8 Ways to Save Money and Get Out of Debt in 2023

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  • You probably did not get in debt all at once. Don't be discouraged if it takes time to climb out from under it.
  • The trick is to find painless ways to save money, then apply those funds to existing debt.
  • Building an emergency savings account while paying down debt means you won't have to borrow the next time you need money fast.

2023 can be the year you make a dent in your debt.

Depending on how much debt you carry, 2023 could be the year you erase those financial obligations or slash them dramatically. Either way, you can end the year on a firmer financial footing. No single tip can do the job on its own, but stacking ideas can chip away at debt in a dramatic way.

1. Examine your monthly budget

Comb through your monthly budget. If you need a monthly budget, take steps to create one. Sometimes, simply seeing your monthly expenditures in black and white helps you focus on expenses you can easily do without. For example, if you're paying for a bunch of small subscription services, you can likely cut back on those without impacting the quality of your life.

2. Find a side hustle you enjoy

Some jobs are just plain fun and don't feel like work. The best side hustles involve activities you would enjoy doing even if you weren't getting paid. For you, that may be teaching someone how to play an instrument or speak a foreign language. It may be walking dogs or creating handmade crafts to sell online.

3. Cut utility bills

Depending on your home's age, you may lose hundreds of dollars each year via window leaks and dripping water. Fortunately, there are dozens of ways to cut down utility bills.

4. Take advantage of coupons

Whether you cut them from a newspaper, download them from a website, or use a shopping app designed to help you find the lowest prices, coupons can save hundreds of dollars per year. That's money that you can put toward existing debt. There is a trick, though. You need to find coupons for products you plan on buying anyway. Otherwise, you'll be spending money on products you can easily live without.

5. Plan meals

Meal planning: Some people enjoy the task, while others would rather have a root canal. Enjoy it or not, meal planning ahead of time allows you to create an accurate shopping list. It also gives you time to check your refrigerator and pantry to make sure you don't already have the items you need.

6. Shop only with a list

It doesn't matter if you're buying groceries or school clothes for your kids. Taking a list of what you need along with you can help keep you focused. It may also cut down on impulse shopping. Plus, if you have the kids with you, you can explain that you're only buying what's on the list.

7. Switch from cable to streaming

If you're paying $100 or more a month for cable television, that's money that could easily go toward paying down a loan. Consider paying less for a streaming service that includes only the channels you watch. If you don't watch a lot of television, figure out which shows you can watch online.

8. Find fun free activities

Many who have dug out of debt started by taking advantage of everything they could do in their local area for free. For example:

  • Many zoos, museums, and aquariums waive the admission fee on specific days.
  • Parks are always a good bet. Pack a lunch and if you have kids, let them run the stink off in a local park.
  • Check out movies from your local library. As long as you still have a DVD or Blu-ray player, you should have plenty to choose from.
  • Play board games. The truth is, most of us never outgrow our love for board games. You can buy them for a song at thrift stores.
  • Take up hiking. Even if you've never been one to get out and enjoy a beautiful day, now's the time to exercise those muscles while saving money. If you have kids, they'll probably love it.
  • Bike area trails. Chances are your local government website lists all the bike trails near your home.

Above all, don't get discouraged. You don't have to put a freeze on your entertainment spending forever. Just until you've taken control of your debt rather than allowing it to control you.

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