Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post with help from Nationwide Debt Direct.
Debt. Eek! Does that word scare you like it does me?
I’ll be honest. I’ve gotten myself a considerable amount into debt, and I’m working on crawling my way out of it. Here’s what I am doing right now to work my way out of that dark hole.
1.) Track What You Spend
Some say two weeks of tracking, others recommend a month or more. For me, I tracked two months of spending and saw a lot of where I was going wrong. Fast food, and junk food runs to the store weren’t doing us any favors. So we’ve cut back on these a lot. It’s really eye opening to see where so much of our money is going and it’s not always good places. Track everything you spend and then..
2.) Resolve to Only Live on Cash
After tracking your spending, decide to not spend anything else on your credit cards. If you’re like me and have probably too many credit cards, it’s going to be harder to dig yourself out of debt. Still it can be done. Since you’re living on cash you need to remember to take care of anything you’d be taking care of on credit cards on cash first. If you can’t do that easily it might be time to..
3.) Look for Part Time Income or Online Money Making Gigs
While finding an out of the house part time gig might not be doable for everyone, there are lots of places you can make money online. Become an Amazon affiliate and share products on your Facebook and Twitter if you have a good following, you’ll earn money (or amazon gc’s) to help pay for items. Pick up Transcription work – You can do so without experience at Rev! Pick up small gigs at Amazon’s MTurk too. Of course, the website Rat Race Rebellion is great for finding all sorts of legitimate work at home jobs to help boost your income.
4.) Find Expenses You Can Reduce.
I cut off our cable TV, and landline phone service. Neither of these were being used that often, and it saved us $60 a month. Which isn’t a ton but it’s better than it could be. Also like I said above we cut down on eating fast food and buying junk food from the store. We still eat out sometimes or get snacks from the grocery store, but we’ve cut way back on this expense too!
5.) If You’re a College Student or Soon to be..
If you’re planning on heading to school soon, look into scholarships like crazy, this even applies if you have a kiddo starting college soon or in their last years of High School. Here, we have Kat who is now in her senior year. You can check out National Direct Debt as they have a scholarship going on right now for $1000!
6.) Create a Debt Payoff Plan
Take a look at all your current debts. Which have the highest interest rates? Which have the lowest? Which has the lowest balance and which has the highest? There are many ways to work your way through debt. I decided to go with a “snowball” technique. Where I start with the smallest balance, work my way through it (by adding a little extra to the payments) while trying to keep my other accounts current. Once that account is paid off, I use what I used to pay on that debt every month, minus $10 (to help with our cash expenditure) to work on the next biggest. I’ll keep going until even the biggest debts are paid off… However.. if that doesn’t always work…
7.) Check Into a Debt Consolidation Loan
While I understand this isn’t always ideal, if you can swing it and it makes your monthly payments better. I highly recommend it. Just remember that you need to NOT add more debt on to the credit cards you paid off with this debt. That just makes life worse (I did this once actually, and I’m still struggling to fix it!) Once you get a debt consolidation loan go ahead and hide your credit cards from yourself. You’re on a cash/debit card only spending habit right now. Get all your debts paid off and keep those credit cards for when either 1.) you have an emergency and have no choice or 2.) you are done paying off your loans or anything else. So you can afford monthly payments + extra again.