Consumer is debt is climbing every year. 8 out of 10 Americans have debt. The average household has over $16,000 worth of credit card debt and almost $50,000 of student loan debt. With all of this debt, how do you get out of debt? What if you don’t have any extra money each month to help you get out of debt?
If you don’t know my debt story, check it out here. I had debt and lots of it. Student Loans, car loan, and credit card debt were my poisons. Living like a broke college student helped me get out of debt faster. Here are is how to get out of debt while you are living paycheck to paycheck.
First, you need to understand why you are getting out of debt. Let’s face it, if you have no debt you will have more money each month to spend any way you want. My get out of debt journey started because I wanted more money to spend. Today, I want to stay out of debt because I like the freedom. The less money I need to live, the happier I am.
With my freedom, I was able to take extended maternity leave when my second child was born and I now work part-time to have more time for my family. We are still able to enjoy annual vacations, dining out, and other entertainment luxuries even though we have less income.
My why is my family, what is your why?
If you want to get out of debt, you need to tell your money where to go. If you don’t make a budget, how will you know if you can pay off your debts?
Need help making a budget, read 4 Steps to Making a Budget That Works.
Making a budget was difficult for me. Between bills and debt payments, I was living paycheck to paycheck. I felt like I had no extra money to pay down my debts and I will be in debt forever. So I made it a mission to find extra money and create a debt repayment plan.
To get out of debt, you must make a plan. Believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to pay off debt. Focus on paying off your smallest debt first and snowballing the money into the next highest debt. Continue to pay the minimum balances on other debts.
To read more about making a Debt Repayment Plan, read The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Debt Repayment Plan .
I started tracking my expenses to get out of debt. Track your expenses any way you can: write it down, use an excel spreadsheet, or apps like Mint.com. Find out where your money is going to see what expenses you can cut.
I was surprised at how much money I spent each month on dining out for lunch, magazine subscriptions that I would never read, and credit card interest. Which leaves me to my next tip…
This may seem like an obvious way to get out of debt. There are ways to cut your expenses without sacrificing a lot. For example, just switching car insurance carriers can reduce your car insurance bill and negotiating a smaller interest rate on your credit cards can free up some cash each month.
For more money saving tips, read Foolproof Budgeting Tips for Saving Money Now.
The fastest way to get out of debt is to sell items that you are no longer using. This includes clothes, books, technology, and whatever else you can think of. This will help with putting big lump sum payments on your debt.
I sold my old textbooks on Amazon.com, participated in community garage sales, and sold clothes to consignment shops. You will be surprised at how a few extra dollars can go a long way to paying off debt.
If everything else fails, you can always pick up a side hustle to help get out of debt. There are lots of flexible jobs that you can create your own schedule. Uber (affiliate link) lets you drive or deliver on your own schedule.
For more side hustle ideas, read Side Hustles I Have Tried that Actually Make Money.
How is your “get out of debt” journey going?
Romans 13:8 – Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.