Too many Americans live at the edge of their income, which is one of the primary reasons so many people run up insanely large debts on their credit cards and fail to pay off their loans and mortgages. Prepaid credit cards are one way to curb your spending, as they can prevent you from spending money you don’t have and running up a balance that you have no intention of settling anytime in the near future. But reducing your spending is about more than simply not buying the boat or car you’ve had your eye on. It’s a more comprehensive lifestyle change that can be enacted by cutting down on your utility costs, prioritizing your expenditures, and investing your money safely. Here are some tips to bring you back from the edge, financially speaking.
Pay of your credit card balance. An outstanding credit card balance will cost you a lot of lost money on interest rates and will also adversely affect your credit score. Of all of the loans you may have, credit card card debts are the most detrimental to your financial status in the long run. Even if you can’t pay your balance off completely, increase your monthly payments.
Upgrade your home with energy efficient appliances. Renovating your home with energy-saving measures will save you hundreds of dollars on utility bills. Seal up leaks around doors and windows, insulate your attic, use duct sealant on heating and cooling systems, replace old windows, add storm windows and install a programmable thermostat to keep your temperatures practical. Combined, these measures will save you money.
Open a high yield savings account. Move your funds into a savings account that collects high interest. If you have good credit, most banks and credit unions will offer you a pretty good rate. If you don’t have enough to make your return sizable it may be time to cash out your stocks and put the money into a savings account or bond that will grow with time.
Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re living at the edge of your income. A few good indications are unpaid credit card balances and loans. If you’re spending money you don’t have to pay for things you don’t really need, it may be time to reassess your financial situation. You may need to tweak elements of your lifestyle in order to reduce your spending, improve your credit score, and build a solid foundation for the future.