When you are mired in debt, you have several ways to get out of it. For instance, debt settlement, credit counseling and if required, then bankruptcy. These options are there to quell your debt troubles once and for all. However, there is another very smart way to resolve your debt problems and that is living your life on the lines of frugality.
However, isn't frugality synonymous with penury?
The truth is that it is for some selected financial gurus. For them frugal living is another term for abstinence. However, it is in reality, a much smarter way to manage your money, savings and most importantly, your debt.
Living a frugal life will ask you to prioritize your spending. More, you'll have to take responsibility for all the choices that you make. Its not like 'I shouldn't' or 'I can't afford', rather, it is 'I must'. You have to ask yourself, 'Is this more important than the others?' Where shall I spend my discretionary dollars? What exactly makes me happy? What will add value to my life?
Basically, the principle of frugal living is to reduce expenses, save more dollars and live a better life.
So, How am I going to spend less?
At this point, frugal experts encourage people like you to find out that one thing every day that you all can do in order to save money. Do away with the habit of shopping just to entertain yourself. Stay light years away from malls, online shopping carts and your neighborhood's discount stores.
Instead, go to the library to find out what new books have arrived, take your dog for a walk or call up a friend and chat. Look after the things that you already have. For that matter, you may re-organize your study or clean up your bedroom closet. Though these words may sound dull, yet people who've done them, were never found saying, 'Gosh. I shouldn't have done that'.
Then, should I cut up my credit cards?
The answer is, no. You shouldn't. The idea here is that you need to come back from a credit-oriented society to a cash-based one. You may take advantage of online banking and various other mobile banking features to check your accounts.
Track your spending with various budgeting software, so that you don't end up busting your budget, say with that extra coffee latte. Just the way you stay hooked onto your Facebook or text messages every day, you may add another task to that list, budgeting. The moment you get closer to spending beyond your limit, stop!
Still, are there any other way to save more money?
To do that, you need to put your savings on autopilot. Use 20 percent of your monthly paycheck to be direct-deposited to a savings account and save 80 percent of any kind of bonus or salary hike. However, when you are in debt, then you should make extra payments towards your credit accounts as much as possible.
Take for instance, you have a credit card with 15 percent APR (annual percentage rate), so. if you repay its outstanding balances, then you could save that same amount of interest and drive up your savings in the long run. So, rather than making impulsive purchases with your credit cards, you should use cash to make the payments since that would prevent you from binge shopping.