Get Another Income Stream
If debt is a hole, your income is the shovel that you will use to fill that hole. Large shovels can fill holes faster. Therefore, increase your income to more quickly rid yourself of debt.
Ways to earn more money and grow your shovel include
- becoming a part-time freelancer and offering any skills you may have
- offering lawn care services on the weekends
- taking on a part-time job in your spare time
Any money you earn from these additional income streams could really help to put a dent in your debt.
Cut Unnecessary Expenses
Many people are paying for things that they don't need or use. Ridding yourself of these expenses will free up more cash to throw towards your debt.
Some unnecessary expenses include
- eating out too frequently
- spending money frivolously
If you find that you aren't watching much television, cancel your cable or satellite subscription. On the other hand, if you're a TV lover, you can opt to purchase an antenna or a service that will allow you to stream shows for around 10 bucks per month. Also, avoid dining out too often and don't make impulse purchases nor buy things you don't need.
The money you're saving should be used to lower your debt.
Lower Necessary Expenses
This is far different from cutting unnecessary expenses. With this tip, you are lowering your living expenses.
Lower the electric bill by turning off any lights, lamps, or television sets when they are not in use. Also, unplug everything - from the smart TV to the microwave - even if these items aren't turned on; they could still be using electricity even when powered off.
Apply the money that you're saving to your debt.
Sell Things You Don't Need
Do some spring cleaning. Go through your closets and find any clothes, knickknacks, or other items you neither want nor use and sell them. Next go to the garage and get rid of everything from junk cars to unused tools.
Post your items on social media or have a yard sale. Assign each item a price based on its value.
Don't forget to get the kids involved. Many times children will have clothes or toys that they no longer use. Working together as a team can eliminate your debt sooner.
Allison Maxim says, "Don't do things blindly; have a plan." Budgeting is deciding how much you're going to spend and what you're going to spend it on.
It is you telling your money where to go. Having a written plan every month will help you to be more in control of how much money you're putting towards your debt.
For example, if you usually spend $100/week on food but decided to lower that cost to a strict $75/week or less, you would free up $25 each week to put towards your debt. Pre-plan your meals to help you stay within your budgeting goal.
Decide Which Debts to Pay Off First
You can choose to pay off the smaller debts first or you can opt to tackle the debts that have the higher-interest rate. There are benefits for both choices.
If you start off attacking the smaller debts, you'll get satisfaction sooner because you'll see yourself eliminating debt and becoming free from debtors. You'll feel as though you're making great progress.
However, if you attack the debts that have the larger interest rates, you will end up paying less in the long run. The downside to this option is, you may get discouraged when you see that the debt is still there even though you've been paying on it.
Choose the option that would be more stress-free for you.
Some career paths actually eliminate some or all of your debt for you. Examples of careers or opportunities to eliminate your debt without paying it are
- joining the military
- beginning a career in education
- moving to an area that forgives loans
Dispute Your Debts
If there is fraudulent activity on your credit report, dispute it. Contact the debtor to resolve the case and to have that debt permanently removed.
Examine all of your debts carefully to ensure that none are imputed incorrectly in your name. Doing this could save you thousands of dollars.
Contact a Credit Repair Expert
Credit repair experts know how to eliminate debt. They may choose to consolidate your debt or work with your debtors. They may even find errors in your credit report, which could save you money in the long run.
You will have to come out of your pocket if you take this route, but your mind will be at ease knowing that an expert is handling your cases.
Make Smart Purchases
This option goes hand-in-hand with spending only on necessities and with budgeting. When you shop smart, you seek to save.
Purchase items that you have a coupon for or that are in season. Seasonal foods can be bought for cheap, and coupons are readily available in newspapers and online. You can also call your favorite companies to ask them to send you coupons.
The money you're saving from shopping smart should be applied to your debt.