If you're like most people in today's world, you may find yourself drowning in debt. It's no secret that most of the debt people have incurred, particularly over the last five years, is because of an increasing amount of credit card debt.
The problem with credit card debt is that most people have brought it upon themselves. They feel that using a credit card is the same as having free money. It's so easy to get caught up in thinking that you can purchase something now and pay for it later. The problem with many people is that later never got the opportunity to come. Most people honestly want to pay for their purchases, but find themselves struggling to pay the bill as time goes by.
They simply weren't able to pay for their outstanding credit card bills because they had lost jobs, became ill, or a combination of the two. Many people weren't able to pay off credit card debt and they had to file for bankruptcy. In any case, millions of people are finding themselves over their heads in credit card debt, and they need a way out of their mess.
While they are finding a way out of the mess, they need to know how to how to cut costs while still addressing their bills. These four tips on frugal living that can help:
This is the first thing that needs to be done, and ironically, the most painful thing for a lot of people. It hurts them to have to deny themselves, but the lack of self denial is often the reason they find themselves in credit card hell in the first place. If they think about where they are bleeding money, they can easily cut out the lunch time meal at restaurants, eating out for dinner, coffee breaks at the gourmet coffee shops, clothing sprees, etc. Some people have to cut these things out totally until they get back on their feet. Some people simply need to cut back on spending money at these venues.
They can also find lower cost ways to enjoy the treats that they have become used to. For example, they can order less expensive menu items. They can buy clothes on clearance or at thrift shops. But in order to save money, the money has to stop being spent.
The high price of fuel is forcing people to find alternative ways to travel. People can save money by cutting out unneeded driving and walking as much as possible. Many people have purchased bicycles so they can cut fuel cost while getting exercise. They have also created carpooling teams. People split the cost of fuel to drive to work, or in catching a cab. Then again, many people have decided to rely upon public transportation to get to work or for trips downtown. These methods are quite effective ways to reduce transportation costs.
This might hit people in the gut, but no one is suggesting starvation or eating rotten food. Here is what people do to live frugally while buying food. They clip coupons. Some people are couponing experts. They religiously hunt the newspapers for coupons and they also go to the internet websites of food manufacturers for coupons. They join online community forums for people who need coupons.
They also look for "fast sale" food items. These are foods that are still good which are approaching their expiration date. As such, grocery stores will sell these at a discount for fast sale. This way, the stores can make money on these items instead of throwing them away. People can also plan meals that stretch throughout the week, instead of eating pre-packaged convenience foods all the time.
With movie tickets costing up to $10.00 per person, most people find that it's in their best interest to wait a few months and rent a movie at a reduced price. Plus, they don't have to pay for expensive snacks if they eat snacks at home.
They can also do things like playing games with their friends. Board games and card games are very popular right now. Again, the internet is the frugal person's friend in finding resources for inexpensive fun. People are finding the best moments in life can be had for free or for very little money.
These are just a few ways a person who is drowning in credit card debt can live well frugally. In the past, the word frugal was a dirty word. It created pictures in the mind of people of living in rags, starving, and living miserably. However, since so many people are struggling financially, they are forced to find ways to live within their means, and they are finding that doing so isn't such a bad thing to do.
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Hasic M is the editor of Get a Credit Card, a consumer oriented site where you will learn how to pick a credit card that you will be satisfied with but also learn how to stay out of debt.