1. Evaluate where your money is going
- Print off the last 3 months of your bank/ credit card statements.
- Create categories (e.g. Rent, Entertainment, Food, Gas, Utilities) and based on your purchases write each item under its proper category
- Add the sum of each category and take the average. This will give you an idea of where you need to cut back. (Some banking institutions provide online features that will make this information readily available.)
2. Change your bill due dates
- Schedule the payments around your pay day so that you won’t incur late fees for not paying on time.
3. Stop using auto payments
- After you become debt free, I would strongly suggest you automate every aspect of your life, but for the purpose of getting out of debt; don’t risk it. With auto-payments coming out of your account, you’ll be less conscience about the money that you’re spending.
4. Get rid of over- draft protection
- Often banks will change the order of checks clearing or delay posting deposits, so they can increase the number of fees. (Money Crashers)
5. Determine your interest rates
- Be prepared to work with creditors to renegotiate your interest rates.