Our credit card statement came this week and I saw money flushed down the invisible money toilet.
Even though I often share credit card’s potential for danger, the fact that 69% of all bankruptcies filed state credit card debt as the #1 cause of bankruptcy, and I am a big proponent for cutting them up if you have any kind of consumer debt, we do use them now.
Here’s why we typically avoid them. When we use credit cards, it’s not personal; it’s free cash without immediate consequence. When we spend cash, we spend 12 – 18% less than when you use credit cards because everything is SO personal and real. We are holding hard earned dollars in our hands one minute, and the next minute it’s gone. Cash makes a difference and you can read my post about cutting up those credit cards. I know, it’s a hotly debated topic, but if you’re struggling financially at all, this is really something to consider.
Now that my credit card view is out in the open, let’s attack our quick money win that everyone should do today.
Often, getting our finances on track is overwhelming, so I thought I’d start sharing some Quick Money Wins that you can do easily and have immediate benefit.
QUICK MONEY WIN FOR TODAY!
Step 1: Log in to your credit card or bank account.
Do you do this regularly? You need to. Honestly, I’ve gotten lazy with it lately and it has cost us.
STEP 2: Read through at least one full monthly statement.
Do not obsess over every line item. This is not a time when we are going to shame ourselves for grabbing too many Starbucks or wonder how we got ourselves into this financial pickle. We are just eliminating extra expenses immediately. No guilt right now. Getting out of debt is an entirely different step.
I spent 45 minutes perusing my statements (credit card, debit and bank) and found numerous ways to save money.
Glaringly, I also saw a few too many fast food stops by a child (who shall not be named) who snagged my “Gas only” credit card for personal use. (Don’t get me started. Another HUGE reason why cash needs to be king, especially with teens learning how to use money.)
STEP 3: Find one recurring charge that you no longer use or need, like a subscription or membership and cancel it.
Come on, you can do it. You probably don’t get your money out of that charge anymore anyhow.
I had automatic, reoccurring charges for some website urls that I had hung onto because it was going to be my next “new website” idea. Well, I’ve been paying for those for many, many years, so I finally cancelled them. They were renewing next month and now I have $100 more cash in my pocket.
I caught a banking error that had resulted in many monthly maintenance fees, so I put in a call to the bank for a refund.
STEP 4: Join me and CELEBRATE! We have saved money and have more cash in our pocket!!
*But wait? Are you someone that has nothing to cancel? That’s wonderful!! You are obviously doing something right, but you can still benefit from this too.
Find a recurring charge you don’t want to cancel completely and shrink it instead.
A few options that come to mind are from my 3 Ways to Save $500 Now post.
Can you find some luxury cuts, such as changing your phone plan so you’re not paying for data you don’t use, negotiating with your cable company or many more ideas (especially great ones in the comments of that post.)
Every little bit really adds up, even if it doesn’t seem like it in the short term.
I’d love to hear what you canceled and then we can do the happy money saving dance together. 🙂