You’ve probably heard it before: getting out of debt is the first step toward financial success. But it can be frustratingly difficult to save extra money by the end of the month.
There are so many reasons it’s tough to save. There is a housing crisis across North America, and rents are set to rise again after a brief cooling off in already overpriced cities. Millions of people have lost income due to the pandemic and will be struggling with that debt for years to come. Student loans will haunt graduates for years, while childcare costs are a major expenditure for young families.
But there are changes you can make to save money. Making some of these lifestyle changes can help you save money and solve your debt problems for good.
1) Credit Counselling:
People often believe that they have to solve their debt problems on their own, and don’t ask how to get help with debt. The trouble is, they may not be aware of all the options available that can help them along the way. They may not have the tools they need to make a budget work, or they may need some outside perspective on their financial situation.
2) Downsize a Vehicle:
Driving is essential for some, but if you can live without a car or downsize to a one-car household, you can save a lot of money. The annual average costs of vehicle ownership include:
It’s a lot of the money you can save if public transportation or sticking to one vehicle can work.
3) Cook at Home More Often:
Going out to eat and drink can quickly balloon into an expensive budget item if you do it all the time. Scale back the money you spend while you’re out by adjusting your social life. If you’re worried about never seeing your friends again because you decide you don’t want to go out, invite them over or make plans for lower-cost activities, like meeting for a $3 coffee instead of a $13 cocktail.
4) Find a Roommate:
Splitting the rent can make an enormous difference in your monthly budget. Financial advisors suggest that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your income on rent, but in many cities around North America, that’s not possible if you live alone.
Getting a roommate can be a big lifestyle change if you’ve become used to living alone. Be sure to vet potential roommate candidates. Ask around with friends or colleagues to see if they know anyone looking for a similar arrangement.
5) Earn Money in Your Free Time:
Everyone needs time to wind down after work, and it’s important to give yourself time to relax. But if you’re trying to get out of debt, finding another way to supplement your income can be a good way to offset other costs. Some people offset the costs of vehicle ownership by working as a food courier a few hours a week. If you don’t want to make changes like losing a vehicle or getting a roommate, earning more money is a good alternative.
Non-profit credit counseling agencies can be a huge help for anyone struggling with money. They can help with credit card debt problems, budgeting, money management, and more.
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