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Living Cheaply When You're Rebuilding Your Credit

[Apr 16, 2008.]


The fact of the matter is that when you're trying to rebuild your credit, you're going to need to make some changes in your life. This will mean that you need to adjust your current spending habits in order to start paying down the debts that you have, as well as start looking for ways to live within your means for the rest of your life. And while getting a better paying job can help, that’s not always possible in the short term. So, for long term financial health, here are some ways to reduce your expenses.

  • Never buy anything for full price – Whenever you can, try to find items that are on sale or on the markdown racks. This will enable you to still buy the things that you need without paying as much as you might have before.

  • Make a list – Sometimes it's easier to spend more when we aren’t sure what we went to buy in the first place. Try to make a list of the items that you need from the store and then only buy these items. If you find that you 'need' something else once you are there, stop and ask yourself if it's a need or simply something that you want to have. Chances are good that you really don’t need to buy it.

  • Coupons can be fun – When you find coupons online or in your newspaper, you can significantly reduce the amount of money you spend. Try to make a game of it: see how much you can save on each shopping trip and then try to 'beat' yourself each time.

  • Shop only once a week, if you can – When you get into the habit of shopping on only one day a week, you start to realize that your life doesn't have to revolve around buying things. Try to make one day each week the day that you grocery shop, clothing shop, and do any other errands that need to be done. Remember that buying things isn't about entertainment, but about getting things that you and your family need.

  • Head to the thrift store – Contrary to popular belief, thrift stores can be an amazing place to find quality clothes at a fraction of the price. While you can't have a clear idea in mind when you go there and you will want to spend some time looking through the racks, there are generally a lot of nice things that you can buy without having to pay a large amount for them.

  • Give yourself an allowance – If you find you're having troubles not spending anything extra, try to give yourself a small allowance each week that you can do anything with. For example, you might want to give yourself $25 a week to spend, in any way that you want. However, if you want something more costly, you will need to accrue your allowance until you have that amount.

Living cheaply doesn't mean that you have to live without things that you want, but rather than you need to adjust the way you've been living. And in the end, that adds up to a bright financial future.


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