Step by Step Tips:

  • You need to know where you stand with your money
  • Monitor every dime you spend for a week/monthly/yearly
  • Analyze spending line by line and see where you can cut
  • See if you can afford to send more money straight to your saving account
  • Even just increasing direct deposit from your paycheck to your savings by 1% -- little enough not to really notice but big enough to make an impact
  • Separate out the variable spending: those things in the household budget you have control over

There’s not one formula that works for all, it’s about choosing the system that works best for you.

Envelope system: have a relationship with cash. Create an envelope for food, entertainment, and gas. You do this with every paycheck. Statistic, MIT did a study that when people are paying with cash, people have a pain reaction vs. when you pay with a credit card. People are detached from the credit cards. Money saving site and helps you keep track of where your money is going. Helps you save.

Beware of companies trying to placate your request for a lower APR by offering you a higher credit limit. Focus on your goal of lowering your interest rate.

Cite competitor offers "other credit cards are offering me zero percent introductory rates for twelve months as well as APR's of half what you're offering.”

If you have really good credit or your credit score has recently gone up, make sure you are getting the APR that you deserve. Do some research and find out what interest rate people with a score like yours typically get.
You’re probably going to be told “no" or “not authorized" by the first person you ask. Don’t stop there, ask to talk to a supervisor.

If you do decide to threaten to close your card, make sure you truly do have a better offer lined up. Don’t assume threatening to cancel is always going to result in a positive result.

You can go to To follow when you try to cancel your card.

You can also lower bills by checking your utility companies for discounts.

Jeanette’s Money Makeover

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Follow Emmy Award winning consumer reporter Jeanette Pavini on Twitter @jeanettepavini. For tips, ideas, and resources, visit her blog at

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