Put that income tax refund to good use and pay down some debt. You may think of this money as a great bonus and try to use it to buy yourself a present. Of course you need a reward at the end of the tax year……but wouldn’t a better reward be less interest on those pesky credit cards? Think about it!
Try out the store brand. I know most of us are loyal to a praticular brand when it comes to certain things. I do not think I could survice without Palmer’s Cocoa Butter!!! But there are many cases where the less expensive store brand will do just as good a job as the widely recognized and more expensive brand. Try your store brand out and then if you like it you can always save money in the future.
Use the money. If you force yourself to pay cash for things you will end up using less and less. This is because it is a hassle sometimes to use cash and many people simply hate the idea of walking around with cash. If you leave your credit cards and check book at home then you will be less likely to run towards the impulse purchases we find ourselves craving. If you REALLY enjoy swiping cards then you can get the same ‘cash policy but card convenience’ by using your DEBIT card. Now take a deep breath…..aaaaaaahh. You just had a feel good swipe without the interest rate bite that comes with using your credit card.
Pay those bills as soon as they come in the mail. I know this is hard for some of us because you want to pay off those bills as late as possible so you can feel like you have some money in the bank. However,since many companies use the average daily balance to charge interest, the longer you wait to pay the bill after it is sent out the more interest you are charged.
Shred the blank checks you get from your credit card company. In many cases the blank checks your card company sends you are at the higher rate of your cash advances. Use your online or telephone system to transfer balances and be sure that the rates you will be receiving are in your best ‘interest’…..sorry about the play on words, but I could not resist.