You are reading Week 13 of 52 Weeks to Eliminate Debt & Curb Spending. Please read the overview here to learn more about the series & get your FREE financial planner. If you just joined us, please start with week 1.
A clear way to get rid of debt is to simply get rid of money zappers. What is a money zapper? Those are the little things that we spend money on that aren’t necessary. Some of these things are items that are conveniences. Other items on this list may seem necessary, but can be evaluated and changed to cost less and free up money in our budget.
Evaluate Cable or Satellite Service. While this is not a necessity in your home, it is hard to go without some source of entertainment. Cable and satellite expenses can add up quickly. While you don’t have to completely rid your budget of these expenses, you should take the time to remove extra channels, call for a lower rate or even drop them and use streaming products like Amazon Prime, HuluPlus or Netflix instead. You can easily drop your monthly bill from $99 to only $99 per year with an Amazon Prime membership that offers free streaming of thousands of movies, television shows and even music.
I personally have Amazon Prime and Netflix. No exorbitant cable bill for channels we never watch!
Evaluate Cell Phone Service. The world of unlimited data plans has become common with everyone. While it is understandable to want to stay connected, you may want to look at dropping things like high minute plans, texting packages or even eliminating data if you have access to wifi elsewhere. Skipping the annual phone upgrades and using your cell phone until it is no longer usable will also make a big difference in overall budget. One other option is to look at whether or not a pre-paid plan for your phone would be lower cost than the current contract plan you have.
Skip Meat & Alcohol. Two of the biggest money zappers in your grocery budget are alcohol and meat purchases. Making a few more vegetarian meals each week can easily save $20-$25 in meat purchases. Skipping the glass of wine with dinner, or after dinner drink can also add more money into your budget easily. Save these things for special occasions only.
These money zappers are not the only things to consider, but they are a great start for you in your effort to get rid of debt. When you are truly trying to rethink your budget and spending habits you will learn to evaluate all areas of your life to make even those $20-$25 changes. $25 per week in savings is $1300 in savings for the year. That is a significant savings for any budget.
Week 13 Challenge:
What are your money zappers? Is there anything you can eliminate from your budget to free up some cash? Start working to eliminate these extras from your budget and watch your savings grow!
Disclosure: I am not a financial adviser nor do I have formal financial training. All articles are for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice or consultation. Please consult your account and/or financial adviser before making changes to your finances. All situations are different, so please consult a professional to determine your individual needs.