How I’ve kept my monthly credit card bill under $200

Part of my aggressive loan repayment tactic includes forcing myself to keep my monthly credit card bill to approximately $200. As a reformed shopaholic, this has proven challenging. In fact, on more than one occasion I have bought an item only to return it later in the hopes of keeping below my monthly ‘limit’. Here are a few reasons I’ve been able to keep my bill so low:

1. I made the goal. Everyone loves a good challenge, right? Just the simple act of making it my goal to keep under $200 has motivated me to make the necessary changes. The few times I returned something, I felt so satisfied knowing that I was reducing my bill that the actual item didn’t even matter anymore.

2. I limited my restaurant eating. As someone that loves going out and enjoying meals with friends, this was tough and definitely a sacrifice. There have been many times I’ve had to turn down plans because I had already reached my eating out quota. Generally if I can stick to once a week, I’m good. The great thing about this is that I truly look forward to each date because they are so few and far between!

3. I don’t make big ticket purchases. Of course life happens sometimes and you’re forced to buy something. But at this point in time, with no home or car expenses, emergency spending is pretty limited. I’ve (almost) completely stopped shopping for clothes and stick with what I have. With year of accumulated clothing, I have enough to last me for the next little while. When I think about it, buying one item for $50 is already 25% of my monthly budget. To me, it’s just not worth it.

4. Being a server, I have the unique perk of constantly having cash. Every week I try to keep a few dollars of my tip money for everyday small spending i.e. buying my lunch when I need to or grabbing a quick snack. This definitely helps keep my credit card bill low and the amount I give myself weekly fluctuating based on the amount I make in tips from day to day.

And there you have it! How do you keep your credit card bills low?


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