No matter your financial ladder position, you can always turn your finances around and eliminate debt. All you need is a detailed plan and determination to bring your objectives to fruition. Of course, the first step is always the hardest to make.
To help you out, we’ve created a list of helpful suggestions that will take you on an ultimate money-smart journey. Admittedly, no single idea will change your life overnight, but if you implement several of them, you’ll see the difference. Check out these 25 ingenious hacks on how to get out of debt smartly and sustainably.
Table of Contents
- 1 How To Pay Off Debt Methods
- 2 Ways How to Get Out of Debt
- 2.1 Create A Financial Budget
- 2.2 Use A Balance-Transfer Credit Card To Pay Off Debt
- 2.3 Take Out a Personal Loan
- 2.4 Reduce Credit Card Spending Limit
- 2.5 Switch to Eco Transport
- 2.6 Start Couponing
- 2.7 Stop Eating Out
- 2.8 Ditch The Cable Company
- 2.9 Find Free Entertainment
- 2.10 Switch To Consignment Shopping
- 2.11 Cancel Your Gym Membership
- 2.12 Brew Your Coffee
- 3 Tips for Getting Out of Debt
- 3.1 Stop Creating More Debt
- 3.2 Avoid Expensive Hobbies
- 3.3 Get A Second Job
- 3.4 Start A Side Gig
- 3.5 Set Up Automatic Transfers
- 3.6 Pick A Weekly ‘No-Spend’ Day
- 3.7 Sell Items You No Longer Need
- 3.8 Plan Your Grocery Shopping
- 3.9 Check The Library
- 3.10 Learn To Say No
- 3.11 Avoid Major Purchases
- 3.12 Maintain An Emergency Fund
- 3.13 Get Outside Help
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 FAQ
How To Pay Off Debt Methods
Paying off outstanding debts can be exhausting and stressful. Luckily, there is a road mark of steps anyone can take to make their financial strategy work out. Always make the smallest changes first and once you become comfortable with those, proceed further. Nothing can stop you from becoming debt-free this 2021.
The Snowball Method
The snowball strategy presumes that you’re ready to pay more than the minimum monthly payments towards your debts. The method helps people in financial mishaps speed up the repayment process and build momentum. Consider the following steps to make out most of the strategy.
- Draw up a thorough list of any unsettled debts you may have from smallest to largest. Ignore all loan features, including interest rates and repayment amounts, and focus on the balance only.
- Concentrate on repaying the smallest one as this will take the least time and resources to settle. In the meantime, pay the minimums on the other loans and credit cards.
- Keep paying off the smallest balance aggressively and once you settle it, cross it off the list.
- Take every dollar you were paying towards the smallest loan and transfer it to the next one on the list. By doing so, the total payments towards the next loans will only grow larger.
- Keep repeating the procedure until you have no debt on your behalf.
The avalanche method is another cost-effective debt repayment strategy if you have the will and motivation to endure it. By applying this method, you save both time and money as you target debts that cost you the most in interest payments. Meaning, you won’t have to rely on ‘small wins’ only, but on a more methodological and budget-friendly strategy.
- Make a detailed list of every debt you have at the moment. Rate liabilities from the ones with the highest interest rate to those with the lowest.
- Focus on using every cent you may set aside to cover the debt that entails the highest interest rate. Continue making only the minimum payment for the rest of the obligations.
- Once you wipe out the highest financial burden, roll this full payment to the next debt with the highest interest rate. Again, keep up with the minimum payments on the rest of the loans.
- Repeat the strategy again and again until you manage to repay all financial obligations in full.
Ways How to Get Out of Debt
Only because you’re indebted now doesn’t have to mean you’re doomed to repaying it forever. Any debt can get eliminated once and for all if you’re confident and persistent with your intentions. Here are some efficient methods on how to get the debt ball rolling.
Create A Financial Budget
The first step to take when attempting to save money is to create a realistic budget. By doing so, you’ll ensure you know exactly where your money is going each month. Moreover, a well-conceptualized budget will give you a clear path related to income and expenses.
We highly encourage you to make use of the 50/20/30 rule when it comes to funds distribution. According to the rule, 50% of your income should go for food, rent, bills, and other essentials. Then, 20% end up in the savings envelope, while the last 30% should cater to your wants. Wants include personal expenses such as designer clothing, outdoor dining, entertainment, and sports.
We have a great guide on how to make a budget and stick to it. Start there if you’re not sure where.
Use A Balance-Transfer Credit Card To Pay Off Debt
Having suffered from excessive debt for quite some time has probably taught you that interest is your worst enemy. Hence, finding reliable ways to quit spending money on interest rates is highly advisable. A plausible solution would be to consider balance transfer credit cards with a 0% APR.
Such cards will stop interest from accumulating on the outstanding debt, and 100% of the payments will go toward the principal. One downside of this method is that clients have between 12 and 18 months to pay off the debt. When this grace zero-interest period is over, the APR gets reintroduced.
To get out of debt, you need a sound strategy and even the help of a professional. Also, consider using one of the proven methods like the Avalanche or the Snowball method.
Take Out a Personal Loan
In some instances, banks refuse balance-transfer credit cards to people due to various reasons. Plus, many people are unfit to settle monetary obligations within 18 months. In this case, troubled borrowers can apply for one of the best personal loans and consolidate their debt.
Consider a single cheaper personal loan to repay the unsettled credit card debt in full. Such loans entail a fixed interest rate that is more acceptable than costs on other loan products. Placing several financial obligations under a single payment can save you tons of cash on interest. Above all, if your credit score is good, you may be able to strike an excellent deal with your lender.
Reduce Credit Card Spending Limit
Were you aware that you can close or reduce your credit card limit any time you deem appropriate? The sooner you decide to reduce your spending limit, the better your shot at setting savings aside. In short, you’ll never succeed in getting out of debt unless you cut the relationship with your plastic pals.
Once you renounce all credit cards that drag you into deeper financial hardship, you can focus on settling any due obligations. Meaning, instead of taking on more debt, you’ll be heading to the point of breaking even.
Switch to Eco Transport
Have you ever contemplated selling your vehicle to cover your debts faster and start saving at the same time? Start rolling your debt snowball by ditching the monthly payments, bills, and insurance for your four-wheeled friend. Car expenses may be the least reasonable spending we engage in, relying on the fact that it’s necessary.
Apart from being a significant burden on your finances, car transportation is also harmful to the environment. On top of that, it deprives you of healthy exercise. Start braking this bad habit by taking public transport to work if you live further from the office. Conversely, switch to walking or biking if your workplace is within cycling distance of your home.
Find coupons almost anywhere, ranging from newspapers and junk ads to company websites and apps. Alternatively, check your favorite coupon app before going shopping or scan it on your cart. To maximize your saving potential, stack manufacturer coupons with those in flyers and current deals. A bonus tip is to avoid purchasing items you don’t need just because you found a discount on them.
Another useful hack is to sign up for loyalty and reward programs of stores you most frequently visit. Also, use cashback sites and apps to collect points and redeem those for further grocery shopping or gift cards. Some of the most popular cashback networks include Ibotta, Rakuten, and Swagbucks.
We have a lot more tips on how to make the most out of coupons. Make sure to check them out and start saving today.
Stop Eating Out
You’ve probably heard this phrase thousands of times, but eating out makes people pay top dollar. Drop the expensive side and focus on affordable grocery shopping. Drop the frequent trips to the bar and hang out with friends out in the open. An even better idea is to invite your closest buddies over for taco night.
If you decided to hold the purse strings tighter, think about preparing your meals from scratch at home. We understand that food ordering is way less time-consuming, but think of the healthy and social aspects of domestic food. You can even get creative with the dishes and involve the whole family to spend some quality time together.
If you need more reasons to ditch dining out, check out our comparison of fast food vs. home cooked meals. You’ll discover the many benefits of the latter!
Ditch The Cable Company
Getting out of debt will become more comfortable if you decide to cut the cord. In these times when every single show and movie is available online, there’s no point in spending $100 on cable TV alone. Consider free services such as those of Vudu, Tubi, and Popcornflix to enjoy your favorite series.
Furthermore, it’s always better to consider options like Netflix or Disney Plus, depending on your preferences. Subscribing to any of these providers if you’re a TV addict will still slash the cost you’re otherwise incurring on traditional TV. Overall, there are lots of great cable alternatives you can consider and save cash along the way.
Find Free Entertainment
We live in a free country, so why pay for each activity you enjoy doing with your family? Forget about going to the cinema, concerts, and sports events, or limit your outings to once a month. You’ll soon realize that you can live without these activities and still lead a fulfilling life. On top of that, you’ll be able to get out of debt fast.
Find several free ways to keep the entire family entertained. Organize regular hikes to the nearest hill or mountain, or go biking in the park. Enjoy free concerts and local events in the community. Last, find out about free admission days at the nearest museums, animal farms, and galleries to vary your outdoor trips.
Switch To Consignment Shopping
Aren’t you fed up with spending a fortune on new apparel for your kids each season? They seem to outgrow any clothes so fast. Hence, think about shopping at local consignment stores that sell clothes in excellent condition.
The same goes for you since shops that sell moderately used clothing offer any type and size you may think of. In case you prefer online shopping try out sites like Swap.com and thredUP.com. Users can purchase both adult and kids’ clothes for a fraction of the real cost.
Cancel Your Gym Membership
Are you looking for some ways on how to get out of debt fast? Then, it’s time you ditch the gym membership that is a real burden on your monthly budget. There’s no point in spending obscene amounts of money on exercising in the gym when you can do the same thing outdoors.
Doing exercise with a friend outside is a much better alternative and is free of charge. Even better, you can start a jogging or biking club with your neighbors. When the weather doesn’t allow outdoor activities, focus on free workout videos at home.
Brew Your Coffee
You may be well surprised about where your money ends up every month. We urge you to take particular care of how much you’re spending each month in your favorite coffee shop. Not surprisingly, a $5 latte on your way to work every morning can make a severe dent in your savings.
Instead, start making your own coffee at home to get out of debt fast. Invest in a good coffee maker and start brewing your coffee to save over $1,000 a year. It’s also important to buy coffee beans in bulk and grind them yourself to further slash the spending.
Sometimes, the trick of getting out of debt isn’t earning more but spending less. So, make sure to cut down on your costs asap.
Tips for Getting Out of Debt
So, you’ve finally decided to face your fears and eliminate debt whatever it takes. Fortunately, we are here to help you and simplify the process. Some of these ideas will take you a short time to implement, while others require you to be more committed and patient. Yet, all these tactics are simple to carry out, and anyone can do them.
Stop Creating More Debt
Have you crossed the red line, and now your debts start haunting you? Many troubled folks get to learn the hard way that debt is not their friend nor their option.
Start by making small steps and pay only for what you can afford. Hence, you’ll have to use a debit card or earned cash solely. Any interest you’re spending on loans is a harsh penalty, while interest you earn on savings is a reward.
Avoid Expensive Hobbies
How to become debt-free has become a wide-spread concern of many this pandemic year. Besides all the negative stuff happening around, we should still find some optimism to hold on to. For instance, we can save money on costly overseas vacations, commuting expenses, lavish clothing, and dining outs.
Moreover, it’s the ultimate time to reevaluate your monthly purchases and gradually get rid of them. Quit buying tobacco and alcohol in 2021 if you’ve been struggling with these habits for quite some time. Eliminating such behaviors will not only help you stay healthier, but it will give you a head start in savings.
Get A Second Job
Depending on the season, you’re likely to find various part-time jobs with flexible terms and decent payment. So, why don’t you pick up an industry that suits your skills and preferences and work a few hours more? Use the additional cash towards your debts to speed up the consolidation process.
Even in the off-season, there’s plenty of things to do for a living. Spring is ideal for getting hired at a farm or as a greenhouse worker. In the summer, you could earn money with your bike or run outdoor tours in the area. Last, fall is perfect for haunted attractions and harvesting, while winter abounds with jobs related to the festive season.
Start A Side Gig
Starting a new job from scratch is a challenging endeavor. Yet, thanks to your skills and perseverance, benefits can often exceed risks. More specifically, if you’re good at art and DIY stuff, start selling your crafts online. Or, if you adore animals, consider pet sitting or dog walking on free mornings.
Even if you keep doing things you usually do, there’s a possibility you earn money through mystery shopping. Alternatively, keen photographers can start taking on clients for photo sessions or sell photos and videos online. Nothing can stop you from turning your long-lived hobby into a money-making machine and a profitable business.
Here are some of the best side hustles you can consider when it comes to earning some extra cash.
Set Up Automatic Transfers
New technologies can be a real life-saver if you’ve been wondering how to get out of debt fast. Most importantly, create an automatic debt repayment plan. Such an automatized project can also entail bill settlement to save you even more time and money.
Second, make sure your monthly savings get automated, too. Manual money transfers are more complex and make it easier to forgo saving altogether. Plus, you won’t get tempted to set aside less for a rainy day. Therefore, select an option that best suits your finances and make fixed contributions each month without even noticing.
Pick A Weekly ‘No-Spend’ Day
Having a day in the week on which you won’t be spending any money is a wise strategy to boost your savings. To make the most out of this method, pick a day when the chances you blow your budget are the highest. In short, opt not to spend even a dime on Friday or Saturday.
When this day comes, lock up all your cards and cash and refrain from touching them. Leave any spending such as bill payments and grocery shopping for the next morning.
Sell Items You No Longer Need
Are you looking for a plausible answer on how to become debt-free? The solution may be way more comfortable than you expected. Draw up a list of all your belongings and mark those that you rarely get to use. You may cross out stuff that you can freely live without as well.
The next step is to decide on the selling method. One viable option is to sell used stuff online on sites like eBay, Craigslist, Decluttr, and Poshmark. Another cheap idea to sell second-hand items is to visit nearby yard sales or organize one yourself. Finally, in case everything else fails, consider selling through consignment or thrift shops.
Plan Your Grocery Shopping
Never go shopping without being properly prepared! Having a detailed list in hand before going to the supermarket is inevitable to stay within budget. A well-thought shopping list or a grocery app with an integrated calculator can be a real money-saver.
Conversely, it may be better for impulse buyers to avoid strolling through the aisles altogether. One way to prevent yourself from overfilling the cart with unnecessary items is to try online shopping. A final piece of advice is to avoid going to the shops on an empty stomach. You can fill out your pantry pain-free and on a budget by implementing a start strategy.
Check The Library
Most people aren’t aware that paying regular visits to the library can save you tons of money. We suggest you check out the local library to find multiple sources of free entertainment. Once you’re there, look for free books, movies, and games for the entire family.
Kids will particularly enjoy free readings organized within the local community. Moreover, libraries often provide free events on various topics, and all this without any cost on your side. After you realize how much you can save by not paying for entertainment, getting out of debt will come naturally.
Learn To Say No
If you’ve set your aim on saving money, get used to pronouncing the word ‘no.’ When it comes to wasting cash on non-essential stuff, you’ll be using this word quite often. The faster you learn to say ‘no’ to regular bar nights and eating out, the quicker you’ll waive your debts.
Indeed, all you need is a few rejections before you become comfortable with refusing every chance to spend. Set up a reward system, too. Reward yourself after resisting several temptations to overspend with a nice dinner or a lovely pair of shoes.
Avoid Major Purchases
Getting debt off your chest means you’ll have to refrain from making significant purchases. Though it’s nice to buy a new home or go on an overseas vacation, you’ll have to prioritize what’s most relevant today. These are undoubtedly hard choices, but they bring peace of mind and help you realize long-term financial goals.
When all debts get settled, you can start saving for that long-wished vacation to the Bahamas. We understand that buying a new car creates immediate gratification, but imagine the mountain of debt you’re making. Indeed, it’s way more satisfying to build up that savings plan for major purchases than taking on new financial obligations. It takes time, but it’s well worth it if you wish to avoid debt disaster.
Maintain An Emergency Fund
The number of people having regrets for not setting up emergency savings during the pandemic is vast. So, if you wonder how to become debt-free next year, don’t overlook the emergency fund in your New Year’s resolutions.
Begin by opening a new account dedicated to savings and ensure you set aside three to six months of living costs. Setting a savings goal with the potential to increase over time is an essential part of the strategy. This project will help you stay debt-free in case you lose your job or unforeseen expenses come out of nowhere.
Get Outside Help
Don’t be reluctant to ask for external help if you’re struggling to make ends meet every month. Paying off debt is usually easier said than done and requires a lot of hard work and time. We urge you to consult a financial advisor or a knowledgeable friend on the topic to look at your finances. Insist that they are brutally honest with you.
A trusted financial expert may open your eyes to several viable options to consolidate your debts. Don’t make any risky decisions or investments before discussing it a few times over. Even installing a financial planning app will help you stay within budget and reconsider your spending habits.
There’s no single solution to the concern “how to get out of debt fast.” There are no magical, overnight revelations. Yet, you can combine several methods to work your way out of the financial pit gradually. You’ll see that dedication always pays off in the long run.
Can you share some hacks that helped you get beyond debt? We’ll be super excited to discuss cost-efficient strategies that may assist our readers in the process of becoming debt-free. Signing up for our newsletter will arm you with additional advice on how to stay on the positive side of the balance.
How to get out of debt with no money?
Eliminating debt within a couple of months is not an impossible mission. Start by saving on dining out, canceling surplus subscriptions, and applying coupons. If you’re broke and want to break even in a brief period, start looking for a side hustle. Another useful saving strategy is to sell used clothing and items, plus IT devices you don’t use any longer. Last, seek lower interest rates on your loans and pay more than the established minimum payments.
What is the first step to getting out of debt?
The first step to becoming debtless is to create a realistic budget and stick to it. Also, it’s essential to track all your spending throughout the month and reflect on it regularly. You must focus on paying down any old debts that may have accumulated in the meantime. Next, refrain from impulse buying and stop using credit cards as much as you can. Finally, automatize bills and accelerate any payments to speed up the process.
What are the five recommended steps for getting out of debt?
The five-step process to settle any outstanding financial obligations you may have requires perseverance and commitment. First, you must set up a budget and split income using the 50/20/30 rule. Next, track all your expenses, and avoid excessive shopping sprees and purchasing online. Buying when you don’t see the money is way easier when you hold the cash in hand. Last, take on a side gig and work towards faster repayment of your unsettled debt.
How can I get rid of my 25k debt?
Getting rid of that horrible $25,000 debt may be easier said than done. We urge you to try out the snowball approach, which includes settling debts from smallest to largest. Also, consider the avalanche approach to tackle high-interest debt first and then move to loans with lower APRs. A third useful option would be to get a part-time job to boost your income for the month. Last, think about a balance transfer or a personal loan for debt consolidation with greater flexibility.