Posted on: Aug. 13, 2017 in Money, Debt

It’s pretty easy for people to say “get out of debt” to someone looking for financial advice. After all, if you don’t owe anyone money you’ll get to keep more of what you earn. But if getting out of debt, or even reducing it, was that easy, everyone would do it.


Debt can feel overwhelming, particularly when it feels like you can’t get ahead no matter how hard you try. What you need is a strategy that you can implement one step at a time to get you on your way. Once you start to feel momentum, it will be easier to keep it going.

Let’s be honest: There are truly only two things you need to do to reduce your debt and they are to earn more and spend less. Of course, one of them will work on its own, but to really tackle debt, you need to do both together. In fact, reducing spending is likely the only way to keep you out of debt once you pay it all off, so that’s probably a better place to start.

Here’s a list of 20 things you can do right now to slash your budget. Keep track of your savings and use what you keep to pay off some of that debt!

  1. Ditch cable. There are cheaper streaming options available.
  2. Cut subscriptions you don’t use. The gym you haven’t been to in a year? Cancel it.
  3. Shop your home and auto insurance. Keep the coverage you need, but pay less for it.
  4. Hang your clothes to dry. This will reduce your utility bills.
  5. Clip coupons. It’s not glamorous, but if you’re buying something anyway every penny helps.
  6. Think outside the big box stores. Check out thrift stores, yard sales, and swap meets for deals.
  7. Speaking of swapping, see if there’s something you can trade with a friend to get what you need.
  8. Borrow. Visit your library for books, video games, and music.
  9. Think local. Your community probably has plenty of free events to entertain you, especially in the summer.
  10. Meal plan. Try to skip grocery shopping this week to use what you have on hand.
  11. Skip the bottled water. Get a water filter and refillable bottle instead.
  12. Brown bag your lunch. Even cheap takeout adds up.
  13. Actually, skip the brown bag. Find reusable containers, bags, and totes to avoid spending on disposables.
  14. Brew your own coffee. One $3 coffee a day equals $1,008 a year.
  15. Have a weekly game night with friends. Rotate whose house you go to, make it a pot luck, and everyone has some inexpensive fun to look forward to each week.
  16. Walk or bike wherever you can. Gas is expensive.
  17. Make homemade cleaning supplies. Vinegar and baking soda work wonders and a quick internet search can tell you all you need to know.
  18. Unplug things when not in use. If they’re plugged in, they are drawing power.
  19. Shop at home. Before you head to the store, see if you can make do with what you have.
  20. Shop around. Whatever you need to buy, do some research to see if where you can get it cheapest. A few minutes is worth it to save!

Saving to get out of debt, for an emergency fund, or even for a down payment on a new car doesn’t have to be difficult or painful. It just takes a little planning and ingenuity!

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