We all know that getting out of debt isn’t easy. It can be easy to find yourself in debt, but to dig out of that debt hole is a whole different story. It’s going to take some hard work, determination, imagination, dedication, and a few of these tips and tricks!
Nobody likes to be in debt, but sometimes you may not know where to start to help yourself become debt-free. It may seem too hard or daunting, so you just don’t even try. We see that happen all the time. Getting out of debt can start with not getting into more debt and spending less money than you make each month. But that’s just a start! It’s going to take a lot more than that, we promise.
Here are 50 tips and tricks to make and save more money in order to eliminate debt:
1. Make a list of all debts. Include important factors such as total amount owed, interest rates, fees and/or penalties, if you are behind or current on payments, etc. This is your debt repayment “game plan”.
2. Put money into an emergency fund for unexpected expenses, not debt payments.
3. Stop using your credit cards right away.
4. Stop eating out, except for special occasions like a birthday, and make all meals at home.
5. Save for known future expenses like back-to-school clothes, Christmas presents, birthday gifts for family, and car repairs.
6. Don’t use the emergency fund for known future expenses. If there’s an emergency you mustn’t turn to credit cards or you’ll be right back at the beginning.
7. Create a realistic goal to pay off a certain amount of debt each and every month.
8. Pay ALL bills on time to avoid excess fees.
9. Homeowners should consider refinancing their mortgage to a lower rate to save money.
10. Get a second job or negotiate a raise at a current job. Having additional income will be a game-changer when it comes to paying off debt.
11. Ask your boss if you can work extra hours at your current job to bring in more money.
12. Buy generic store brands instead of popular name brands.
13. Create a workable budget and stick to it.
14. Use tax refunds and job bonuses to pay off debt. Vacations and other luxuries can wait until you are debt-free.
15. Have a garage sale or sell items on Facebook, Craigslist, or eBay.
16. Transfer a high interest credit card balance to a zero interest or lower interest credit card deal, if it makes sense and if there aren’t any transfer fees involved.
17. Check out free credit counseling from a reputable Non-Profit Credit Counseling agency.
18. Get emotional support from family, friends, and significant others.
20. Use free online personal finance and budgeting tools, and keep track of expenses.
21. Pay off the smallest debt first to create momentum in paying off remaining debt, if you need to see progress right away. If you are more of a numbers type person, consider paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first and then moving on to the next debt with the second highest interest rate. You’ll save more money in the end that way.
22. Cancel cable TV and/or satellite radio, and use that money to pay off debt. Cut the Cord!
23. Understand that eliminating debt takes time and patience. You can’t get out of debt overnight.
24. Visualize what life will be like without having any debt and keep that in mind when things start to get tough because they will on your journey to becoming debt-free.
25. Pay attention to spending habits, and take notes on essential and non-essential purchases. Cut out or limit those non-essential purchases as much as possible.
26. Stay home for vacation and explore local attractions at little or no cost. This newer trend is called a Staycation and it’s a great way to save money!
27. Rent a movie instead of buying a movie ticket at a theater. A movie theater trip can easily cost you over $50 for a family outing.
28. Read online sources and books on money-saving tactics and financial planning for more inspiration and ideas.
29. Plan all shopping trips ahead of time and make a list of items that are needed. Stick to the list! You can cut down on gas by going to somewhere like Walmart where you can get everything on your list at one place.
30. Grow a vegetable garden to save money on grocery shopping. It doesn’t take much money to create a few raised garden beds. Start collecting seeds now from what you eat.
31. Read blogs, articles, and books on how to be frugal for additional money-saving ideas.
32. Recycle cans and bottles, and use the extra cash for debt payments. Some states pay a nice amount for recyclable items.
33. Set-up automatic payments from a savings account to make debt payments. Automate your bills to make sure you never miss a payment.
34. Live a low-maintenance downsized lifestyle, and stop trying to “Keep Up with the Joneses”.
35. Do a budget review every month to find extra money to pay down your debt.
36. Raise the auto insurance deductible to lower your monthly premium and save money.
37. Don’t jump at buying the latest technology, and wait until prices go down. Always comparison shop and try to find the absolute lowest price.
38. Quit smoking and/or drinking, start exercising, and eat healthy food to save money on health-related expenses.
39. Turn a hobby into a business, and eliminate expensive hobbies with no income potential.
40. Join an online or in-person group of people devoted to saving money and eliminating debt.
41. Raise the thermostat during the summer, and lower it during the winter. You are most likely spending way more than you need to on those utility bills.
42. Delay investing in the stock market until your debts are paid off.
43. Rent a modest home or small apartment instead of taking out a mortgage to buy a home. The house buying can wait until you’re out of debt.
44. Ride a bike or carpool to save money on gas, and use that saved money to pay down debt.
45. Write a fiction or non-fiction eBook and sell it on Amazon.com.
46. Make extra money through a social media affiliate networking program.
47. Look into a loan forgiveness program to pay off your student loans. Consider consolidating and refinancing your student loans, if possible. Talk to your loan service provider about working out a new repayment plan.
48. Do not go into more debt to pay off current debt, i.e. don’t take out a personal loan or a Payday loan to pay off debt.
49. Pay cash for everything from now on, and stop borrowing money.
50. As a last resort, look into Chapter 7 bankruptcy to be relieved of repaying most creditors.
These are just 50 (simple enough) tips and tricks to help you save more money each month and hopefully bring in more income each month as well. In order to truly get out of debt, you must look for ways to cut spending, save more money, and also try to make more money. If you can’t do those things then you might be stuck in the vicious never-ending debt cycle that many people get stuck in.
There are a million different ideas, tips, and tricks out there to help you. Do some internet searching and see what works best for you. We’ve offered this same advice to some of our past clients and they’ve told us how much it helped them.
Try not to get into debt in the first place, because it really is hard to get out of serious debt. But if you should find yourself already in debt or heading that way, give our certified credit counselors a call today and see how we can help you. We’ve been helping consumers get out of debt since 1968 and we can help you too!