For many Americans in our current economic situation with the Covid-19 pandemic affecting so many families, it is hard to imagine being debt-free. So once you have achieved your goal of becoming debt-free, how do you plan to stay that way for your long-term future?
There are some simple things you can make sure to do in your monthly and everyday routines that will make it easy to stay debt-free and financially stable. Many of them might seem so simple you will read them and say, “Why didn’t I already do that?”
Make Your Morning Coffee At Home:
Even throughout the pandemic and quarantine, the one constant many of us had was being able to go pick up a coffee. The Starbucks drive-through line was miles long in the locations that were still open, but why go “get” coffee for our morning ritual instead of making it at home?
If you are rushing to start your day either at home or like so many these days or at an office, it is convenient, but it comes at a cost. It may taste great, but the coffee you can make at home will be delicious also! Those coffees add up day after day, and that is money you could be putting into savings to help yourself become and stay debt-free over time.
Set Up A Budget And Stick To It:
Now that you are making smart payments and debt-free, set up a budget to pay your bills and other monthly expenses. Any extra money coming in every month should be split up and put away into savings, investments, and an emergency fund.
Find Low Budget Activities To Do For Yourself And Your Family:
There are plenty of things you can do on a budget to keep yourself and your family entertained! Do some research and explore your town or city. See what your area has to offer, explore your local parks, and enjoy a hike or sightsee in your local city. You can also go online and look for deals on local activities that will help with the budget.
Make Sure You Have An Emergency Fund:
Saving for emergencies is essential and is one of the most significant factors when it comes to staying out of debt. Making sure you are prepared for high unexpected costs will allow you to cover them without putting them on credit, paying them off slowly, or going without paying.
No one expects to have last-minute medical bills that insurance doesn’t cover or an incident in their home that costs an arm and a leg, but you always want to be prepared to pay for whatever you need to without having to break the bank or go into debt trying to keep up.
Part of your new budget should be to put a specific amount of money away into an account never touched under any circumstances unless it is an emergency and you absolutely have no other choice. You will thank yourself for not using the money on that girls’ night out when your boiler breaks, and you can pay for the repairs you need!
Save Raises and Extra Unexpected Money:
Getting a raise or unexpected check can be very exciting, but instead of giving the spending portion of your budget a raise, give it to the savings portion. The more you can put into your savings and emergency fund, the better off you will be when you have a substantial amount of money in your savings and emergency accounts.
Avoid Unnecessary fees:
-Be very aware of unnecessary expenses as you pay your bills, take out money, and make purchases. Make your payments on time to avoid late fees, try to use ATMs that don’t charge a fee for taking out cash, and make purchases that don’t charge too many extra fees.
Look out for stores that give out a discount for cash purchases. If you are purchasing items online, go with the lowest shipping cost and look for coupons to cut the cost of online purchases. Making these small changes will make it much easier to stay out of debt and keep you in a great place financially.