Thanks to Sam Peters for making this post possible.
Everyone faces stacks of bills each month and tries to find a way to pay them off. Once children enter the picture, that stack only gets bigger. There are food and clothes to provide, primary education to pay for, and basic roof and utilities that have to be maintained in order to raise a child. With the bills stacking up, it can be hard to find a way to save.
According to a report release in 2013 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it will cost parents ofa child born in 2012 an average of $241,080 to raise that child. And that’s only for one! With a price tag like that, it’s no wonder families are collecting more debt than wealth.
Instead of neglecting bills and savings, start thinking about ways you can save money and get yourself out off debt now.
You have probably watched the shows where women go to the grocery store and get hundreds of dollars of groceries for little more than $20. While you may not be a coupon queen like they are, clipping coupons can still help you save money on items you need. If you can save $5 a week on groceries alone, you are saving $240 a year, and it is possible to save far more than that.
Coupons aren’t just for groceries though. Some major department and office supply stores offer coupons that will give you anywhere from $10 off $50 to 40% off certain items. Keep an eye out for these offers and ask yourself if there is anything you really need that they are useful for.
It’s important to remember that clearance is your friend. My husband calls it his “old friend Clarence” as a joke, but the amount of money we have saved by shopping clearance items each year is over $1000. That can make a big difference when you have other bills to pay as well. That is $1000 we were able to use on paying off other bills instead.
Clearance isn’t the only sale though. Companies often have a sales cycle they go through each year. Certain items often go on sale at a very particular time of year. For example, if you really need a new washer and dryer, January is the best time to shop. Extra stock from the holidays is leftover and people begin filing for tax returns. Companies understand when the flux of their business comes, so they can offer the deepest discounts during the right season. Something that looks like a good deal now could be a great deal at the right time of year. As a general rule of thumb, if it isn’t on sale don’t buy it.
It is easy to forget what you are supposed to be shopping for if you go shopping from memory. A list will keep you on track and on budget. Instead of buying things because you think you want or need them, sticking to a list will save you on a lot of impulsive or unnecessary shopping with each visit. If you need help with budgeting your shopping list, check out ways to save on shopping that will also save you time and headache. Using a list can save you upwards of $500 a year.
Face Debt Head On
It can be overwhelming to look at the stack of bills that have been showing up every month. Some of them may even have gone unpaid for six or more months because the money simply wasn’t there. No matter how hard we try, we simply cannot ignore our way out of debt. The bills will never magically disappear. Take that extra money you are saving from clipping coupons and apply it to your unpaid bills. It doesn’t matter if all you have to send in is $5. You are showing that you are attempting to make the payment, and it still comes off the overall bill.
If the bills are getting out of hand and you can’t manage it on your own, consider a credit repair service. There are great videos on Youtube that talk about the services that creditrepair.com has offered past clients. There is no shame in getting help with debt if it helps you get out of it.
Utilizing Tax Refunds
It can be so tempting to take that income tax return and buy yourself or your family something nice. Instead of spending the money, invest it. One great way to put that money to work is by paying off some of those unwanted bills. Another option is to put it into a CD or other investment account so that it can grow into larger savings. Whatever you do, make the most of your income tax return.
By saving this money and facing your debt, you will start working your way toward saving money. And with kids in the house, you will need that money in the future. What is your best save your way out of debt tip? Leave us a comment and let us know.