8 Reasons You Should Get out of Debt Right Now!

Debt is something that all of us have dealt with at least once in our life. Whether it’s college tuition, car loans, mortgage, or something else, we’ve all been in debt before. While debt is a part of life, it’s not one that has to stick with us forever. Here are eight great reasons why to get out of debt as soon as possible.

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When you’re in debt, all of your other financial investments are less impactful. Even if you’re making good money off of stocks, some (or maybe even all) of that money is going towards paying off your debts. When you get out of debt, any extra money you make on your investments goes straight to you.

Debt is stressful. The more you have and the longer you have it, the more stressed you’ll become. Managing debt for a few years may be manageable, but it can really affect your health and stress-levels if it becomes a life-long burden.

When you’re in debt, you’re not working for yourself. You’re not working for your own vacations, home improvements, or anything else. Instead, you’re working to pay your debtors; they’re making all the money off your hard work! Getting out of debt will make you feel great because you’re only working for yourself!

8 Reasons You Should Get out of Debt Right Now!4

When you get out of debt, you’ll be a lot more stable—financially as well as in other areas of your life. Any unforeseen accidents or problems won’t cause you to stumble and fall financially like they would if you had debts to worry about.

Believe it or not, your familial relationships will improve (especially with your spouse) when you don’t have debts to worry about. Most arguments in the family are caused (or somehow affected) by money; so when you have more money coming in and less money going out, it’ll make things at home better.

Once you manage to get out of debt, your credit score will steadily improve. And, when your credit score is better, every other area of your financial life improves, too! Interest rates are lower and you’re array of financial options increases.

Prepare for the future by getting out of debt now. Once you don’t have any more money going towards debts, you can start putting money in a retirement plan, your children’s college funds, or other things. By getting out of debt today, your future will be much better.

One of the best reasons for getting out of debt is that it gives you control over your life! You won’t be subject to interest rates, late fees, loan sharks, angry bankers, etc. When you’re free from debt, you’ll feel so much more free an in control of your life.

How to Pay off Debt with a Debt Snowball

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The debt snowball method is very motivating because you will start to see results quickly! To get started, organize all of your debts from the lowest balance you have to the highest balance, regardless of the interest rate they have.

Then, pay your minimum payments on each of your debts, but pay as much extra as you possible can on the lowest balance debt.  You will have to work hard to put the most money you can toward this expense until it’s gone. Don’t try to pay a little bit of extra money toward the other ones. If you have the extra money, send it all to the lowest debt on your list.

Once the first debt on your list is completely paid off, you’ll feel great. It is very motivating and seeing that debt disappear is very exciting.  Now, take the payment plus the extra amount that you were used to paying on the small debt and apply it to the next smallest debt.  You will end up with even more money at this point to send to the next debt item on your list because you will no longer owe money toward the debt you just paid off.

As you start paying off debts, you will be able to save more and more money to apply to your next debt. The amount of money you have will grow and grow (like a snowball) until you eventually reach a debt avalanche.

The debt snowball method works and will bring fast results! Not only will you have your debts paid off quickly, you will feel great doing it.

For other great ideas on getting out of debt, see these related articles:

5 Ways to Save $500

20 Things You Are Forgetting to Budget

How to Make $100k+ a Year Working From Home

12 Expenses Your Should Never Put on a Credit Card

10 Useful Tips for Using Your Credit Cards

12 Surprising Things You Can do To Become Debt-Free

 

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I am passionate about getting out of debt because it changed my life.  It isn’t easy.  It isn’t even fun sometimes, but the freedom you feel from living within your means will completely change you and you will never go back.  When I talk to people about their financial situations, it is clear that in some cases, a change in income needs to be made.  Aside from the obvious budget re-alignments, and more self-control, sometimes, we simply need to figure out a way to make more money or we won’t get ahead.  Here are a few things that can help you get out of debt.

Cut back on groceries

Grocery budget is one of the first to modify, because it isn’t a “fixed” cost.  Find meals that can go a long way on a small amount of money.  Take advantage of deals, coupons, discounts.  Depending on the size of your family, it may even be cheaper to eat out a couple of meals a week.  I know that I can’t grocery shop and make a meal and feed my family for less than a 5$ pizza from Little Caesars.  So, once in a while, we do that.  Especially at the end of the month, or right before payday.  Be savvy and discover what works for your family.

Work from Home

There are so many side jobs or even full time jobs that are home-based.  This can give you more flexibility, and save on gas (no commuting!)

Use the Debt Snowball method

This is an incredible method that can work for anyone! It also works quickly, and keeps up the momentum of getting out of debt. This works by organizing your debts from the lowest balance you have to the highest balance (regardless of the interest rate they have) and you work hard to pay off the debt for the first item on your list. To understand the full process and how it works read  Pay off Your Debt With a Debt Snowball.

Transfer Balances

Most of you have had a credit card offer mailed to you offering to “transfer balances” for a low interest rate.  Thisis the good kind of junk mail and can really help you get your debt under control.  The problem with debt is that you accrue interest.  This can keep you in debt forever, unless you make bigger payments, or stop the interest from accruing.  Some cards have offers to transfer balances from other cards to their card for a 0% interest rate (or low, like 3%) for a certain amount of time.  When we were trying to pay off credit cards, we transferred balances from one card to the next, keeping 0% interest rates.  This made our payments go to the entire principle amount and we paid them off MUCH faster than we would have at a standard 12% interest rate.  Be careful to read the terms and conditions of these offers.  Often, there are transfer fees (which can still be worth it, depending on your account balance and what would be saved from the interest) and other terms you will want to be aware of.  Something many people don’t know, is that if you are also using your card, and accruing interest on purchases, you actually only pay off the 0% first, which means you accrue interest on the purchases the whole time.  In a nutshell, to save the most money, transfer balances to a card that you don’t plan to use for purchases, and pay the most you can while the rate lasts.  Don’t be late making a payment or you forfeit your low rate.

Budget

To make sure you are organized and get control of your finances, it is important to budget. Knowing where your money is going every month is half the battle.  Most people that have money trouble truly don’t have a great grasp on what it takes for them to live and where their extra money is going each month.  Years ago, we had the same problem and didn’t feel that we were spending much extra.  After going through our monthly expenses, we realized that we were each eating out for lunch 4+ times each week.  Even if we only spent 5$ (which we didn’t always) times that by 2 of us, that is 40$ each week (almost $200+) just on lunches.  That was more than half of our food budget each month, at the time.  If you know your budget and stick to it, this will help you to get out of debt, and stay out of debt! For great ideas on budgeting ideas, click How to Budget When You Don’t Make Enough Money.

Make homemade products

Save money by making things at home out of household products.  You can make your own household cleaners, lotions, laundry detergents, hair products, and more. You will be amazed at how much money you can save every month, simply by making your own stuff that calls for supplies you most likely have around the house anyway (many products require common items like baking soda, vinegar, oil, soap, etc.)

12 Surprising Things You Can do To Become Debt-Free

Simplify 

When something in your house breaks or starts to wear down, try to get creative with how you can replace that item. If your bathroom rug unravels ask yourself, “Do I really need another one?” You can always put a towel down instead or find some other item that would work. When you start to do this with scrub brushes, paper towels, tin foil, and other common household items you will be able to cut back a lot, save money, and live a more simplistic lifestyle.

Financial Fast

Have you ever heard of a financial fast?  This might sound hard at first, but if you can master this you will feel so rewarded you will want to go… shopping!  Just kidding, don’t do that!  But really, it is very rewarding to exercise your self-control.  If you normally buy extra things you want through the month, or take full advantage of Amazon Prime like we do at our house, just don’t spend any money for a month.  Obviously you need to buy food and pay rent, etc., but cut out restaurants, extras, clothes you think you need and more.  The trick is just to only take care of your essential needs and don’t buy anything else. It takes some diligence and resistance to fight the urge to buy things, but the more you turn down the items you really don’t need, the easier it gets!  You will be amazed that it is possible for your bank account to almost stay the same.  It is a great feeling and after you do it once, you will want to do it again.

 

Sell Your Stuff

To make money, try to sell items that you can find for free. Online there are advertisements where people are getting rid of things, as long as you come pick up the item yourself. You can find these on local classifieds, Craigslist, social media groups, the newspaper, or even just driving by peoples’ houses where they have items on their lawn with a “free” sign. You can also contact people you know that are moving and see if they have items they are getting rid of. Collect those items, and then turn around and sell them! You will make 100% profit.

12 Surprising Things You Can do To Become Debt-Free

 

Be Savvy

How many times have you purchased something, and then you see it go on sale for even less money the next time you are there? To get the most bang for your buck, pay attention to sales, discounts and store promotions.

Make More Money that You Spend

There is a pretty hilarious segment on Saturday Night Live spoofing this idea, but it is true.  And unfortunately, it has to be said.  Figure out how much money you have to live on, and live on less than that.  There are many circumstances that don’t make this always possible.  Medical emergencies, unexpected car repairs and so many more.  The key is to make the “unexpected” expenses “expected.”  Be sure to budget for birthdays, holidays and even car repairs.  Unfortunately, you may realize as you go over your income and your expenses that you simply do not make enough money to meet your monthly needs.  This is the time to make fundamental life changes.  Maybe a job or career change, living in a different place, or taking on side jobs to make extra money.  This can be a sobering reality, but a reality nonetheless.  Take the challenge and change your circumstances.

Take Advantage of Free Activies

Research the museums, festivals, and activities in your community that are free to attend. This will make the burden of saving or a financial fast much more bearable.  There are so many activities in the community that are usually free, that you should have no problem still living as you save.  There is no question that it is hard and that it takes self-control and discipline that may not be fun.  But if you put your best foot forward and make the necessary changes, you will live in financial freedom instead of bondage.

4 Simple Steps Toward Getting Out of Debt

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Debt is a happiness and freedom death-trap.  It causes stress and fear and can trap you forever, if you aren’t careful.  While “staying out of debt” is a great idea in theory, it’s pretty hard to actually do.  Life’s necessities require some amount of debt, in most cases. For example, a modest home, an education, or a functional (but not flashy) car are all things that most people need or want and these are common expenses that usually start out with a loan. If you find yourself in debt, and want help to pay things off and finally be free of the financial strings that hold you back, here are some great tips.

First:

Set goals.  I have achieved nothing in life worth discussing, that didn’t start out in goal-form.  If you don’t know where you are going, how do you know which path to take?  “Get out of debt” is a great goal, but get more specific.  Set dates.  Set times.  Set specifics.  And then outline how you want to get there.  In order for you to achieve big things, you have to mentally decide and accept your own challenge.  Write them down.  Save them.  Post them in a visible place if this helps.  I have never set a financial goal that I haven’t reached.  But I never would have accomplished what I have without a clear destination, with specifics and steps to get there.  I really can’t emphasize this step enough.

Set goals that are specific and concise.  For example: “I want to pay my car loan off by the end of the year.”  Find out the exact balance.  What does that require you to do to get there?  How much must you pay each month to pay off your car?  How can you earn extra money to put on your car in order to pay off the loan?  What can you cut out of your monthly budget to free up some extra cash to put on your car?  Can you pay bi-weekly instead of monthly?  Figure out your path.

Be sure to set realistic goals, that still push yourself beyond your comfort level.  Hard things make us stronger.  It is ok to squirm a little bit.  It is hard, but so rewarding.

Second:

Set Your Path. How are you going to reach your goal?  One common method (that worked for our family) was to focus on paying off the smallest debt first.  It is very motivating to see the balances start to disappear.  It really keeps the momentum going when you see bills get paid off and you move to the next one.  Pay the minimum payment on all of your debts, except the smallest one.  Put all of your extra money on that bill, until it is gone.  Then, when you move to the next one, you add what you were paying on the last bill, adding the minimum payment and any extra that you are paying on the current bill.  You will be surprised at how fast your balances decrease.  It is so encouraging to pay bills off and move to the next one. My husband and I paid off a $16,000 debt and car loan in only 18 months while we were in college and had NO extra money.  I still don’t know how we did it, but we did, using this method along with a lot of self-control 🙂 We lived debt-free the for the duration of college.

Many people think that if they spread out their payments, they will keep them all smaller.  This takes longer and you accrue interest on all of your accounts, instead of knocking them out one at a time.   Once one bill is gone, you won’t have to pay the interest on it anymore, meaning that money can go to paying off your other debts.

Third:

Start spending differently.  This sounds obvious, and there is a pretty funny Saturday Night Live segment spoofing this concept, but spend less than you make.  I would say that if you are struggling to get out of debt, get rid of credit cards.  Maybe not permanently or physically, but don’t use them anymore.  Don’t even use them intending to pay them off at the end of the month, until you can get your debt under control.  Credit cards are great and have their place, but they are also a temptation and can be a pitfall in your path to getting out of debt.  They are convenient and somehow have a magical way of numbing the reality of expenses and costs.  Don’t let this fool you.  I have done it.  It is a common experience for some.  You have a bill to pay, you don’t have the money or it was more expensive than you expected.  You put it on a credit card.  Most times, we do that so we don’t have to “deal” with that expense right now.  Maybe it wasn’t expected (hello- new tires, medical expenses, car repairs!)  But don’t fall into this.  The best way to handle your debts, is to face them head on.

Fourth:

In order to get rid of your debt, you need to be on top of your finances. That means sitting down and creating (or analyzing) your budget. Look at how much you spend. Setting and maintaining a budget will help you stay on track and know how to best use your money to get out of debt.  Budgeting can be a drag, but knowing where your money is going each month is essential to making  financial changes that will improve your quality of life.

BONUS Tip:

Sometimes, we sit down and realize we simply don’t make enough money for what life requires.  This is a sobering reality and can make the goal of “getting out of debt” simply unreachable.  What next?  If at the end of the month, you don’t have the money for your basic needs and responsibilities, it may call for fundamental lifestyle changes.  Maybe this requires renting a cheaper place.  Maybe it requires a budgeting overhaul and maybe the extra expenses need to be re-evaluated.  Don’t give up.  Getting out of debt is possible, but it could be time to get creative.  My husband and I have been in this position, more than once.  We put our heads together and got resourceful.  In the past, we have decided to cut expenses that aren’t “needs” and figure out ways to make extra money.  There are so many side hustles and ways to make money on the side.  We both took side jobs to earn extra money, so that we could still make progress in getting out of debt and staying out of debt.

*Blogging is a great way to earn extra money on the side to help you get out of debt and make a great living.  If you are interested in making extra money on your own time from home, you can see my step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog and get on your way!

Here are a few articles about how you can make extra money to help you on your path to pay off debt:

7 Easy Ways to Make Money Blogging

How to Make Money Blogging

How to Start a Blog

15 {Legit} Ways to Make an Extra $1500 a Month

50 Ways to Earn Extra Money on the Side

8 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

How to Get Freelance Writing Jobs

10 Ways to Earn a Living on the Internet

How to Make Extra Cash Using Ebates

12 Surprising Things You Can Do to Become Debt-Free

How to Make Money Snapchatting

54 Side Hustles to Make Extra Money on the Side

How to Make Extra Money Using Survey Sites

How I Make 100K Online Working From Home

8 Survey Sites You Can Use to Make Extra Money

7 Serious Ways to Add $500 to Your Income