Americans are in more debt than ever these days. While some of it is unavoidable due to the recent recession, some of it could have been avoided with smart spending. Whether you currently have debt and are looking to better your situation or you currently do not have debt and are looking to keep it that way, here are four smart spending tips to help you get out of and stay out of debt.
Create a Budget
The first step to staying out of debt is creating a budget. It is impossible to know how much you can afford to spend if you do not know what you are bringing in each month or where your money is going. You may be surprised at your financial situation once you see it all laid out on paper. A well-crafted budget will give you a roadmap for your own personal financial success.
Live Within Your Means
Once you know how much you can spend each month, commit to spending only that much or a little less. Even if an item is a “must have” or a great deal, if you cannot afford it, you should not be buying it. This does not mean you have to go without any extras, only that you should prioritize so you can purchase the items that are most important to you.
Set Aside Money in an Emergency Fund
Having a well-funded emergency fund is a great way to stay out of debt. Then, when unexpected bills and expenses come your way, you will already have the money set aside to pay for them. Totaled cars and hospital bills do not have to send you into large amounts of debt when you are already prepared to deal with them.
Pay off Debt Quickly
Lastly, when you do find yourself in debt for whatever reason, commit to getting out of debt as quickly as possible. Pay off smaller balances first to gain momentum or balances with the highest interest rates first to save yourself the most money in the long run. Consider consolidation loans in Houston for lowering your interest rates and reducing the number of separate debt payments you make each month.
While some debt is almost unavoidable, you certainly do not have to settle for a life full of creditors. Use these four tips to minimize your debt and maximize your financial freedom. You should be in charge of your money—not the other way around.
Yakezie Carnival at Rather-Be-Shopping
Carnival of Retirement at The Frugal Toad
Carn. of Fin. Camaraderie at Faithful With a Few
Carn of MoneyPros at Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses
Fin. Carn. for Young Adults at Mom and Dad Money