Cheapskates often have a bad reputation. They get characterized as reusing dental floss or stealing condiments to avoid needing to buy their own. Those are extremes that don’t paint the full picture of their mindset.
If you’re deep in debt, you may benefit from following a similar approach. Here are 13 cheapskate habits you can employ to eliminate debt and achieve financial stability.
Reducing Eating Out
The average American spends over $250 a month dining out. If you’re deep in debt, that’s an easy expense to reduce or even cut.
Do you fear you can’t do it? Start by cutting one meal out a week, then two the following week. In a short time, you’ll claw back cash to apply toward other needs.
Getting Rid Of Cable
Cheapskates hate paying for cable or satellite. At over $200 a month for the average bill, it’s easy to see why. If you’re struggling to pay off debt or reach your goals, it’s time to cut the cord on cable.
Take advantage of free streaming services and combine them with an over-the-air antenna, and you’ll be surprised at how much content you can watch.
How often do you throw food in the trash? Reports indicate the average household throws away one-third of the food that comes into their home.
A cheapskate knows that’s like throwing money in the trash. Meal planning is a great way to reduce this waste. Write out want you plan to serve for dinner every night, and use that to purchase groceries. Bonus points if you take leftovers for lunch.
Avoiding Credit Cards
If you’re deep in debt, it’s best to avoid credit cards completely. Using them will only incur more debt and interest.
If you can, use a balance transfer card to reduce your interest to zero percent and eliminate the debt for good.
Making Coffee At Home
Buying coffee out isn’t always viewed favorably. Justifiably so if you’re in debt. Purchase a simple coffee maker, and it will pay for itself within a month.
The reclaimed savings can go toward your debt.
Cut Down On Electricity
Do you have a person in your home that loves to use lights? That can be wasted money you can use towards other things.
Reports show the average household wastes 35 percent of its energy consumption. Turn off the lights and reap the savings.
A good cheapskate loves to compare prices. After all, why would they want to spend more?
If you’re struggling financially, take the same approach. There’s little sense in spending more when you can get something for less. You can even do this when shopping online with coupon apps like Capital One Shopping and Honey to get items for less.
Couponing is another habit that tends to be frowned upon, but it’s one that is championed by cheapskates.
If you’re in debt and need to reduce spending, it’s not a habit you should avoid. You don’t have to spend time clipping them out of the paper, either. You can download an app like Ibotta to do the work for you, saving you time and money. It’s a win-win!
Cheapskates love to buy used items. Not only are they cheaper, but they also help avoid waste.
If you need to cut costs, employ a used-first philosophy in your shopping. Shop at Restore or Goodwill to find items you need for your home. If you have basic handyman skills, you can really save yourself some cash by not having to buy replacement items at all.
Ditching the Car
Do you really want to amplify your debt repayment efforts? Getting rid of your car or greatly reducing how much you use it can be a fantastic way to save money.
Use your bike instead. Even if where you live isn’t terribly biker-friendly, you can save cash and get some exercise.
Using the Library
Cheapskates and frugal people alike love the library. The local library is an excellent resource for getting books, e-books, movies, music, and more.
Combine it with free streaming services, and you won’t be lacking entertainment options.
Make Negotiating an Art
Negotiation isn’t an art only employed by cheapskates. However, it’s one you should use if you’re in debt.
It’s not possible to get a lower price all the time, but it’s worth trying. Any savings stretches your budget further.
Offloading Items You Don’t Use
A true cheapskate sees value in items they no longer use. They see they can either donate it or reuse it. Better yet, they see an opportunity to sell it.
You can sell anything from a used phone to furniture you no longer use. Apply what you earn to your debt, use it to build up your emergency fund, or use it to replace the item.
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