LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s time to spring clean — not just your closets and your home, but your finances.
A whopping 73% of consumers are living paycheck to paycheck, citing inflation as the primary source of their financial struggles.
Consumer finance expert Andrea Woroch said last year consumers racked up more than $180 billion in new credit card debt — the highest number we have ever seen.
“Even people who are making six figures, over $100,000, are reporting financial struggles,” Woroch said.
Experts recommend getting started by “refreshing” your budget. Go through your monthly bills and look for potential savings.
“Use an app like ‘You Need a Budget,’ which will set alerts, if you go over in more than one category,” Woroch said.
Another source of savings: Rethink your cell phone data plan. You might not need unlimited data and you can probably find a lower cost option. Mint Mobile charges only $15 a month, and right now, Woroch says, you can try the service for seven days.
Take a hard look at services you might not be using.
“Go through subscriptions or memberships,” Woroch advised. “Maybe you signed up for a trial and didn’t realize you were auto-enrolled.
Opt for free alternatives when available, such as streaming video content for free through your local library’s digital platform.
Use free perks through current memberships like Triple A or AARP. Take advantage of free local activities and events to stay busy on the cheap.
You don’t need to be over 50 to become a member. You can get discounts to restaurants, travel, rental cars and insurance programs.
And here’s something you shouldn’t overlook: “Look at your energy bill. Get in the habit of unplugging unused gadgets, do chores in off-peak hours, adjust the thermostat by one or two degrees … save you a bunch of money as well,” Woroch said.
The average American spends more than $300 on impulse buys every month. Spend time identifying spending triggers and look for ways to eliminate them. For instance, turn off sale notifications in-store apps, unsubscribe from retail newsletters and avoid walking into stores just to browse.