Think carefully about your spending patterns. When you are going into your purse or wallet to pay for a product or service do you pull out cash or a plastic card with a magnetic strip? If you are in debt, there is a very high likelihood that you are pulling out plastic to pay.
Maybe what I am about to say is blatantly obvious, but read it anyway. One of the reasons why we end up in debt is because we know all the "obvious" things but we do not change our behavior that that knowledge.
Do not Use Plastic … Only Use Cash!
1.There is no emotion associated with spending money through plastic.
2.When you pay cash you can see and feel the money going away.
3.You can see how much is left and your next purchase will be considered carefully.
4.Credit cards incur Riba / Interest. Since you are in debt, obviously you can not afford what you are buying on credit.
5.Fees, fees, fees … Save on those gosh darn fees!
If this is not enough to convince you then let's try a little experiment. It would be best to try this as of your next pay day, but if it is more than 3 days away, then start this experiment tomorrow (I really want you to try this).
• For the next one month, act as if there is no such thing as plastic cards. The only means for you to purchase something is cold, hard cash. Also there is no such thing as checks for the next one month.
• Document your emotions as there is less and less money in your purse or wallet.
• Document your spending during the month.
• Compare it to the previous month which was mostly plastic. That should be easy because all the activity is available online.
After the month is over, you will see then that giving up plastic while in debt, is like staying away from an addiction while in rehab.