Resolve to Get Out of Debt in 2014

MARTIN PICTURE croppedFifty seven percent of New Year’s resolutions in America concern finances. Financial stability lessens stress and leads to a more productive lifestyle.

Here are several small ways to save money in the New Year.  While you have probably heard many of these tips before, the start of a new year is a great time to be reminded about the many things you can do to get out of debt for good.

  • Adjust shopping strategies– Buy clothing out of season. Winter clothes go on sale as the weather warms up. Pick up a new coat in March to get the lowest price.
  • Plan your meals– Coupons and grocery deals can drastically drop your shopping expenses. Keep an eye on sale papers and plan your weekly menu based on the least costly options.
  • Limit dining out– Fast food and restaurants can be costly. Cook meals at home and save the leftovers for a later meal.
  • Track your expenses- You can’t get out of debt unless you know what got you there in the first place.  Document and analyze your spending to learn where you can afford to make sacrifices.
  • Budget- Allocate your monthly income to pay for necessities (food, shelter, clothing, transportation.) Use the remainder to pay off high interest bills.
  • Avoid maintenance fees- Don’t keep your money with a bank that charges you fees. There are plenty of national institutions that will happily take care of your banking for free.
  • Turn everything off– Do not leave your thermostat on while you are out of the house. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. These small steps will help lower your utility bill.
  • Buy generic- Generic and store brands cost less than the national brands and are almost identical products. Many times the only difference in these products is marketing.
  • Evaluate your television spending-Many of the shows and movies you watch can be found online. Services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime are cheaper than cable television.
  • Cook in bulk- Slow cookers are savings machines. You can fill a crockpot full of ingredients and let it sit while you are at work. Make a double batch of soup and freeze the rest. Grill enough protein on Sunday to last you all week.

Martin Sher is CEO of AmSher Collection Agency and a recent past president of ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals.  Martin is the author of the 54 word Collector Pledge, committing credit and collection professionals around the world to the ethical and respectful treatment of all consumers.  Martin’s personal mission is to get 5 million people out of debt-for good, and for FREE.

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