Debt is brutal, especially if you’ve been trying to get rid of it for a while. The unfortunate thing about debt is that it costs a lot of money if it’s not taken care of—thanks a lot, interest!
Speaking from experience, I know how easy it is to get into debt and how hard it is to get out of. However, since I’ve gotten myself out of debt multiple times, I also know it’s not impossible.
Even if you work slow and steady, you can win the debt-free race. Check out 6 tricks to take down your debt, once and for all!
6 Tricks to Take Down Your Debt
#1 Get clear on exactly how much debt you have
Before you can tackle your debt head on, you need to know how much debt you have. The best way to do this is by listing out all your debts.
In this list, you’ll want to include the creditor, the balance owed, the interest rate, the minimum payment, and the due date.
Once you have this list, you can see exactly how much debt you have and start prioritizing which debts you’ll want to focus on first. Seeing it in this format may be scary, but it’s a necessary step to taking down your debt.
#2 Find a debt payoff method that works for you
There are a handful of debt payoff methods a person can follow. Do you want to pay off the most expensive debt first? Maybe you want quick wins and therefore plan to focus on the lowest balance debt first.
Regardless of how you want to pay down your debt, you’ll need a strategy in place to make sure you’re being as effective and efficient as possible.
Check out the article Strategies for Knocking Out Debt for some common debt payoff methods for you to try.
#3 Adjust your budget accordingly
Once you’ve decided on the debt payoff method for you, it’s time to take a look at your budget. Where is your money currently going? How much do you have allocated towards debt payments?
If the goal is to take down your debt, you’ll want to put as much money towards your debt as possible.
What budget categories can you cut back to help you make larger debt payments? This is how you’ll want to review and adjust your budget.
Be realistic with yourself. You need to have a little bit of room for fun and life, but anything additional should be put towards your debt
#4 Consider ways to make more money to put towards debt
Can’t make any more budget cutbacks? Your next trick is to make more money.
Even an extra $50/month applied to your debt payments can save you tons of money and help you pay the debts off faster. What ways can you make more money?
Think about your current schedule and the time you have available to devote to new income streams. From there, decide which new income streams will work best for you.
Can you Uber or Lyft? What about Shipt or InstaCart? Maybe a second, part-time job is the way to go. Whatever way you make more money, the goal is to just make it!
Remember, this is temporary.
#5 Accept parting ways with your credit cards
The trick to taking down debt effectively is to avoid accumulating more debt. Accept the fact that you’ll need to part ways with your credit cards.
Don’t convince yourself you should always have a credit card on hand. You don’t need it.
Also, address the issue that got you into debt to begin with. Were you constantly overspending? Did you feel the need to accumulate more stuff?
Fix the true issue so that you don’t have to worry about being in the same position ever again.
#6 Have savings in case of emergency
My final trick to take down your debt is to save before you aggressively start paying things off. If you skip this step, you may find yourself in a position that requires money you don’t have.
That will likely lead you to using your credit card and undoing all your progress.
Decide on an amount (ideally between $500-$1000) and get that amount into savings as soon as possible.
This will be your emergency cushion should something come up as you’re paying down debt. It may take some time to save the money, but it will be worth it if you ever have to use it.
Related: Should You Save Money When You Have Debt?
As difficult as it may be at times, try your best to not let debt get you down! It is what is, it’s there!
Instead of focusing on the problem (having debt), focus on the solution (getting rid of debt). The tricks above will help!
What does your debt situation look like? Do you have a plan in place for getting rid of your debt? Post a comment below to share!