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Debt has a way of blocking the path to your goals. Whether it’s just a small balance on a credit card or a mountain of bills screaming for attention each month, debt can be devastating if you don’t deal with it quickly. And it won't go away if you ignore it or run, the person you owe money to could bring in a debt collection agency to find you and hold you accountable for your debt.
Paying down debt requires persistence, dedication, and determination. If you want to pay off the debt you’ve accrued in your life, here are several tips you may find helpful:
If getting out of debt is your goal, it’s important to stop using credit cards. Every time you swipe that small piece of plastic, the balance goes up, costing you more in interest and fees. If you must use a credit card, try to avoid taking advantage of perks like cash advances. These “perks” not only add to your balance but they also often come with additional fees and high interest.
For help to get out of debt from credit card use, try freezing your cards in ice. By the time they thaw out and are useable again, the urge to spend may have passed.
2. Put as Much as Possible Toward Debt Each Month
While putting money away in an emergency fund is important, the more money you can put toward debt each month, the faster you can be free of your obligations.
For example, if you saved some money at the grocery store by stacking coupons with sales, put the savings toward your debt. Did you get some overtime on your last paycheck? If so, use the extra cash to pay down your debt. Remember, every penny counts, so put as many pennies as possible toward paying off your debt.
3. Cut Spending
Take a look at your finances and identify areas where you could cut spending to save money. Do you make daily visits to the local coffee shop on your way to work? Maybe you go out to eat once a week or more. These are unnecessary expenses that you can do without in order to access funds to pay down your debt faster.
If you’re struggling to find ways to cut spending, try using software like You Need a Budget to help you build a budget and take control of your finances so you reach your goals faster.
4. Make Double Payments
If you owe money on more than one credit card, figure out which one has the highest interest rate and dedicate as much money as you can each month to paying it off. Pay the minimum balance due on the rest. Once the highest interest rate card is paid off, allocate the payments you’ve been making to that one to the next card in line.
By following this method for each card you have, you will pay your debt down as quickly as possible and be debt-free before you know it!
5. Use Windfalls of Cash to Pay Down Debt
As tempting as it is to spend windfalls of cash on something fun, the smart thing to do is to put that money toward paying off your debt. Windfalls of cash could be anything from a bonus at work to winning cash on a scratch-off lottery ticket – any extra cash you didn’t plan on getting.
Mountains of debt can be devastating. For help to get out of debt fast, follow the tips outlined above. Remember, the faster you can pay down your debt, the faster you can start enjoying life without stress and worry.