Half of American Working Families are Living Paycheck to Paycheck

We need to get out of the spend, spend, spend mentality. We need to live bare bones for a while or go and work some overtime or find a way to make some extra money to pay off bills.

Gather up all your bills. Utilities in one pile, then credit cards and loans in another.

For the utilities, determine how you can cut costs on each one.

Electric.

  • Can you change bulbs from an old fashioned bulb to an LED bulb? I have seen them at the dollar store so getting them inexpensive is not too hard. Do a little bit at a time.
  • You can set the thermostat higher in summer and lower in winter.
  • Be sure timed lighting is set at optimal times. At least once a month, check your timers.
  • Turn lights off.
  • Televisions rarely in use, you might want to consider getting rid of. They usually stay plugged in and use electricity.

Water.

  • Take quicker showers.
  • Use your shower or bath water on your plants. We have a bucket in the shower to catch the water as it heats up. Then we dump it in the garden.
  • Use a nozzle on your garden hose.
  • Don’t let the water run when you are washing dishes. Use the dishwasher or fill up the sink with soapy water to wash with.

Gas/Propane.

  • Set your water heater to a lower setting.
  • Winter heating, be sure winterize your home so the heat does not escape so easily.

Now, arrange your credit card bills and loans in order from smallest to largest total amount owed. Work on paying off the smallest one first. Make the minimum payment on all of the bills, except, pay as much money as possible on the smallest one until you pay that one off. Once you have paid that one off, move onto the next one. Keep doing that until you have all of them paid off. If you are able to get a lower interest somewhere, take advantage of it.

Cutting costs can be a big deal. Don’t opt for the cheapest item on the shelf. Check out and see what would be more beneficial to buy. If product “X” will last 1 month for $1 and a really good one will last 1 year and only cost $8, you should buy the $8 model. You will save $4 over the year. If you do that on 10 items, that is $40 a year. That is dinner for two at a reasonable restaurant.

Set yourself some goals and reward yourself when you have met those goals. Let’s say you have $10,000 in credit cards and loans. Once you get to $9,000, celebrate with a little something. Make that the reward for meeting the goal.

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