A common misconception for people in debt is that they shouldn’t start saving until they pay off their balances. “The truth is, you need to save to become debt-free,” says Andrea Woroch, a money-saving and budget expert.
Although paying off debt is an important goal and necessary for reaching financial freedom, saving money at the same time is critical.
Rethink your budget. See where you cut out extras like streaming services and other nonessentials, and put that money in savings instead. You can also review monthly bills and negotiate rates with current providers; cancel unused subscriptions. “Tracking your daily and monthly spending can help you identify unnecessary spending and impulse purchases,” she adds.
If this still doesn’t give you much breathing room to save, think about how you can make some extra cash to put toward savings.
For instance, she says, you can find freelance work through sites like Upwork or FlexJobs, provide virtual tutoring for $20 to $50 an hour through Tutors.com, or make up to an extra $1,000 a month by pet sitting through Rover.com.