Working on clearing your name of debt can certainly feel as if you are climbing Mount Everest. Fortunately, that is just a flawed perspective. Your debt mountain may be easier to overcome than you think and with a few tricks, you may be able to demolish it completely.
So set down the rappel rope and climbing harness and let’s take a look at some easy ways to minimize your Everest-sized debt mountain.
Make Some Lifestyle Changes
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that living above your means is what most likely allowed this debt to accumulate. Whether you went to school on student loans or used your credit card for that last vacation – you were relying on borrowed money to sustain you.
Now that you’ve taken on the task of addressing your debt, it will take some lifestyle changes to do so. Remember that each small change you make in your daily life will help you in your debt freedom goal. You do not have to do a complete life overhaul, making yourself uncomfortable, in order to pay off your debt.
Simple tricks such as sticking to a grocery list and not buying unnecessary things can make more of an effect on your finances than you think. An extra $10 a week placed into a savings account can accumulate $520 each year! That cash could be saved and you could put an extra payment towards your debts.
Every extra payment you make on your debts can help reduce your interest. This is because your interest is based on the total remaining amount due. Your extra payments will not only lower the amount you owe, but they will lower your monthly or annual interest charges as well!
Sell That Clutter
A very popular mantra reads “if it does not serve you, let it go”. While many people apply this to their social life it also speaks truth about our personal belongings.
America is a land of consumerism and it is very hard to break away from that trend. Having more belongings does not make you happier, in fact it’s been proven that you suffer mentally when your home is over cluttered or messy.
You can boost up your creative flow, reduce stress, and make some extra cash by selling those unused belongings in your home. Taking it one room at a time start by removing 5 items. Large unused appliances, jewelry and collectables can make you some quick cash when sold to pawn shops or at yard sales.
Take the extra cash you make from these sales and deposit it directly into either a savings fund, or make an extra payment on the loan you’re trying to pay off. Every little dig at your mountain, no matter how small, will help knock it down.
Turn a Hobby Into a Money Maker
Many of us have a craft or hobby that we enjoy doing to pass the time. For most people, that hobby can be turned into an extra way to make money. In fact, many financial experts will state that it is necessary to have more than one source of income in today’s economy.
Take some time to think about what things you could do to make extra cash. Your hobby does not necessarily have to be creating things or art. In fact many people are so busy they are looking for people to help them with tasks you may find very rewarding. Landscaping in the summer, cleaning peoples homes and consulting are all options that do not require much creativity- but could make you some extra cash.
You can use this extra money you make to start a savings fund. Because it is a second form of income you can focus it only towards savings while using your primary income to pay off your debts.
Save, Save, Save
Save while paying off my debts?
We know, it seems like too much to tackle. However, a savings fund is essential to staying out of debt once you get out. Life is full of surprises and it is impossible to plan for everything. By having savings set aside you can be more prepared if an unexpected expense arises.
This will also prevent you from reaching out to lines of credit, which you may have to do if you don’t have those savings in place. You are trying to remove your debt, not create more. So build your savings to make it your first line of defense for emergencies.
Find every chance you can to save money from eating out less to finding the best gasoline prices. Prevent unnecessary spending and keep your goals in mind for motivation.
Stick To a Plan
With all of the above ideas you can work on a plan for paying off your debt. A conscience plan is crucial to paying off your debt successfully. Without clear intentions on how you will pay off your debt you may unintentionally stretch the process out longer.
There are several methods of paying off your debt. There are “highest interest first” or “all at once” plans and it is best to take a look at each one to decide which is best for you and your debt mountain.
If your feeling overwhelmed by the choices or having trouble sorting all the details out, look into a debt payoff planner. With helpful features such as debt breakdown charts and tracking your spending habits these planners can relieve some of the stress and hard work out of paying off your debt.
Whether you choose to implement one or all of the above strategies you are sure to make progress on becoming free of debt. Even on a low income you can handle your debt, it just takes a little planning and effort.
If you have any experience with conquering the sky-high cost of your own debts, leave a comment and share your best debt advice in the section below.