debt free living

6 More Ways to Pay off Your Debt

pay debtDebt sucks. Let’s be honest. Paying off debt is hard. You’re spending money on making credit card and loan payments (and paying interest) when you probably want to be spending it on yourself, doing other things. Trust me I know a thing or two about paying off debt. I used to be over $50k in debt. However, I overcame my debt and you can too.

Here are 6 ways to help you become debt free:

Budget

People accumulate debt for a number of reasons, but the most common factor of consumer debt is overspending. If you want to learn to live within your means to avoid getting into more debt – or even better, live below your means so you can start saving – then you need to budget.

Track your spending and learn where your money goes. From there you can cut expenses and start spending less. Leave yourself some room in your budget for fun money, but avoid impulse purchases at all costs.

Catch up on your bills

Late fees are costly. If you want to avoid expensive interest charges and late fees, then get caught up on your bills. Look at your recent statements for your utilities, cell phone and credit cards. If you’re late then make a lump sum payment to catch up.

Spending extra money on bills means you’ll need to cut spending somewhere else, but it’s a short term sacrifice to save you money in the long run.

Close your cards

No one needs to have five or six credit cards; you don’t even need to have three. I used to think that having a wallet full of gold and platinum credit cards in my 20s made me an adult, when in fact it just proved my immaturity.

Close all your accounts and keep one (maximum two) open for use later on after you get your spending under control. Until that day comes and your debt is paid off, keep your credit cards on ice.

Ask for help

Sometimes our financial situations can get so out of control that we can’t see a way out of the mess. That was true for me. Before I started taking the steps above to pay off my debt I sought the advice of a bankruptcy professional. They explained how the process worked when filing for bankruptcy and gave me some alternatives.

I chose the alternatives because in order to teach myself a lesson in financial responsibility I thought, I got myself into this mess and I’m going to get myself out of it.

Stop spending

This won’t help your debt get paid off, but it will stop it from further accumulating. Actually indirectly it will help your debt get paid off sooner than later because the less you spend on personal needs and dining out, the more you can spend on paying off your debt.

One reason why debt doesn’t get paid off is because people keep using their credit cards and accumulating more debt. That’s a terrible – and financially unhealthy – cycle. So if you want your debt to paid off you’re going to have to stop spending. There’s just no other way around it.

Earn a second income

It’s no secret that more money equals more payments. If you have a fixed income, then you need to find other income sources. Once you start looking you may be surprised at how many ways there are for people to earn more income. You can get a second job, you can use your skills to start freelancing or you can sell your unused and unwanted stuff.

Take all the income from your newfound revenue stream and put it towards paying off your debt each and every month. Trust me, it will help. You won’t see your debt get paid off overnight, but you will see it be paid off a lot faster than if you continue making the minimum monthly payments.

About the author

TK

TK is a Certified Financial Planner with over 15 years of experience in the banking industry. She started blogging in 2009 after the market crash. TK enjoys helping people plan their retirement, pay off debt, invest wisely, live on a budget and enjoy happy financial lives. You can see what she's up to on Twitter @TahnyaKristina.

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