While my adt was a disaster, it forced me to take a look at the whole financial picture and see if there were other areas lacking as well. In looking at last month’s debit and credit card statement, you can really see every dollar that is going out and going line by line you can put into categories if they were necessary charges or those that could be avoided. Taking even further, even those “necessary” charges doesn’t mean that you have to pay top dollar for them as well. As you always hear, everything is negotiable, so look to free up extra money so you can put towards better use, such as increasing contributions to your retirement account.
Avoid Going Out to Eat
Sure, it’s nice to have someone else cook, serve, not to mention clean up after you, but that does come at a price. Whether it’s stopping for coffee every morning, grabbing lunch at work, or stopping for carryout on the way home from work, it adds up quickly, especially if you’re taking going out to your favorite restaurant. If you can avoid going out to eat as much and go grocery shopping instead, preparing your meals at home is an easy way to watch the savings add up almost instantly.
Cut the Cable Cord
Many of us don’t even remember a time where you had an antenna to try to get in fuzzy at best reception on your TV, so life before cable could almost seem impossible. That could soon change as the frustration of paying a couple hundred dollars to watch a few hundred channels that you hardly tune in to anyways, let alone when you do it is setting the DVR so you don’t have to watch commercials. If you can cancel cable and opt for a $10 a month streaming service, while still getting local channels with an HD antenna, you can start to ask yourself why you didn’t do this months or years ago.
Ditch the Gym Membership
Getting into shape by eating better and exercising is certainly important, one of which many add as the top priority for their new year’s resolution. The beginning of the year starts our great and you attend the gym regularly, but those visits start to die out quickly once you break the routine. The visits before less and less and pretty soon you’re paying for a membership you don’t go to. Now that the weather is finally getting nicer, you can spend a little more time outside, making your dog happier by getting a few more walks every week.
No More Credit Card Interest
There really isn’t an issue with credit cards, provided you can pay the full statement balance of what you charged by the due date. When you don’t is when the interest kicks in, and that could send you spiraling into debt, as you’re unable to pay off, keep charging, and hardly chipping into the balance. First priority should be getting out of debt by making the largest payments you can afford until it’s gone, and from there, keeping yourself on a strict spending budget going forward so you don’t get yourself into financial trouble again.