Thanks to SuperMoney, you are on the road to debt relief. Whether you have just began this journey, or are partway to almost through it, it is good to start thinking about some habits to get into now that will allow you to stay debt free.
Budget, Budget, Budget.
It can’t be stated enough that knowing how much money you have coming in, and how much money you are spending every month, is essential for a financial plan. Whether your method is a piece of paper taped to the fridge, or a sophisticated spreadsheet, the main thing is to just do it! With a written and planned budget, you are now accountable for your spending. You have clear guidelines about how much you can spend on those “variables,” like eating out and entertainment. This does not mean you can’t have the fun things, it’s just that you need to budget for for them, and stick to the plan.
Having even $100 in a piggy bank, a jar, or a savings account, is a good start to planning for the unexpected. Aim for a bigger amount, eventually having several months worth of income put
away, for that unplanned medical emergency or job loss. Have a specific amount earmarked towards this in your monthly budget, until you have reached your goal.
Learning to make do.
Don’t rush to the store every time something breaks or you discover a need. Take some time to really think about the situation. Can I borrow this item? Can I get it used, at a thrift store or Craigslist? Even if you do come to the conclusion that buying retail is a necessity, make sure you do a little shopping around. Get reviews. Compare prices. For example, maybe you decide you need to purchase a bottle opener. Would a $10 item do the job just as well as a $50 one? Also, try to only buy on sale.
By putting into practice good planning and spending habits, you will find that it will be a lot easier to stay debt free.