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Being in debt can really take a toll on your life and no doubt, you want to learn about how to get out of debt. After all, having mounds of credit card balances, medical bills and $0 in your bank account can be extremely frustrating. I’ve been there. I’ve foreclosed on a house, had to sell a great car for money just to pay the mortgage (and still foreclosed on that house), had my utilities shut off, etc. If you’re in debt, you probably know where I’m coming from. And, while it may seem impossible to get out of debt fast, there’s still hope.
Like with everything else, it starts with making the decision to crawl your way out of the hole you’re in and make a commitment that you’re going to do what it takes to turn your life around. To help, below I’ve provided some tips to get out of debt and change your lifestyle a little to stay out of debt.
1. Figure Out How Much You Owe
This seems like a straightforward step, but surprisingly, a lot of people don’t do this. They have no plan in place and just blindly pay on the bills they receive. Perhaps they are ashamed of their debt or maybe they’re in denial and don’t think their debt has gotten out of hand.
The best step you can take is to find out exactly how much you owe and then create a plan of attack. Here are some services that can help you create a debt repayment plan and stick with it.
Debt Payoff Assistant
This is free.
Right now you can only get it for iOS devices on the App Store.
This is also free.
Mint Financial Goals
When you set up a Mint.com account, you get this service free.
I found a great post on 5 free apps you can use to keep you motivated and help you pay your debt off. It’s from “The Budget Mom.”
2. Pay More Than the Minimum Payment
Some people don’t realize they can pay more than the minimum balance on their loans and credit cards. And, the credit card and loan companies won’t tell you this. They’ll gladly have you pay the minimum balance so they can make the interest off you.
But, paying just the minimum amount actually digs you deeper in the hole.
Paying more than the minimum payment each month will reduce the overall balance (you won’t be paying as much interest) and will allow you to pay off the balance quicker. Just check with the company first to see if they will charge you a prepayment penalty.
3. Get a Side Hustle
Even if you work only a few hours a week, the extra income you make will help pay down your debt. While you can cut your budget down, you can only cut it down so much. So, what you need to do is earn more.
What can you do?
Here are some ideas:
There are many companies out there that will pay you to take surveys. They can pay anywhere from a couple bucks to $50 or more per survey, depending on the length of the survey. Here are some great sites to get paid to take surveys:
Sell on eBay
Sell items around your house you no longer want on eBay. Or, you can even join their affiliate program and make money by promoting the products they already have on their site.
You can also join affiliate programs like Shareasale and get paid to promote the products from their site. A great way to do this, which is what I do, is to start a blog. Blogging for money is fun and can pay well once you get going. Here’s how to set up your own blog.
You can also join my “blogging email newsletter” where I take you step-by-step in setting up your blog and then give you strategies on how to grow it, drive traffic to it and make money from it.
There are bloggers who are earning $20,000 or more a month from their blogs. I’m not one of them yet, but my income from my blog is definitely going up. 🙂
4. Be Smart When Grocery Shopping
The best way to grocery shop is to make a list of exactly what you need. Never go in a grocery store blindly and just walk up and down the aisles. You always end up coming out with way more than you planned. I always make a list and then cross them off as I’m walking up and down the aisles.
Obviously, you know you should never shop on an empty stomach either. Doing that will add a lot of impulse items in your shopping cart. You can always order your groceries online and then pick them up at the store curbside. Some stores even deliver, depending on where you live.
Plan your meals each week ahead of time so you know what to put down on your list. Here’s a great resource that will help you plan out your meals and stick to your grocery budget — $5 Meal Plan.
$5 Meal Plan offers a lot of great things such as:
- They deliver a weekly meal plan to your email inbox every Friday. This saves you the hassle of having to find new recipes every week.
- They offer printable recipes and shopping lists so you can save your favorites.
- Their recipes are friendly to your budget.
- They give you access to valuable community of home chefs.
- and much more.
Seriously, try it out and let me know if it helps you.
6. Change Your Spending Habits
How are your spending habits? Are you an impulse shopper? Do you like to eat out several times a week? Do you buy clothing or shoes just for their name brand? Do you pay cash or credit? We’re all creatures of habits, but when it comes to money, your spending habits could be costing you much more than what you can really afford. If you’re trying to learn about how to get out of debt and you have poor spending habits, it’s time to change them.
You don’t have to make drastic changes. Even small changes like going out to eat only once a week (or better once a month), bringing your own lunch to work or buying the $20 pair of shoes instead of the $70 can go a long way. Start slow and gradually replace another bad spending habit with a better one.
7. Pay Down Debt With your Tax Refund
Receiving a fat tax refund check at the beginning of the year is sweet. I know (I have 3 kids and the earned income credit was nice). But two of them grew up.
Anyway, it can be tempting to take your tax refund check and blow it on a vacation or new car. However, you would really be helping yourself financially by using it (or at least a good portion of it) to pay your debt down. A big purchase only provides you with temporary satisfaction, but a smaller debt load can be satisfying for years to come.
8. Stop Using Credit Cards
Seriously. You’re not going to get out of debt if you keep creating more. And, you know this, but credit cards are too easy. And by carrying them with you, it can be too tempting to charge that next purchase. I’m not saying you have to cut your cards in half (because you never know if there will be an emergency where you’ll absolutely need them). I’m just saying to make them less accessible. Try freezing them in a block of ice. That way it will be harder to use them.
9. Negotiate Interest Rates
If you have good payment history, call your creditors up and see if you can negotiate a lower interest rate. Many creditors will work with you if your account is in good standing.
10. Consider Credit Counseling
A credit counseling agency can help you come up with a workable debt elimination plan. They offer services to their clients to help them get out of debt. And, you can find free or low-cost credit counseling services. They’ll go over your debt situation with you and then come up with a suitable repayment option as well as different strategies to manage your money better.
You can get free credit counseling here.
This free service through American Debt Enders has a great rating (9/10) with Consumer Advocates.
11. Debt Relief Program
Also, through American Debt Enders is their debt relief program.
Debt relief programs help reduce your debt. You’d be assigned a credit counselor who will work with your creditors on your behalf to lower your interest rates and come up with a debt repayment schedule. They also help cease collection efforts so you’re no longer harassed by debt collectors.
12. Debt Membership Site
To get out of debt, you need guidance and then once you learn how to get out of debt from this guidance, you’ll, of course, want to stay out of debt. Through some thorough research, I’ve learned about a debt membership site that can help you with both. It’s called:
The “What Lies in Your Debt” program has a step-by-step system that helps you reduce and eliminate your debt in a simple and quick process. It eliminates all the issues causing your bad debt and then helps you remove it from your credit report.
No matter what your debt-related problems are, be it credit card issues, foreclosure, medical bills or student loans, this program helps you get it under control.
Through my research, I’ve found that it’s a great program for people with the following types of debt issues:
- Foreclosure problems
- Credit card debt
- Unwanted phone calls
- Having to deal with debt collectors
- Asset protection
- Debt buyer contracts
It doesn’t just clear up your credit and eliminate your negative credit problems, but it also shows you how you can actually “get paid” by those companies who keep calling you to collect money from your credit issues.
With your membership, you’ll gain access to:
- Extensive downloads
- Weekly Calls and Webinars
- Video tutorials
- Members forum
- Access to legal links
- Live training with experts
- Legal lounge
- Resources to fight foreclosure
- Latest information
- Take-you-by-the-hand system to eliminate debt
I think the members forum by itself is a huge resource with over 6,000 questions and answers and more than 20,000 posts.
You probably don’t realize what you have at your disposal. I mean, who knew you could actually make $500 or more from those pesky debt collection phone calls? Not me. I myself haven’t collected money like this for these types of calls, but I have read about people who have, and it’s quite interesting to learn that people have.
You can check out the stories and testimonials for yourself. Just click on the testimonial tab on the site. Join “What Lies In Your Debt” here.
So, hopefully, some of these resources about how to get out of debt will help you. Sure, being able to get out of debt fast may not be realistic as it can actually be a slow, agonizing situation, but it’s worth it and it’s better than doing nothing, right? Then you can start rebuilding. 🙂
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