Debt is challenging to have, especially if you have high-interest debt. You may find it is intimidating to view your credit card statement each month, especially if you feel you aren’t making much progress toward the principal. The good news is there are a few ways to become more debt-free.
Consider a Loan
If much of your debt is from high-interest loans, it’s a good idea to consider consolidating it to a lower interest loan. That way, the dollars you put toward the loan will be going toward the principal, not just the interest. Taking out a personal loan from a private lender allows you to pay off the balance on your credit cards so you can get out of high-interest debt sooner.
Bringing in More Income
Of course, getting a higher paying job or working more hours isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially since it requires hard work. Still, even if working a second job or side hustle long-term isn’t sustainable for you, it can be a short-term solution while you are paying off debt. Getting a raise at work is one way of increasing income, especially if you have not recently met with your boss or had a review.
Speak about your work performance and ask what you can be working on to get a higher salary at some point. A side gig allows you to work as much or little as you want when you want to. That includes cleaning houses, walking dogs, doing freelance writing, or even taking part in market research online. The trick is to make sure all this extra income goes straight toward your debt and that you are not spending it.
Cutting out extra spending
If you are spending too much money, you may find there is not enough left at the end of the month to meet your obligations. Review small, regular transactions, such as subscriptions or regular dining out, and think about whether or not you really need these things. Consider cutting corners where you can, such as purchasing store brands instead of name brands.
Encourage yourself to make these sometimes-difficult changes by telling yourself it is only for a short period of time, until you are able to get out of debt. This can be a good way to measure personal growth because you will have tangible results to support your efforts. Subscription services are always happy to have you resubscribe, and you can always go out to eat to celebrate getting out of debt.
Coming up with a reasonable budget
Whether it’s a monthly, weekly or daily budget, knowing where each dollar is going so you can make sure you are living on the bare minimum. With a budget, you will become more financially secure since you will be keeping track of all recurring expenses, such as insurance, rent, utilities, transportation, food, and childcare.
Once you have created these categories, you will see how much extra you can put toward your loans. This should be a realistic budget so you will stick to it. For example, if you don’t allow yourself a realistic dollar amount for food each month, you may find yourself consistently going over budget.
Predicting your future expenses
When you have consistently and accurately budgeting out how much you are spending, you can begin to see a pattern of where your money is going and make adjustments. Maybe it’s cutting out a streaming service (or using a friend’s password), asking your landlord for $25 off your rent, or cooking at home as opposed to going out to eat. It might not have seemed like much when you didn’t have a budget, but after weeks and months of tracking your spending, you know that it adds up over time.