Getting out of debt and staying out of debt should be the goal of every consumer, especially those that have gotten themselves into trouble with excessive debt in the past. It is estimated that nearly 33% of American households have more debt than wealth and this number continues to increase as high unemployment and tight credit markets squeeze the American consumer. Getting out of debt is becoming increasingly more difficult as new rules are put into place to limit debt relief, but following some simple tips can help an individual find financial freedom and remain debt free.
Banks and credit card companies make a profit of billions of dollars in over-limit charges and bounced check fees annually. Each transaction that goes over the limit of your credit card will cost around $35 in penalty charges and many financial institutions will process large purchases before small ones in order to charge more fees. Knowing how much money or credit is available for your account before you begin to spend money will help you avoid numerous fees and avoid destroying you credit score.
If you are one of the people that do not like carrying cash, consider using a debit card. Many people do not like to carry cash with them because they are afraid of being robbed, having money stolen, or losing cash out of inattention. Debit cards use the money in a bank account to pay for purchases and you will not have to worry about interest payments or late fees on the items that you purchase.
In many cases, the first price you see for an item is not the best or cheapest price for that item. Comparing prices before you shop will help you save money on everything from groceries to insurance to club memberships. People that comparison shop before heading to the stores often get more for their money as they find deep discounts and 2-for-1 specials on the merchandise they desire. Price comparisons are so popular that there are many websites on the internet that allows consumers to compare items across a number of different retailers to determine which one has the best price.
One of the biggest money drains commonly seen today is the impulse purchase. Many items bought on impulse are rarely used and often sit in a closet with the price tag still attached for months or years after the purchase. By learning how to resist the temptation of the impulse purchase, you will save a great deal of money and avoid cluttering your home with unnecessary items. Identifying problem spending areas in your life and correcting them is one of the best ways to get out of debt and stay out of debt.