So you want to get a jump start on figuring out how to get out of debt?
It turns out that the Australians have around $1 trillion left in debt. This huge amount usually comes from student loans, mortgages, and credit cards.
If you find yourself being one of those thousands of Australians dealing with debt, there are quite a few ways you could give lowering your debts a fair go.
Make sure you keep reading to pick up some great money-saving tips and tricks. And, remember, if you want to learn more about payday loans and how to improve your finances, be sure to check out the rest of our blogs.
Get out of debt with these money-saving tips
Understanding how to manage money – and even save money – isn’t something they always teach in school. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here are Cigno’s top 8 money-saving tips to get out of debt!
Cut extra costs (for now)
You will want to sit down with a pen and piece of paper and map out all of your expenses.
This means writing down your car payment, rent, and utilities. And it also means writing down how much you’re spending on extra items, like cable, clothing, and eating out.
When you’re trying to save money, cutting down will have to be the name of the game for a while.
“Luxury” costs, like cable, may have to get shut down and potentially swapped out for a much cheaper, online movie service. Get creative at home and cook new recipes instead of eating out.
As you add a new item to the list, make sure to ask yourself if this is an item you can do without for a few months. If the answer is yes, then you will want to cancel that subscription and avoid the shops.
Close or freeze credit accounts
If you have multiple credit accounts, consider closing the ones that don’t have a remaining debt.
Closing or freezing accounts stops you from being able to go out and use that card. One of the major ways a person can save money to get out of debt is simply cutting off the source!
Get a realistic budget
We all have three budgets in our minds when we think about our finances.
There’s the one we tell ourselves we’re sticking to– like only using $100 on food for the next month and $0 for going out. You’ll also have your realistic budget floating around, where you use $350 on food and maybe let yourself go out a few nights.
Then there’s your actual budget, the one you’ve really been going by for the past few years.
Seeing the (sometimes huge) differences between your realistic budget and the one you’ve been using can really shift your perspective on spending.
Work with cash
Cutting down on how much you spend really depends on how well you cut yourself off from cash sources.
One way to do this is to use your realistic budget to withdraw X amount from your checking account per week– in cash.
Spending money is a lot more difficult when you have to pull out the bills in person to count off your charges.
Similarly, you can try using the “envelope system” to really break down the cash budget that you have in your hands.
For this strategy, you will label an envelope something you’ll be spending on. You’ll end up with envelopes titled gas, food, going out, etc. The goal is to withdraw your weekly budget and split that into each envelope as you’ve budgeted.
As you spend, you’ll be very aware of how much is left in each envelope and what day of the week it is!
If you want to get out of debt, you’ll have to really prioritize what you’re spending your money on and how you’re living.
With multiple debts to deal with, make sure you prioritize which ones you want to tackle first.
Many people recommend taking one of two routes: pay off small bills first so you can really tackle the huge bills later or hit the ones with the highest interest first.
There are tons of options to prioritize what you’re spending money on and what debts you target first.
But you will also want to prioritize your life to really position yourself in a way that can help you save money.
This means reflecting on whether or not you should take a part-time job while you look for that dream job. It means deciding to move to a different location. It means you’ll want to prioritize what you purchase and whether or not it’s worth it at the moment.
Contact lenders and work with them
As you work on figuring out how to get out of debt, don’t be a stranger– reach out to your lenders!
Once your lender knows of your situation, they would be able to help to the best of their abilities. Maybe this means lowering your interest rates or putting together a repayment plan.
As a whole, you can save a little bit of money if you take the time to talk to the right people.
Set up automatic transfer in your bank
Do you have money coming into your checking account and –all of a sudden– it’s gone?
Chances are that the money is gone because it’s been spent. But there is a situation where money leaving your checking account can be good.
And that’s if you have automatic transfers set up. These with withdraw money from your checking account and move them to a different account, like a savings account, that you’ve set up.
Some people have different savings account for each responsibility they have so that everything can get paid off when the bill comes since the money has been accumulating automatically!
Up your shopping game
Here’s our final tip to help you get out of debt and save money.
You’ll want to up your shopping game and make the most of what you’re spending.
Couponing and taking advantage of sales is a great place to start. You can then start thinking about which items you can cut to up your health and happiness (and save money!)
You may also want to deter those impulse shoppings by telling yourself to wait a day before purchasing. Or you can adopt a mindset of thinking about a cost in the amount of time it takes you to earn that money!
When you think about it that way, is that one shirt really worth 4 hours of slogging through your time at the office?
Do you have any money saving tips we missed? Let us know in the comments below!