5 Expenses To Cut Right Now If You're In Debt

Let’s say that like so many storied former-investment-banking-giants, you, the average consumer, have found yourself over-leveraged (wink, wink) and are looking to clean up your act before the whole thing falls down around you like the house of cards it is. Well, since you can’t increase revenue at will, you’ll have to decrease your costs. Where should you start? Here are 5 expenses that you can cut right now — so you can take the extra cash and throw it at your debt.

  • Plug the Money Leaks! You know what they are. The fees you get when you forget to pay your bills. The overdraft fees you get when you forget how much money is in your checking account. The parking tickets you forgot to pay. Get organized!

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  • Stuff You Just Can’t Afford But Are Telling Yourself You Need. These expenses include fancy cable packages, restaurants, gym memberships, and, yes, your expensive new car.

    Recommended Reading: 5 Expenses You Can’t Afford If You Have Credit Card Debt

  • Bad Grocery Shopping Decisions. There are two kids of people in the world. Coupon people and the rest of us. They’re great for some people, but you don’t have to use coupons to save money at the grocery store. And, if you do use coupons, but are looking to save even more money, these tips can help you too.

    Recommended Reading: 7 Ways To Save On Groceries Without Using Coupons

  • Out Of Control “Information Age” Spending. The Pew Research Center says that after housing, cable and satellite TV service was most frequently cited as a regular household expense (78%), followed by cell phones (74%) and internet service (65%). By contrast, just four-in-ten adults (42%) say they make a car payment and just one-in-four say they make a school tuition payment. How much you spend on these ubiquitous bills matters. Just one generation ago, Americans never had to worry about a high-speed internet bill. That’s why it’s important to negotiate the best deal possible.

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  • Psychological Toxic Sludge. You may not think of this as an expense, but it is. Hang ups about your money, or laziness when it comes to dealing with your money is costing you money. The Pew Research center says that 51% of Americans don’t use any kind of budget. Well, why the hell not? You need to take a good hard look at your finances and understand them, so you’re not constantly overspending. Don’t like budgeting? Get over it. Let it go. Use a very, very simple budget. If you feel like you can’t even face the mess that is your finances… you are not alone. Everyone has felt that way about something in their lives. But you’ll feel better if you just grab the box of papers, dive in, and get going. No, really. You will.

    Recommended Reading:
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    The Zero Based Budget
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    Lyn’s 2-Person Budget Spreadsheet
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    Consumerist’s 9-Step Beginner’s Budget

    (Photo: msmail )