If you’re like millions around the world, chances are you have some sort of debt. Whether it be consumer credit cards and consolidation loans, student loans, mortgage debt, or car payments, you can pay it off and live a less stressful life.
Here are some ways to quickly reduce your debt levels:
Budget your money, and stick to it
- Figure out how much you are spending each month. Find small ways to reduce your outgoings without taking a significant hit all at once. Learn to live below your means and put the rest of the money into paying off debts and your emergency fund.
Prioritise the debt over needless spending
- Is your eating out budget more than 5% of your total budget? Subscriptions? Fancy dinners? Cigarettes? Alcohol? It’s too much if you’re in debt. In your budget make a reasonable budget for these expenses and stick to it. You can have these when you’re not broke.
Debt snowball method
- Debt snowball method is when you take the smallest debt you owe and make extra payments to it until it’s paid off. You then take what you were paying on that and add that to the next lowest amount and continue this until you’ve paid off all your debts.
Debt avalanche method
- Debt avalanche method is when you take the highest interest debt you have and make extra payments to that debt until it is completely paid off. You then take that payment, like in the snowball method, and apply it to the next highest interest amount until it’s all paid off.
0% interest credit cards (for those responsible with them)
- Many credit cards out there will reward those with good credit with introductory offers that are 0% for a specified number of months for balance transfers. If you are able to use these offers and cards responsibly, it is easy to take advantage of paying off chunks of high interest debt at 0%.
Cut up your credit cards
- If credit cards are why you are in this mess, we suggest cutting them up until you are debt free and wiser. It is easy to swipe a card and think about it later. It takes skill to spend responsibly.
- For some, a debt consolidation loan may be the best option. It allows you to combine most of your debts into one lower monthly payment with a lower interest rate. This can save you stress monthly by freeing up some income as well as money by paying it off at a lower interest rate.
Use windfalls to pay down debts
- It may happen in your lifetime that you inherit or win money. While it is easy to dream of all the luxuries you want to be spending it on, it’s important for your financial future that you are responsible with this money and first pay down or off what you owe.
Get a second job/ side hustle
- You’re budgeting and saving money where you can but it’s still not enough to get you out of the financial hole you’ve built. Now is the time to look into getting a second job or starting a side hustle. If you have a skill and some time, you can earn some extra money. Mowing lawns, data entry, social media management, babysitting– the list is endless! You could even try to offer your services on a sites like upwork.com, fiverr.com or taskrabbit.com
Build an emergency fund
- There will always come a time where something unexpected will come up. A trip to the hospital, a parking ticket, a leaky roof, an unexpected move, a funeral. And you’ll need to come up with the money somehow. Wouldn’t it give you peace of mind to know when these things come up, you’re prepared? An ideal emergency fund would include 3-6 months of expenses available in a high interest savings account.
These are our ideas for reducing debt. How would you reduce your debt? Tell us in the comments below and thanks always for your support!