Living below your means is the most challenging task. Unfortunately, it is the only dose of medicine for those who are financially sick and have huge debts to pay. There are two kinds of debtors. First are the people who are in a habit of accumulating their debts. Second is the kind of people who once took loans either to buy a home, start a real estate business or for any other reason but are unable to repay due to financial restraints. For both types of debtors, living below their means is the only way to get out of debt earlier.
Debt always hovers like an eagle over an unsuspecting prey. According to Ogden Nash, “Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them.” The fact is that you can get rid of loan reminders or bank statements but cannot get rid of the debt unless you change your lifestyle and save every single penny of yours. Though changing lifestyle involves changing small habits and incorporating easy ways into your life, yet these small habits gradually help you save thousands.
Some easy to understand ways to change your lifestyle are discussed below. Incorporating them into your life will not only help for the early retirement of debt but will also help you to enjoy quality life.
Separate “needs” from “wants”
You need to differentiate between needs and wants. There are many items you would find in your wardrobe or cupboards you bought only because you wanted but didn’t exactly need. Before buying anything, identify the need of the product. If you think your need is genuine, only then spend money on it. If it is your ‘want’, you can keep it pending till the time when you are completely free from your debt burden.
Change your shopping habits
Humans have strong temptation of impulse purchasing. Especially this habit is more prevalent in women because they often go to buy some particular items and come back with something else in their hands. Always make a list consisting of the necessary items and avoid unnecessary trips to the markets to kill your impulse buying temptation.
Be careful while grocery shopping
The less time you spend at the grocery store, the less will be your grocery bill. Always try to visit grocery stores without children. This is because children often make you spend more than you should on unnecessary things. Always try to buy in bulk but before doing that make sure to check the expiry dates of the products twice. Making repeated sales at a particular store is also a wise idea because it helps you win discounts.
Always pay debt and bills on time
Always pay your debt instalments and utility bills on time because late payments results in penalties and additional fee. It is better to automate your payments by joining free bill payment programmes offered by banks. Try to cut short your electricity and gas usage to keep your bills short. While using ATM, prefer to use those machines, which do not charge any withdrawal fee.
Break the habit of paying minimum
Mostly banks require you to pay 2-3% of the outstanding loan as the minimum payment amount per month. Do not fall prey to the banks because the longer it takes you to pay the debt, the more they earn from you. The more time you take to pay loan, the more is the money they make from your loans. Try to break your habit of repaying less. Pay as much as you can by cutting your other expenditures down.
Cut down on your entertainment expense
Stay away from friends who have nothing better to do than party all night long. Remember, fun does not come free of cost. Avoid taking meals and coffee from the restaurants when you can prepare all of those things in your home kitchen for cheap. Moreover, if you are fan of watching movies you can watch them during the early hours because for matinees and morning shows, you get tickets for cheap. Living a debt free life is only a matter of changing your lifestyle! The sooner you start following the above mentioned tips, the sooner you rid yourself of the debt.