Are you constantly being weighed down by debt? Have you been scouring through the pages of the internet looking for tips that will help you pay off debt fast?
Do you find yourself pondering on all the debt you have accumulated and wondering how you’re ever going to pay it all off? You’re not alone.
Well, look no further.
As you must have noticed by now already, accumulating debt is way easier than paying back.
If you’re owing money on credit card bills, student loans, car loans, etc, I want you to know you’re not alone.
For many, the reality of being in debt is too much to stomach so they simply choose not to. But when faced with certain life disasters (a job loss, a serious illness, etc), they’re forced to borrow money to keep up with their monthly payments.
You probably haven’t realized it yet, but your debt is one of the major reasons you’re still living paycheck to paycheck.
So if you have decided you want a better life for yourself and you want to take charge of your finances by making conscious efforts towards being debt-free, then you must be willing to put in the hard work and self-discipline.
Before you start repaying your debt though, there is every need to take a moment to determine how much debt you have and the kind of debt they are – whether it’s student loans, car loans, credit card debts, etc. Having this knowledge of your debt will help you come up with a personalized plan for debt payoff.
HOW TO GET OUT OF DEBT FAST
1. Stop Borrowing Money
This is a no-brainer. If you must get out of debt fast, then you’ll need to put that habit of borrowing money on a leash for now. This may sound cliche and obvious, and you might be like – Yea, of course I know will have to stop borrowing, but it goes beyond just knowing. You have to make conscious efforts, take actionable steps – like adjusting your budget and lifestyle to ensure you live within your means, and maintain a high level of self-discipline to see this plan through.
This would mean that borrowing money would not be your first line of action when faced with any little financial challenge or emergencies (emergencies should be taken care of with your emergency funds).
It will be easier to get out of debt fast if you don’t keep accumulating new debt. Remember what I said about having a knowledge of how much debt you owe and identifying the type of debt they are? If you keep accumulating new debt, you’d have to keep tampering with and changing your personalized plans to get out of debt.
So stop borrowing money, that’s the first step to take if you want to get out of debt fast.
2. Look For Ways To Make More Money
More income means more money right? And the more money you have, the more you’ll be able to allocate towards paying off that debt.
To get out of debt fast, you have to look for another source of income. Having a single source of income usually will not do the trick of giving you that financial stability.
So start looking for other ways to make more money. There’s a plethora of options to choose from online when it comes to making a sizeable income.
Getting a side hustle will help you make extra money which is a step in the right direction if you expect to pay off your debt fast.
3. Pay Off The Most Expensive Debt First
Here, you’ll need to arrange your debt in order of priority – and by priority, I mean from the most expensive to the least.
To do this, you’d need to identify the type of debt you owe and the amount that would be needed to repay each (again, remember I mentioned this earlier, it is very important to do this so you can better map out your debt repayment plan), and then tackle the debt with the highest interest rates first.
Doing this will help you save more on huge interest rates that would otherwise have been accumulated on such debts.
4. Delete Your Credit Card Information From Online Stores
Most people do lots of online shopping and it is totally okay if you belong in this category.
In the course of your buying stuff online, you have probably saved up your credit cards on various online shops for easier check outs or for renewal purposes.
But do you know that leaving your card details there will not only fuel the embers of your impulse buying habit, but it also leaves room for renewals to occur on your card – you probably might not even need the services for which you are being charged for, but the mere fact that you have your credit cards details saved up there gives them easy access to your money – money you do not have in excess yet.
So clear your credit card information from all online stores now. If you’re paying for a recurring service/subscription, make sure to disable auto renewal.
5. Change Your Spending Habits
If you want to pay off debt fast, now is the time to cut back on unnecessary spending and change your money spending habits.
If you’re always in debt and are consistently coming up short every month, examining your spending habits might be the best course of action to take.
It would make perfect sense to examine all the small ways you’re spending money daily. One of the most effective ways to do this is to write down each and every of your expenses each day.
By doing this, you’d be able to evaluate whether those purchases are worth it or not – and come up with plans to spend less on them or get rid of them totally.
If your own expensive habit is smoking or drinking (I’m not judging), you have to just quit. If you have never calculated what it actually costs to fund the habit of smoking and drinking, you may be shocked to find out what it adds up to over an extended period of time.
For those whose expensive habit is less incendiary, like eating out every other day, partying with friends, going on expensive romantic dates, etc., you need to work out a way to eliminate these expensive habits or replace them with less expensive alternatives.
Read also: How to have fun without spending money.
6. Create a Budget
To get out of debt fast, you’d need to take charge of your finances and there’s no better way to do this than creating a budget.
One of the main reasons you’re still in debt is probably because you don’t have a proper budgeting plan for all your finances.
A proper budgeting plan will make sure every dollar you earn is put into the best use. Also, it will help you scrutinize those categories that are making you spend more, giving you a chance to employ alternatives that would require less money or cut them off altogether.
So start today, and create a budget that would work for you. This is a step in the right direction if you want to solve your debt problem.
7. Allocate Work Bonuses And Other ‘Found Money’ Towards Paying Off Debt
People come across ‘found money’ all the time. It maybe an annual raise, a work bonus, an inheritance, or maybe you’re the lucky winner of a giveaway. Whatever the type of ‘found money’ it is, allocating it towards paying off your debt will go a long way in helping you become debt free.
You must avoid the temptation to spend this extra money on luxury or vacations and allocate the money towards paying off your debt because it is more important to become debt free than to own latest designer wears.
8. Sell Off Stuff You Don’t Need
Got any household items like birthday gifts, wedding gifts, etc., presently collecting dust in your home? Now is a good time to shed them off and make extra money from them. You can put them up for sale on eBay or Craigslist (do a little research and make sure you list your items at appropriate prices so you don’t leave money on the table).
Selling off those items you don’t need is a good way to drum up some cash quickly. So get to work now and take an inventory of your household items. You probably have stuff lying around that you rarely use and could live without, so why not put them to use by having them fund your debt.
If you stay in a neighborhood that permits it, a ‘garage sale’ is usually the easiest and cheapest way to quickly sell off your unwanted properties for quick profit.
9. Create an Emergency Fund
Unforeseen emergency situations like a sudden job loss, a pandemic, serious illnesses, economic recession, etc., is often one of the major reasons people rack up debt.
To stop yourself from borrowing money to sort out such situations when they arise, means you have to start saving towards emergencies. It is always a smart idea to save for the rainy day.
A good emergency savings should be able to sort you out financially for at least 4 – 6 months till you get your footing again.
Having a dedicated emergency savings will give you the advantage when any of such unforeseen occurrences happen and will ensure you don’t go on a borrowing spree.
10. Reward Yourself When You Complete Certain Milestones
Paying off your debt shouldn’t be all about punishing yourself. You need to have a self-reward system in place when you achieve certain debt pay off milestones. This will not only encourage you to want to achieve more but also, give you a general sense of financial fulfillment.
So when next you achieve a certain target in your quest to pay off debt, you need to give yourself more than a pat on the back. Give yourself a treat, plan a weekend camping trip, eat out in any of your favorite restaurants, go out with friends and have fun.
No, paying off debt shouldn’t be an intense gloomy period for you. So set your debt milestones today and attach appropriate rewards for whenever you tick off any of the set milestones.