Credit cards, student loans, housing loans – all of these can land you pretty deep in debt, and often it would feel like you’re only working so you can pay it all off, leaving you with little to no savings at all. Getting out of debt can seem insurmountable and take years, even decades to do, but it is possible. Here are some of the easiest ways to pay off your debts.
Cut your expenses.
Where does your money go? Make a list of your monthly expenses and cross out the things you can realistically do without. One of the easiest ways to pay off debt is to avoid unnecessary spending, so create a new, strict budget that reflects only the essentials.
There are big expenses, such as transportation, housing, and food costs, and then there are smaller ones, such as clothing and going to the movies. Experts advise that focusing on cutting costs from larger expenses first will make a more noticeable difference in bringing down the cost of debt, and even make it easier for you to slash smaller expenses.
For instance, if the apartment you’re renting costs more than you make in a month, you should definitely consider getting a roommate to split expenses with or look for a smaller unit that costs less. It would be better to look for a place that is located nearer to your office – this way, you can drive less (or not at all), ride a bike, take public transportation, or walk instead, saving on transportation costs and ultimately letting you have more money to pay your debts off with.
As for your smaller spending habits, do you really need to drop by the coffee shop for a latte every day? Is buying a new book a must every week, or can you head to the library instead? There are lots of ways to enjoy the lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to without spending so much, or at all. Keep your eyes open for discounts on the items you usually purchase or take advantage of coupons you can find online from places like Total Discounts.
Don’t worry, living on as little as possible doesn’t have to go on forever, unless of course you begin to like the simple, bare-bones lifestyle so much you decide to continue long after you’re out of debt.
Sell the things you don’t need.
It may be a gaming console you’ve outgrown, an old film camera you no longer use, or a couple of mismatched lamps – if you don’t need it or have no use for it anymore, go on and sell it. Have a yard (or garage) sale or sell your items online. This way, you turn unused items into cash you can use to pay off your debts. It’s a good decluttering strategy, too.
Monetize your skills.
Earning more money outside of your regular work can help with paying off debts faster. For instance, doing menial chores for others on weekends – such as mowing yards, cleaning houses or trimming hedges – lets you earn some extra cash on the side. If you’re good at organizing files or scheduling meetings, you can try your hand at becoming a virtual assistant. Use the money you earn to pay off debts right away. Every bit helps, and bonus points if you find a task or a side job that you enjoy.
See, paying off debts not only feels good, it can be fun too!