As mostly everyone knows, debt can accrue quickly. However, eliminating debt is a much slower process (don’t we all wish it was the other way around?).
Debt from mortgages, cars, furniture, college, credit cards and so on can seem endless. Paying off your debt will give you much needed freedom and will also free up your cash each month.
There are many different ways that you can attack your debt. Maybe you want to knock out the smaller balances first so that you can see first-hand that you CAN actually eliminate debt quickly. Or maybe you want to go with the highest interest rates so that you can eliminate or lower the amount that you are paying in interest over the long-term.
Or maybe you want to attack them each little by little so that you can see progress everywhere? Either way, you want to knock out your debt right? Here are some ways that you can pay down debt faster:
1. Ask for a higher salary
If you believe that you deserve a higher salary for the work that you do, then ask! Hopefully, there is no harm in asking, and then you can easily make more money to put towards your debt.
2. Start a side hustle
Side hustles are great for extra income. This extra income (such as with #1 above) can then all be put towards debt payments. Your side hustle can be a retail job, personal trainer, bartending, waitressing, online income, blogging, babysitting and so on. The list really is endless. There are only so many ways that you can eliminate or lower your expenses, however, the amount of income you make can be whatever your heart realistically desires.
3. Pay more than the minimum on your balances
Paying just the minimum is usually not the best idea. Interest continues to accrue and adds up quickly. Adding even just an extra $10 to each payment will help eliminate your debt a little quicker (and you hopefully won’t even notice that the $10 is gone).
4. Eliminate extra expenses if you can
See if you can lower any of your bills, or cancel anything altogether if you don’t see value in it. Do you ever go to the gym, or just work out at home most of the time? See if you can cancel your gym contract without having to pay a large charge. This can save a lot of money, and this extra expense can then be thrown at your debt payments. Also, try calling up your phone or cable company to see if you can get any new deals which may be going on.
5. Snowball your payments
With this, any leftover money is made as a payment to your debt. For example, if you dedicate $100 to food each week, and you only spent $80, then throw the leftover $20 towards debt. Making small payments adds up over time and can help eliminate debt quickly. Another example is if you make $25 from selling something online, put your total earnings toward debt as well. If it’s money that you weren’t relying on in the first place, then you won’t miss it hopefully.
How do or did you pay down debt faster?
Michelle Schroeder is the founder of Making Sense of Cents and Diversified Finances, a personal finance and lifestyle blog about budgeting, traveling, life, and student loans. Read further on her story and life.