I believe the only thing that is okay to be in debt for is a home. But by no means have I been perfect my entire life about having debt. I’m a millennial that went through the student loans and paying off credit card debt. I learned the hard way.
I have loved ones that believe being is debt is a necessary way of life. I completely disagree. After being upside down financially and having starting to come up for air in recent years, I know that debt is a dagger to your livelihood.
After being upside down financially and having starting to come up for air in recent years, I know that debt is a dagger to your livelihood.
Paying Off Credit Card Debt
So how do you deal with paying it off? Not just credit cards, but all debts? What are the habits that will help you get back afloat with your money?
I’m sure you hate making those darn credit card payments and end up wondering where all of your money goes by the end of the month. So here are some of the tips and things that I’ve implemented to ensure that you can do to make a positive direction with your money instead of a negative one.
Whether you’re a beginner at chipping away at your debt, or you’re just bored at the endless cycle without feeling progress, there is something here for you.
Assign Extra Budget Money Toward Debt
Go beyond the minimum payments that you owe and contribute more than expected. Go through your budget and see where the little bits of extra money are and funnel them toward your debts.
This doesn’t mean that you have to give up completely on spending a little bit here and there. It means that you are starting to make the decision of telling your money where to go. It will do what you tell it to do. So make progress with it by shifting priorities in your budget.
My friend Heather from Blissful Intent has a fantastic course on Blissful Budgeting that I highly recommend. If you’re needing a little bit of guidance on where you stand with your money, don’t start with confusion. Start with an expert.
Use The Snowball Method
If you’re a fan of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover like I am, you may be familiar with his debt snowball. The idea here is that once you’ve paid something off, you take the money you were using for that paid off debt and then put it on top of the next payment you’re trying to get rid of.
This way you have a greater flux of money going toward paying off your debt faster and faster by adding funds on top of each other. Don’t just put that extra money back into spending when a debt is gone. Add it to the money you can use to pay things down.
Cut Up The Credit Cards
One BIG key in getting and staying out of debt is to STOP bringing on MORE debt. Hello! What’s the point of trying to climb out of the barrel if you keep jumping in?
So remove the methods that will contribute to further debt.
- cut up your credit cards so you can’t use them
- commit to not going to the bank for another loan
- stop borrowing from friends and family
- drive your car until it dies instead of trading it in for a newer model
It may seem scary at first, the idea of putting your credit card through a pair of shears. But I promise that you will feel an immediate sense of relief when you do. Stop the problem before it starts.
Generate More Income Specifically For Debt Payments
Now you don’t have to be working around the clock like a crazy person and destroy your health while you’re at it. But you can certainly do a few things to bring in a little extra cash without sacrificing beyond your means.
- have a garage sale and get rid of items you no longer want
- sell your gently used clothing on sites like ThredUp, and get a $10 bonus just for starting
- resell books or used items worth the value on Amazon
- post items for sale on local Facebook groups
- get a part time job for nights and weekends like delivering pizza
- use free apps like Ibotta or Yaarlo to scan receipts and earn cash back with more $10 bonuses just to start
- sell a car or trade it in for a cheaper vehicle
- monetize your blog, or start one with long term financial goals in mind
Every little bit helps and you will not regret making the extra effort in the short term.
Related: Desperate To Know How? Start A Blog And Enrich Your Life
Use Your Rebates And Returns
It’s always fun to spend the extra cash you weren’t expecting because it’s like a birthday gift. Doing that isn’t a bad thing because you’ve been working hard and I encourage you to enjoy your life. But do it with proper intentions.
- When you get your tax return, don’t spend it all on your summer vacation. Take at least half of it and pay off the rest of one of your debts.
- When you get your rebate check from Ebates for the online shopping you already do, take that money and put it toward those credit cards or car loans.
You often aren’t expecting these sorts of returns or don’t know exactly what you’ll get back. So putting it toward a debt won’t feel like anything was wasted or missed out on, because you never had it to begin with.
Spend Less At The Grocery Store
How much you spend on your food is the biggest area where you can likely minimize the cost. Say you’re currently spending $800 per month on food for your family. If you implement a few things with how you grocery shop, you can easily find an extra $100-200 to put toward debt without even changing what you’re buying at the grocery store.
- learn how to use coupons the right way with inexpensive courses like Grocery University
- use Deals To Meals to know what items are priced significantly cheaper than Walmart and plan your meals around them
- make a list before your go and stick to it, nothing extra
- use the envelope system so that you’re only paying with cash at checkout
- use programs like FreezEasy so that you have planning done ahead of time
- buy your expensive items like meat through Zaycon wholesale for much cheaper
If it means giving up a few indulgence items like ice cream or candy, it’s worth it when all those dollars add up at the end of the month.
Get Support From The Right Places
If you’ve got family members or friends who think that you’re crazy to even attempt living debt free, stay away from the subject. Don’t ask their advice or thoughts because they will most definitely conflict with your desires.
Utilize all the channels for positive support.
- post on Facebook your goals and progress so that you’re accountable
- join awesome groups like The Busy Budgeters that can answer questions and offer help
- utilize counseling resources that your church or community may offer
- ask me questions here or on the Facebook page so I can help too!
Even if you think that you’re alone in your debt struggles, I promise you’re not. There are many who have been there before and are working toward the same things. It’s a great way to build supporting relationships.
It’s Easier Than You Think
The hardest part is taking that first step. But once you’re moving, it’s much easier to get going faster and faster along the way.
Most of all … DON’T QUIT! If you really want to change the way you experience life, use money as a tool and not a detriment. You absolutely have all the power within you to pay off your debts and live a free life.
If I could recommend just ONE thing that will make the biggest impact on your finances, it would be to create a budget and stick to it.
I will track my progress with you and be your support too! But if I could recommend just ONE thing that will make the biggest impact on your finances, it would be to create a budget and stick to it. Make it a regular practice and habit to consult and work with it every month.
You can get started easily with a budget through with the Blissful Budgeters.
I promise that you will never regret paying off your debts! It creates a freedom and stress relief that is beyond comprehension until you have felt it yourself.
You can do it. I believe in you. 🙂
How are you finding ways to pay off your debt?