bill. This, in turn, will help you rein in spending.
Said simply, monitoring credit card purchases keeps us from spending the rest of our adult lives paying for meals that have already been eaten, clothes that have already migrated to the back of the closet, and nights out that we no longer remember. That’s no fun, is it?
Have you ever had to put your spending on lockdown to improve your debt situation? What other tips to avoid debt have you used in your everyday life?
Note: This post has been sponsored by Discountrue.com, and may contain affiliate links.
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Cash is King! Also the Mint app helps me keep track of balances to avoid overdraft fees!
Thanks for posting and keep up the motivation!
That’s awesome that you use Mint. I use Personal Capital a lot and I’ve been thinking I probably need to try out Mint too, to be able to compare the two. Sounds like the app is really useful!
These are all great tips! One step that keeps us out of debt is living by our zero-sum budget. If we don’t budget for it, we don’t buy it. It’s as simple as that.
Abigail @ipickuppennies says
Ugh, Tim and I went rounds — many of them — back when we were trying to pay down his debt on almost no money. The impulse purchases for a person with ADD… We still have those talks once in awhile, but at one point we were having arguments about Slurpees. Because he’d buy one on his way back from a three-time-a-week appointment. Which was around $8. And our budget couldn’t handle that.
In the end, though, it paid off. And now he can have a Slurpee if he really wants. (Since we live in Arizona, sometimes he absolutely does.)
I hear you. We are in the last few months of our student loan debt payoff, and there are several things that we’ve been wanting to buy for a looooonnnnnggggg time. We’ve been putting them all off until we get our student loans paid off. But now that we’ve almost got them gone, I think it’s going to feel extra good to be able to buy some of those things. However, at this point we’ve been in uber-frugal mode for so long that maybe we’ll decide not to!
I love to shop around for a product deal first. I always check Amazon and a bunch of discount stores before buying anything substantial especially a large purchase. Couple that with a budget, I feel better making a purchase!
That sounds like an excellent strategy!