If your current spending and saving plan isn’t paying down your debt fast enough, it may be time to change things up a bit to get rid of your debt faster. Although this means making some sacrifices in the short-term, you’ll be saving possibly hundreds of dollars of interest in the long-run.
Here are some creative ideas to help you pay down your debt faster.
1. Flip on classifieds
If you have a knack for do-it-yourself projects, home repair or improvement, or art and crafting of any sort, you could use that knack to make some money flipping furniture and appliances on classifieds ads. Spend some time each weekend browsing yard sales or classifieds ads and look for items you could paint, touch-up, or even just clean-up. Factor your time and cost of materials into the redo, then re-sell it to make a profit. Use what you earn to pay down your debt.
2. Have a no-spend month
Prepare in advance for a no-spend month. You’ll have to decide how disciplined you’ll be, but some ideas to do a no-spend month are:
- No eating out – prepare recipes and meal plan in advance to avoid it. Give yourself a budget and stick to it.
- No clothes shopping or recreational shopping.
- Entertain at home – no movies, bowling, sporting events, etc. Get creative at home with entertainment.
- Set a gas budget. Plan your errands wisely to eliminate excess driving.
Use whatever money you saved to pay down debt.
3. Sell your stuff
Chances are you have several clothing items and pairs of shoes you don’t wear. You might have a bike or skateboard you don’t ride, or some furniture you don’t use. Turn your extra stuff into cash by selling it. There are a lot of clothing consignment stores where you can sell your clothes, or host your own yard sale. Even online classifieds or Facebook indoor yard sale sites can be a great place to sell your unused or unneeded stuff.
4. Use Your Bonuses Wisely
If grandma likes to send you birthday money or you’re expecting a substantial tax return, fight the urge to splurge and pay down your debt with it. If you think of it in terms of how much money you’re saving by eliminating interest payments, you’re investing that money by paying down debt. Whether it’s for six months or a year, decide to use your financial windfalls for debt repayment.
5. Get a side gig
Picking up a side job doesn’t have to be a huge time investment. Babysitting, mowing lawns, teaching guitar lessons, or even walking dogs are all options, and could be an opportunity for greater financial freedom or even a more rewarding career. Just a few times a week or month can give you extra cash you need to pay down debt faster.
Once you pay down your debt, set goals to stay out of debt so you don’t find yourself scrambling in the future. Learn how to budget and stick to it, and you’ll be happy and worry-free for years to come.