Having lived in a bustling city, where you find you are required to pay for things left, right and
center, using my credit card just felt like a natural impulse and a much easier way to get what I
wanted faster. It basically felt like free money!
However, after a while, I started dreading the delivery of my credit card bill each month, to see
where I had been unnecessarily racking up extensive debt. I learned that overspending as I was,
left me completely out of pocket in the longer term. This was especially painful when a lot of my
spending was for something that wasn’t worth the interest payments.
A big problem with credit card debt, particularly with the younger generation, like myself, is that
the foresight to pay off more than the minimum repayments is forgotten. Or worse, not
possible. This leaves interest to pile up and a larger debt to repay as I have experienced on too
I decided to sit down one day, assess where I was going wrong and look at ways I could
minimize my spending. Here are five simple ways to cut spending and pay your credit card debt off faster.
You might think you got a good deal through your service providers but in reality, many service-based bills can be reduced.
Many companies offer better promotions to new customers. They assume existing customers will renew as that’s the simple option.
Instead, every time a contract is coming to an end, do some research on the best offer out there. It might take a couple of hours to find the best deal but could save you a lot of money.
2. Eat And Drink In More
Living in a big city, going for after work drinks, or for a Saturday night meal with friends is almost part and parcel of the lifestyle. However, I noticed that my credit card had taken a beating as a result. With most of my friends on similar incomes, we started to have dinner parties at home. It’s not only cost effective, but it is really intimate and quite fun too! I now just dine out once a month which has made a huge difference to my budget. The extra income saved can go a long way to paying off credit card debt.
Another big factor is coffee consumption. My pre-work daily latte at $3 a pop from Monday to Friday costs around $780 a year – and that’s a cheap cup of coffee. I could have invested in a proper coffee machine and some of Colombia’s finest beans for a third of that.
3. Buy Second Hand
I am so glad my eyes have been opened to second-hand buying, I will never waste so much money on overpriced new clothes again. Using websites where you can find some second-hand deals in your local area, or visiting thrift and charity shops to buy clothes and homewares can save a small fortune, and you can find some amazing, unique bargains.
The second-hand economy is a massive multi-billion dollar business. Second hand no longer means inferior. You can find well-known brands and genuine antiques, amongst many other potential treasures.
4. Workout From Home
Gym memberships over a year can be extortionate. Many exercises can be done
at home or in the local park. You can even use the above second-hand method to source gym equipment, for far less than a yearly gym or fitness club subscription.
I was actually using the gym mainly for classes, specifically yoga. However, the internet is a marvelous thing. You can find a lot of free classes on Youtube, and there are many fitness ambassadors across social media to help ensure your form is correct and keep you motivated.
Another way to decrease spending on things for your home without buying second-hand is to have a go at making certain things yourself.
Coffee tables made from shipping pallets, shelving made from old apple boxes, wine bottle candles -are all simple to source and produce. As well as being cost effective, making something yourself can be good for the soul. My boyfriend and I often bond over trying to create mid-century modern furniture out of scraps we find on the street!
So, next time you’re about to hand your credit card over, think about some alternatives. The difference could pay off your credit card debt faster. Being free of debt is a wonderful achievement!
Special thanks to Gumtree for sponsoring this post.