Get out of debt

Expense # 2: Food

First, I'm not going to ask you to starve yourself or your family. You have to eat. But you don't have to eat steak out every other night either. Food can be a major expense, depending on your habits. So take a hard look at what you are spending on food, going out to eat, snacks, etc. and try to think of how you might save some money in this area.

For many people, the main place to save on food is in going out to eat.

Making changes in your "out to eat" habits will be a huge sacrifice for most people, but if you go out to eat at nice restaurants a lot, maybe you ca cut back here. Some things to look at:

1) How much do you spend on going out for lunch? Going out for lunch can be a nice break and a way to socialize with your co-workers, but it can also be expensive. Think about taking your lunch to work. If you can save $5 a day for 20 days a month, that's $100 a month in your pocket.

2) Another thing to look at is if you have a Starbuck's or some other brand of expensive coffee addiction. If you can make your own coffee and save $1.50 a day for 30 days a month that's $45 a month in your pocket just for making your own coffee!

3) Do you go out to nice dinners? Nice, expensive $100-200 dinners are not a way to save your money. If you do this every weekend, it's time to cut back. You are in debt and this is not the way to get out of debt. Stop splurging on expensive out to eat dinners.

Now I know many of you are still going to go out to eat. So when you do go out to eat, which should be seldom and for special occasions, here are a few pointers:

1) No drinks - no beers, no wine, no cokes, no iced tea, no coffee. Only water. Drinks are a wallet killer. One time I was out with 3 other people and we each ordered a soda and got one refill. Little did we know, refills were not free and the sodas were $3.50 each. So we dropped 28 dollars in sodas. That's an extreme, but here is an opportunity to eat healthy by drinking water and save money at the same time.

2) Coupons - try going out only on 2 for 1 coupons. Only do pick-up when you have at least $1 or $2 off. Some restaurant coupons can save you $10-$20 a shot. These are well worth using. You can also get one of the coupon books that many schools and other organizations sell. These are usually only $10-15 but can save you $100's in going out to eat throughout the year.

3) No appetizers or desserts.

Go to Expense #3: Clothing


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6 Steps to no Debt 

Step #1:  Renegotiate debt, consolidate debt, and settle debt

2) Pay off your credit card

3) Get some emergency savings

4) Start investing in 401k plan or IRA

5) Pay off other debt

6) Invest conservatively

Controlling Expenses 

1) Utilities

2) Food

3) Clothing

4) Entertainment

5) Gas

6) Other "Stuff"

Financial Mistakes to Avoid

Holding Loser Investments and Stocks

Not saving for Retirement

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