If you’re in a situation where you want or need to pay off debt fast, you might want to take more dramatic steps than the average person might in order to get rid of your debt quicker. If you’re eager to be one of Well Kept Wallet’s many featured Debt Success Stories, here are some things you can do to pay off debt fast – faster than you will with just the average plan.
1. Cut Spending Dramatically to Pay off Debt Fast
Yep, you heard it. Want to eliminate your debt quickly? Scrutinize your budget for each and every leak. Commit to dumping cable for a year, getting haircuts at the cheap chain salon and banning restaurant visits. Research the many different ways to slash your grocery budget and entertain your family for free, and put every saved dime toward debt payoff. In other words, analyze each and every line item in your budget and figure out a way to make it smaller, or to make it disappear altogether. It might be tough, living on so much less than you’re used to – at first. But soon you’ll find it a joy as you watch your debt numbers plummet at warp speed and achieve debt freedom faster than you ever thought possible.
2. Get a Second Job or Side Hustle
Find a second job or side hustle that fits in with your life, and commit to putting every earned income from that job or side hustle toward debt. Pretend like you never earned it, and then use every check you get to make a payment to a debt. There is such a wide variety of jobs and side hustles available, from working retail, to being a waiter/waitress at your favorite restaurant, to using your skills to start a side business, to selling stuff you’ve got lying around the house, unused. Simply work to find a plausible second income for yourself, and make that your “debt payoff” money.
3. Move to Cheaper Housing
Housing is often the biggest expense a person has. If that’s the case with you and you want to pay off debt fast, look for ways to reduce your housing expense. Move to a cheaper apartment, or downsize your house. If possible and/or necessary, move back in with mom and dad. Or get a roommate temporarily. Do what needs to be done to reduce your housing expenses, putting the money you’re saving on your new, cheaper housing toward your debt load.
4. Make Sure You’ve Got a Solid, Effective Plan
All of the income in the world will do nothing for you if you’re not managing it properly. The more effective your debt payoff plan is, the faster you’ll pay off your debt – period. Use the vast array of free online resources, whether it be a tracking tool, a frugality or financial management blog, or the many free/cheap online books about personal finance to put a solid plan in place that fits your personal situation. Then work that plan until your debt is gone.
Working to pay off debt, and pay off debt fast, does take some effort, however, anyone who’s reached debt freedom will tell you it’s worth every bit of work you put into it.
What are your tips for paying off debt fast? What budget cuts have you made that have been easier than you thought they would?
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