I know what it’s like to pay off debt. It requires discipline. It requires making sacrifices. It requires creativity. It also requires hopefulness. That’s why a recent survey showing that 18 percent of individuals expect to die in debt caught my attention. It reminded me of the importance of hope in achieving any goal, but especially in paying off debt.
No one has to accept monthly debt payments as a part of life. You can pay off debt. The Internet is full of stories of individuals who have paid off massive amounts of debt. I’ve not done any research on it, but I’d venture to guess many of those stories have one common theme – not overlooking anything.
Yes, we all know you can cut spending. Cutting spending, or frugality, will only take you so far in paying off debt. In many instances, it’s going to require creativity. If you’re currently paying off debt, make sure you’re not overlooking any of the following ways to kill your debt.
Earning Extra Money
Making extra money is one of the best ways to pay off debt. Why is that? There is one simple reason – all of that money can be thrown at your debt. The extra money from your cutbacks will help, but will only go so far. Think of the extra money as a way to put your debt repayment on hyper speed. That being said, nearly every time I speak with someone who is paying off debt they’re not seeking ways to make extra money. It doesn’t make sense.
There are many ways you can earn extra money, from simply asking for a raise to having a side hustle or getting a part-time job. If you want to pay off your debt quicker this is one of the best ways to do so.
How many loans or credit cards are you paying each month? It’s likely if you have 2-3, or more, you would benefit from looking at a loan consolidation. In fact, even if it’s one loan a consolidation could make sense if it lowers the interest you have to pay.
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I’ve found this to be overlooked as many I speak with are just going through the motions of making multiple monthly payments. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you want to pay off your debt quicker, take a look at some of the best debt consolidation companies to see how they can help.
Prioritization was one of the best tools I used to pay off my credit card debt. However, I didn’t seek it out at first. It took someone walking me through the process of prioritizing my spending to see the power it could have.
You may be thinking this sounds a lot like budgeting. It is, to a certain extent. Simply put, you need to look at what you’re spending money on and the value it provides. That’s not to say you have to cut everything as you do need to have balance, but you do need to see if the extra spending on a certain item would be better spent on debt repayment.
Minding the Groceries
Watching your grocery spending sounds a bit too far off to help with debt repayment. It really isn’t. The average food waste, per person, is $520 each year. Take that amount by how many people you have in your family and you’ll see the extra money being wasted.
That doesn’t mean you can instantly consume everything you buy. What it does mean is you can add some mindfulness to your grocery shopping. If you’re throwing away the same thing or same amount of some food item on a regular basis, start viewing that as money you’re throwing away that could be thrown at debt instead. That can be a powerful visual lesson of how a shift in spending can benefit you.
There are many ways to pay off debt. Your situation is going to look different from others. Make sure not to overlook opportunities where you can kill your debt instead of dying with it.