Are you in massive consumer debt? It may be time to cut out more than just your gym membership and coffee runs, but to completely change your lifestyle. From moving to a more affordable neighborhood to becoming more resourceful, there are necessary changes that you should make if you really want to get out of debt faster. Here are five ways to really penny-pinch and save tons of money!
5 Ways to Really Penny-Pinch
- Move to a smaller space. Whether you’re moving to a new neighborhood or to a smaller home, how and where you live is important. A smaller home means fewer spaces to heat and cool. By using less energy, such as unplugging appliances when they are not in use or turning off the lights when you leave the room, you will save more money. Renting may also enable you to cut maintenance costs and some utility bills as well. Another alternative is to open up your home by renting out a room or turning it into an Airbnb.
- Shop secondhand. Shopping secondhand doesn’t just apply to clothes. It can be a whole lifestyle change. From clothes to furniture to cars, buying stuff secondhand will allow you to stash some cash so you can reduce credit card debt. Go to thrift stores and flea markets or shop online at sites like Craigslist and eBay for used stuff. Don’t let fashion, trends, or even other people dictate what you buy. Use this conservative approach to every aspect of your life, including food, such as reusing coffee grounds and tea bags.
- Cook at home. Preparation is key. Cooking meals in advance and from scratch can save you a ton of money. Buy in bulk, and learn how to cook budget-friendly recipes. Stock up on beans, grains, and vegetables, and cut back on meat consumption. Cook your meals with a slow cooker instead of your stove. If you do go out to eat at a restaurant, eat half of your meal and save the rest for leftovers. Also look out for savings deals like “2 for $10” combos.
- Do free activities. Always opt to do free activities instead of ones that cost money and get you into too much debt. For instance, instead of subscribing to a gym, take a walk or run outside. Arrange a movie night with your friends by making popcorn and streaming movies online. Check when museums have free entry. And instead of going to Starbucks, make your own coffee at home and read a book!
- Use cash. Try to pay cash for everything. By not spending more cash than you have, you’ll strive to live within your means. If you don’t have enough cash in your wallet then you can’t afford to buy it. This will make you realize the value of how much things cost and how much money you spend on a daily basis. Pay down credit card debt with the money you save by using the cash-only budgeting method.