Making Those First Steps Last

Once your monthly spending is under control, you can think about some ways to make debt a thing of the past. Here's a list of ideas.

  • Each month, try to reduce a different spending category by 5%-10%.
  • Start a savings account for large, infrequent expenses so they won't upset your budget.
  • Charge items only if you can afford to pay for them now - especially large purchases.
  • Treat a credit card balance like you'd treat a bank loan for the same amount.
  • Avoid the "sale" mentality. When you buy a $100 item on sale for $60, you don't save $40. You spend $60. It's only a deal if you need it and can afford it.
  • Always track your spending and income to make sure you don't spend into debt again.
  • Try to increase your income. Can you improve your salary? Is a second job possible? Can you sell something you no longer need?
  • Reward yourself. Working your way out of debt is a long, hard task. It's also a big accomplishment. Find inexpensive ways to celebrate your progress.