With the average American household debt running close to $25,000 it’s no wonder so many people are struggling to get out from under the heavy burden. You might think that there is no reason to fight a system that seems bent on keeping everyone beholden to someone else, but there are plenty of good reasons why you should. With just a few simple strategies, you could win the battle against debt and come out on the other side free as a bird.
- Don’t Just Pay The Minimum Payment
If you only make the minimum monthly payment it will probably take you three times as long to pay down your debt. If you pay just a few dollars more each billing cycle, the additional money will be part of your principle payment that won’t have extra interest charges tacked on. Do this a few times, and you’ll be surprised what a few extra dollars can do to reduce your bottom line.
- Pay From Small To Large
By paying off the smaller bills first, you can use the extra money to double on the larger bills later. Just make sure that once you pay off the smaller bills you don’t use that money to buy something else. It can also be quite edifying to see those bills marked “paid in full” at the end. Paying off just a few small bills will be enough motivation for you to continue with the bigger payments.
- Get A Side Job
If you have a skill or a talent that you can make money from, then use some of your free time to make a little extra cash to go towards the bills. Maybe you can take care of someone’s kids occasionally or you can haul someone’s junk away. The general idea is that every little bit helps to pay down your debt.
- Create A Budget And Stick To It
To really pay off your debt fast you must stop adding to it. This means cutting your expenses. Start by cutting your expenses down to as little as possible and live within the confines of that amount. All the rest of your money should go to paying off the debt you owe. Keep in mind that sticking to a strict budget like this is only temporary. When you get back on better footing financially, you may be able to loosen up those purse strings a little bit.
- Have a Garage Sale
We all have things that we no longer use. So, when you really get into a pinch and need cash in a hurry consider selling some of that stuff you have stashed around your house. If you have high-quality things that are worth more than garage sale fare, take them to a consignment shop or list them on some of the online reseller pages where you can get what they are worth. Then use the money to pay down your debt.
- Get A Second Job
If you have the time, take on a little extra work. You could find a part-time or a seasonal job that will afford you a little extra cash to pay down the bills. Holiday season is a great time to pick up some extra work and depending on where you live, summer jobs can be plentiful too. There are lots of temporary agencies to help you find small jobs that may only take a day or two and will pay you well.
- Transfer Your Bills to Lower Interest Rates
If the interest rates on your bills are what’s keeping you under, then you can either seek professional help from debt relief service providers or find a creditor with lower interest rates and transfer your debt to them. Many companies offer a zero percent introductory rate to make it easier on you. You could also speak to your bank and request a lower interest rate. If you qualify, it can reduce your monthly payments considerably.
While most people are buried deep in debt, it doesn’t mean you have to be. There are many good reasons why you should take control of your financial life. Carrying the weight of debt year after year wreaks havoc on your finances and on your quality of life. You can find true freedom with a zero balance if you have a good plan to make it happen.