This is part of a weekly series on personal finance and wealth building. If you care to read them all, please click on the ‘Building Wealth’ category on the right.
I’m not a huge champion of frugality. I happen to think that once you’ve gotten out of debt and are moving towards your goals, you need to take advantage of the freedom that gives you and live a little. But while you’re digging out of debt, if you want to do that as quickly as possible, I do have a couple of quick, easy, and relatively painless ideas for you. Again, our goal here is to maximize your monthly contribution to your creditors.
Stop paying ATM fees.
When I sat down to build my budget to get out of credit card debt, my (now) wife pointed out how often I went to the ATM to pull out $20 (often because that was all I had), and paid $1, $2, or more for the privilege. I was easily going to a foreign ATM once a week, and often more, we found an easy $10 a month (sometimes more), I could stop spending. How? On a given day of the month, pull out the cash you’ll need for the month. Do that at your (fee free) bank. Alternatively, if like me you have issues with cash flow and maybe don’t have all the cash you’ll need for the month in your account on any given day, simply adhere to the rule that you do not, ever, go to foreign ATM. It’s a habit I carry with me to this day. Continue reading