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5 Hacks To Have Debt-Free Living

5 Hacks To Have Debt-Free Living

If you want to live a peaceful and nice life, then it is important that you have a solid financial plan. It is important to have a well-planned strategy if you want to live an anxiety-free life. It is important to have a proper spending plan if you want to make sure that the spending and earning are in balance. If you are overspending then you will end up in a debt and live with a debt is stressful. Once you are under debt you can drown in it if you are careful. There are several people who manage to live a life free of debt.

Whether you had a debt in the past or not moving on with life without the tension of debt depends on your attitude. You do not need to waste your money paying off debt when you can invest that money in something profitable. Here are some of the tips that can help with leading a debt free life.

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1. Benefits of having large savings

It is not always easy to create a good sized saving account. It requires time and planning, but it is worth all the work because in a case of an emergency the savings are the best way of pulling you out of the hot waters. The savings are perfect to make sure you do not need to go into a debt so when you need some extra cash. Emergencies do not come with an invitation so you have to be ready for unexpected circumstances. Consider saving a long term investment which can help in any unexpected costs. Living a life without loans will help in creating a healthy and large savings.

2. Do not delay credit card transactions

Always remember that delaying credit card transactions are not going to make them go away. If you delay the payments you will only end in stacking the payment. The credit card has several perks as it makes it easier to protect your money while traveling, making reservations or renting. But if you are not careful with the credit cards, then you can end up with an extensive credit card debt. It is important to be careful with credit cards. Always pay off the purchase on time. It is better not to wait for a monthly bill. It will make sure that you consider the budget before you try purchasing using your credit card. If you accumulate debt, then you can deal with it with the help of an individual voluntary arrangement.

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3. Need a car, buy a cheap one

It is not easy for middle-class citizens to buy brand new cars. They are expensive and probably not worth taking a car loan. If you need a car then you can go for an affordable option and buy a used car. It will be cheap and it is not going to put any extra strain on your financial circumstances. But while buying a used car you need to make sure you do not fall into the trap of crafty dealers. It is better to do complete research so that you buy a reliable model. You should find a model which requires minimum maintenance and will last a long time.

4. Taking care of student loans

You do not always have to get loans to earn a higher education. There are ways of getting a good education without worrying about the debt. A community college is an excellent way of getting an affordable education. You can start there and then move to more prestigious to institute with the help of scholarships and loans. A student loan can be a big problem and you can make a wise choice by working slowly through the college.

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5. Be a smart buyer

You can save a lot of money by being a smart buyer. It is important to control the impulse purchases. While shopping has always had a strategy that helps in prioritizing. Buy only the things that you need. If you want to buy something extra and expensive then you need to make sure that you have a plan so that it does not put a strain on your budget. Always make sure that you go for shopping with the mindset of saving money. Make a budget and make your best effort not to exceed it.

If you follow these simple tips then you can lead a happy and debt free life.

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Featured photo credit: flashcopter.com via flashcopter.com

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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