10 Painful but Effective ways to reduce Debt

Do you really need to pay off your bills and reduce your monthly outgoings? Some cuts in spending are relatively painless, like for example, switching your gas and electricity supplies. But, if you have done all these easy methods, and still need to save money, here a list of other more painful sacrifices.

1. Live With Your Parents / Relatives

Yes, you may get nagged for not tidying your room, but, it could be a small price to pay for saving upto $1000 a month. Due to expensive house prices, the cost of mortgage repayments and rent can take a very high % of your income. Living on your own may give you greater independence and freedom, but, unfortunately it is tremendously expensive. If you can bite the bullet and spend some time living with your parents, you can save potentially thousands in lower rent and mortgage payments. This can enable you to save up for a deposit or pay off your mounting debt. Of course, this relies on your parents being willing and able to let you stay; but if it is an option it can make a big difference. No one likes having to tell their parents what time they will be getting back, but, is it worth paying $1000 a month just for this freedom?

2. Cycle to Work.

Transport costs in getting to work, can become a high % of our disposable income. We may feel transport is an indispensable part of our expenditure, But, if we work less than 10 miles away there is no reason why we cannot cycle to work. True, it is not so pleasant when it rains or when cars seem indifferent to our existence on the road. But, cycling has some great advantages – very low running costs, no taxes to pay. Cycling will keep us fit, without having to spend money or time going to the gym. In some cities you may even find that cycling to work can be quicker than driving or getting the bus.

3. Give up Drinking / Coffee.

Have you ever made a new years resolution to stop drinking alcohol / coffee? We know it will be good for our physical and mental health, but, it is also very good for our financial health. Many people spend far more on drinking than they may realise. The costs add up and when we are enjoying ourselves, we don’t keep a very accurate record. However, if you can stop, or at least cut down then you may be pleasantly surprised at the improvement in both our physical and financial health.

4. Cook For Yourself.

A takeaway is quick and easy way to get food. But, the cost can soon add up. Even only 2 or 3 takeaways a week can soon add up to more than $50 a week. It makes a big difference over the course of the year. As an added bonus, cooking for yourself is probably more healthy as well.

5. Tear up your Credit Cards.

Credit cards make spending easy. With credit cards, you don’t have to think about parting with money for another 6 weeks. It makes shopping painful. If you have no credit cards but have to go to a cash point and withdraw the money. It makes you think twice about parting with so much hard cash. It will make life a little more inconvenient but will make a big difference in saving money.

6. Don’t Buy A TV.

Did you know owning a TV could cost you $1 million, according to Dumping my TV. Well, I am rather sceptical of these figures. But, the author does make a good point that owning a TV can be alot more expensive than you might imagine. At the least you could cancel all the cable channels and make do with an old box style TV. What are you going to loose by getting rid of Cable. Endless repeats of old soap operas, very long commercials trying to sell you life insurance? Maybe this is not such a painful choice…

7. Sell Your Car.

A car means freedom and independence. But, a car is also like a cash guzzler. It’s not just petrol, insurance and tax, but the unexpected service bills which necessitate $1000s in repairs. There is life beyond the car; try getting rides from friends, public transport can be fun, and cycling will keep you fit. A car may seem indispensable, but if you get rid of it, you will find a way to get around it. Society used to function quite well before cars.

8. Mend Your Clothes.

Rather than buy new clothes, why not repair old ones? Who knows, perhaps you will start a new trend for designer clothes, with patches sewn on. – Then again, maybe not.

9. Try the $5 a day Challenge

Could you survive on $5 a day? Admittedly this idea may not sound very pleasant. But, try it even for just one week. It will teach you to be very frugal. By having so little money, you will discover what is essential spending and what is not important.

10. Take a Holiday in your Back Garden.

Well, not literally your back garden; but, why spend $1000s of dollars travelling to exotic countries when you could have a good time in your own country? You will not only save money, but, also will not suffer from jetlag or have to worry about getting tropical diseases.

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