Best Ways to Trim Your Budget So You Can Pay Off Debt

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Paying off debt is the best way to keep from wasting your hard-earned money. Just think about what you could do with all the money that goes towards debt each month. However, paying off debt is easier said than done. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips for paying off your debt fast and in a way that won’t put too big of a cramp in your lifestyle.
Here are some tips for finding hidden money that will help you pay off your debt fast.
1. Rethink Your Beverages of Choice
You probably have a beverage of choice or two. This is an area that can be easily tweaked so you can still have what you love while saving money at the same time. For example, you start making your coffee at home versus going to Starbucks or elsewhere. Anywhere you are spending money on beverages see if you can make something similar at home. This goes for smoothies, alcoholic beverages, or anything else.
2. Downsizing Versus Supersizing
At any food joint, you are almost always offered the option of supersizing or adding something to that meal for just a few extra dollars. Well, those few dollars add up quickly over time. Therefore, instead of getting the large meal at your favorite drive-through, order the small. And if you’re at a restaurant, skip the appetizer and drink water instead of having a soda or a beer, etc. and you’ll be healthier for it too.
3. Skip the Bottled Water
Think about how much money you spend on bottled water each month. Buy a filtered water pitcher and skip the bottled water. You’ll be surprised at just how much money you will save.
4. Do You Really Need That?
Before you buy anything, ask yourself if you really need that particular item or if you could stretch what you have. For example, do you really need those new shoes, or could you clean up, wash or polish the ones you have?
5. Change the Way You Shop
Changing the way you shop could help you save a significant amount of money each month. Now, this might go against your grain, but remember this is only temporary.
Do you need a new shirt? Go to some garage sales, flea markets or the thrift store to buy it. What you would have spent on one shirt at the department store would have gotten you 10 shirts at a thrift store. Yes, you will have to spend some time digging through a bunch of junk, but there are always some items that are fairly new or ones that still have tags on them. The time you spend digging through junk is well worth the savings.
6. Eliminate all Non-Essential Spending
Do you really need that Netflix membership or could you just watch TV instead? Do you really need that gym membership or could you buy a DVD that would help you accomplish the same thing? What about your mobile data and cable plans? Could you downsize some of those?
7. Immediately Reallocate Your Raises and Bonuses
The minute you get a raise or a bonus, take that money and have it automatically deposited into your savings account before you can spend it. If you do this, you will never miss it because you won’t be used to having it.
8. More Ways for Saving Money to Pay Off Your Debt
Here are a few more easy ways to save money that can then be put towards paying off your debt.

  • Eat out less or go to less expensive restaurants if you do.
  • Replace any bank accounts or credit cards that charge annual or monthly fees.
  • Cut back on your utility usage.
  • Get a part time job.
  • Take on a roommate.
  • Sell the things you don’t use on eBay, etc. or have a garage sale.
  • Sign up for as many customer rewards programs as you can find.
  • Make homemade gifts versus buying gifts.
  • Entertain at home instead of going out.
  • Avoid convenience foods at the grocery store and make your meals from scratch.
  • Scour the internet for coupons and discounts before buying anything.

What’s Next?
Now that you’ve curbed your spending, take all the money you’ve saved, and put it all towards your debt. Making payments every two weeks instead of monthly can save you even more money. It doesn’t take long to adjust to your new lifestyle and you will probably become addicted to saving money once you see how fast your debt is going down. In fact, you’ll probably find yourself looking for other ways to save so you can reach your goal of becoming debt-free even faster.
About the Author
Emory Clark is the lead attorney at Clark & Washington, LLC.  Their bankruptcy lawyers in Atlanta offer sound financial and legal advice in bankruptcy cases. Clark & Washington’s exclusive work on Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy cases allow them to advise and counsel their clients through each step of the process.