If you’re like many Americans, your household expenditures are off the charts. Most people spend a lot more than they need to, and because they don’t apply basic budgeting and self-discipline, they’re often unaware of how much they spend.
This can lead to consumer debt, which is rising all the time. According to a CNBC report, the average credit card balance of the typical American in 2018 was a whopping $6,375. That’s three percent higher than the year previous. Unfortunately, research shows that nearly half of Americans have been carrying a credit card balance for more than two years.
“Consumers are more comfortable spending and confident they can manage any new debt,” Rod Griffin, Experian’s director of public education told CNBC, urging consumers to make payments and avoid buying more things than they can afford. “Ride the wave, don’t fall off the surfboard, that’s the trick.”
But how do you avoid “falling off the surfboard” when you’re used to buying whatever you want? It starts by applying a little self-discipline and looking at ways to lower your household expenses. Here are a few easy things to try.
- Get a smaller car loan
Do you really need the $30,000 SUV you purchased last year? You’re probably paying $500 each month for that vehicle, when you could purchase a much more affordable option. You can still buy the best SUV in the world that’s a couple of years old for less than $20,000 and potentially cut your loan payment in half.
Head to a car dealership in Rockaway, NJ, or whatever major city is closest to you, and start shopping around. Calculate a loan payment that’s a little more affordable, sell or trade-in your existing vehicle, and get a significantly lower loan payment to offset your monthly costs.
- Find a primary care physician
Throughout the United States, more than three million patients are seen in urgent care and similar walk-in clinics every single year. Additionally, about 137 million patients head to the ER each year.
While you should go to the ER if it’s truly an emergency, you can save a lot by bypassing these urgent care clinics and visiting your primary care physician instead. With or without insurance, your visit to a primary care facility will range from $0 to $50 each time versus $75-$500 at an urgent care or ER.
Check out the many fabulous primary care physicians in Jersey City, NJ or your city to help you choose the doctor that will care for you anytime you’re sick or not seriously injured. You’ll probably find that you like the familiarity and custom care as well!
- Stop going out
One of the simplest ways to minimize your household expenses is to limit the amount you spend on eating out or drinking at bars and clubs. These expenses add up very quickly, and you can potentially save hundreds per month by cooking at home or buying your drinks from a liquor store Woodbridge, NJ or another city nearby.
If you’ll really miss the classic drinks you get from your favorite bar or the entree that you always order from your favorite restaurant, learn how to make it at home. There are often copycat recipes online, and you’ll be surprised at how close they are to the real thing. You’ll enjoy significant savings from this simple change in your everyday spending.
With these three changes, you’ll see instant savings. Suddenly, you’ll have more disposable income to pay down your credit card debts or put into savings. A more frugal lifestyle opens up a world of possibilities for you.