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6 ways to spend less and stay out of debt this January

by , 17 January 2013

January's known as the longest month of the year, money-wise. Many of us struggle to make our December pay last to the end of the month as we grow budget blinkers and buy everything in sight. Then the reality of the new year sets in and we struggle to make ends meet. But getting further into debt is not the way to go … and you don't have to cut up your credit cards! We have six easy ways for you to spend less money and stay out of debt this January.
Property24 quotes the Credit Ombud, Manie van Schalkwyk, saying you need to make sure you understand the true costs of borrowing money and payment conditions. Van Schalkwyk explains that you should borrow as little as possible as credit providers are allowed to charge you up to 60% interest for short-term loans – the debt adds up quickly.

Here are six easy ways to spend less if you’re struggling to make ends meet…

1. Downsize

Ask yourself if you really need a luxury car. If not, consider selling it or trading it in for a more economical model that you can spend less on each month. There is nothing impressive about drowning in debt while you cruise around in the latest flashy car.

2. Rethink your lifestyle

Look at the real value of your lifestyle - health, education and family - and realise how heavily your lifestyle may ultimately be impacting on your money. If you smoke 30 cigarettes a day, subsist on Coke and never walk further than the fridge then why are you surprised at your exorbitant medical aid and health related bills? Put your money where your mouth is and clean up your act!

3. Lend money wisely

Don't be ‘blackmailed’ into supporting your extended family's bad habits or debts. Only support loans you feel of paramount importance. Draw up a simple Acknowledgment of Debt to ensure both parties know and agree to the terms of the loan.  

4. Only go shopping when you need – not want – items

Always make a list of what you need and stick to it religiously. Make a beeline for what you need in the store and get out of there. You’ll be surprised how much less money you spend this way!

5. Fleamarkets are great for bargains

There are many to choose from, around the country, all offering quirky, original items.  

6. Discount or factory shopping will save you spending on expensive labels

Sometimes you’ll even find label names for brilliant prices at these stores.  

By joining the ‘spend less’ revolution you’ll soon have more money in the bank – and payday will be here again before you know it. For other unusual tips on staying out of debt and saving money, subscribe to the Unconventional Millionaire


6 ways to spend less and stay out of debt this January
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