The starting point for a debt-free strategy is to devise a monthly budget that reflects reality and make sure you stick to it. This should include all regular income and expenditure as well as any bigger buys that you know in advance you need to make over a larger period, say a year, for items such as home repairs, a car or an appliance. Once your budget is ready, you can start curbing your expenses with the following tips and tricks.
First, limit your credit card use and go for cash or debit card instead. According to studies on consumer spending, we tend to spend 15% more when we use credit cards.
Second, you may have to give up some of your treats to stay within budget. Dining out or going for coffee or drinks, weekly shopping for clothes or anything you could relinquish without too much pain would help you stick to your budget. Bringing in your own, homemade lunch to work rather than spending money in fast food outlets or bistros can also help. Also, see how much you pay for cable TV or pay-per-view and decide whether you could live without at least some of it.
Third, try to cut your communications expenses by getting rid of the landline and start using free online call services like Skype, for example. Do not rush to get a smartphone as well.
Lastly, see if you could get more favourable terms for your car insurance, or any other type of insurance. If other providers offer better terms with the same coverage, switch to them.
Small moves like these would help you stay within budget and out of debt.