I have been a regular reader of the @debtdiva via twitter and have enjoyed her articles as well. Recently I was sent a great reminder of ways to keep our wallets clean from future debt.

Americans are plunging deeper into debt each day. Take a look into your wallet. What’s inside can either help or hinder your journey towards debt free living. If your goal is to pay down your debt and live within your means it’s time to examine your wallet and give it a quick and easy spring “cleaning” with these tips from The Debt Diva.

  • Keep your credit in check! Remove your credit cards from your wallet and keep them at home in a safe place. Having easy access to credit can be too tempting for those who tend to make unplanned purchases.
  • Use Powerful Plastic. You don’t want to overdraw your account and pay hefty bank fees. If that’s a problem for you, consider getting a prepaid card. What’s different about a prepaid card is that it’s tied to a savings account (typically an online account) rather than a checking account. You can only spend the money available in your account. If you go over your balance, your charge will be denied and you won’t incur any fees.
  • $20 Life Saver. Keep a $20 bill in your wallet at all times. You never know when you will need to hit a pharmacy or convenience store for a small purchase just to make it through the day.
  • Pocket those receipts. Save the receipts from all purchases to track your spending and see where your money is going. This will help you keep your budget in check and make strategic purchasing decisions.
  • Keep the change. You can build a healthy savings account from the spare change left in your purse at the end of the day. Starting small is the way to large gains, and it will get you in the habit of saving! Always keep the change from any purchase, and put it straight into your piggy bank when you return home.
  • Rewards cards. No wallet is complete without rewards membership cards from vendors you frequent – particularly your grocery store. You should always keep those on hand for unexpected trips to pick up milk or eggs on the way home.
Still feeling overwhelmed and stressed? Check out The Debt Diva’s Great Money Makeover Contest for your chance to win a personalized debt relief plan from the Debt Diva!

Clarky Davis, The Debt Diva is a debt management expert with more than 10 years of personal and professional experience. As The Debt Diva she offers financial fitness education and “real world” money saving tips to help consumers trim their spending in just about every area of their lives. As The Debt Diva for CareOne Credit Counseling, Davis shares her savvy debt management tools with consumers and provides free downloadable guides at TheDebtDiva.com.

photo via consumerist