7 Lifestyle Changes that Can Help You Reduce Your Debt

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

One of the keys to effective — and more efficient — debt reduction is making changes that save you money. Of course, the money you save should be applied to your debt so that you can pay it down faster.

You might be surprised at how much you can save if you are willing to make a few relatively simple lifestyle changes. Even better: Many of these changes can mean monthly savings that will continue to benefit you, even when you are done with your debt efforts. Here are 7 lifestyle changes that can help you cut costs so you can pay down debt:

  1. Re-evaluate your insurance policies: Too often, we “set it and forget it” when it comes to insurance. However, you might be spending more than necessary. Check to see if you could get cheaper insurance. Shop around for home and auto insurance, and see if you can save by bundling policies. Evaluate your insurance needs and see if you can save by changing your coverage. You can benefit by checking every two years (or even once a year).
  2. Refinance your loans: In some cases, you might be able to save by refinancing your loans. This works for car loans, home loans, and other loans. A lower interest rate and payment can allow you to concentrate on higher-interest consumer debt. Check to see if this is possibility for you. Watch out for fees that can offset the benefits.
  3. Change when you go out: Rather than going out for dinner, see if you can go out for lunch. This normally costs less, and you’ll save on everything from the meal to the tip. This can work for movies, too. Matinees generally cost less, so you can save money by going in the afternoon — and staying away from the concessions.
  4. Evaluate monthly subscriptions: Take a look at your monthly subscriptions, from your gym membership to your magazines. Cancel what you can. You can usually exercise effectively from home. Most of us don’t need magazine subscriptions, or online subscriptions. Get rid of these and apply the savings to your debt.
  5. Plan your meals: I was amazed at how much money I started saving when I began planning my meals. When you have a plan, you are less likely to eat out and buy expensive pre-prepared foods. Plus, you can be healthier. You can save even more by planning your meals around weekly sales and coupons.
  6. Reduce your entertainment spending: Stop spending so much on entertainment. Look for free and low-cost alternatives in your area. You can check out books and movies from the library. Even RedBox is less expensive. Cut the cable and instead use less expensive streaming services. You can also spend more time outdoors, hiking, picnicking, and bike riding.
  7. Be energy smart: Change the way you use utilities in your home. A programmable thermostat can help, as can smart strips. Make it a point to reduce your home’s energy consumption, and you can save money in the long run, putting it toward getting rid of your debt.

Bonus Tip:

Did you know that you can save money with Netflix? Even if you don't plan on using the service, you should at least sign up for the Netflix free trial here to get some free movies for a month.

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