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Having a large amount of debt is like have a boulder tied around your neck. It holds you down, slowly dragging your further and further to the ground, until you feel like you can’t move anymore. You might start out with just a pebble hanging there but, if you are not careful, it slowly grows and, before you know it, it’s a boulder. But don’t worry, there is hope. If your debt is larger than a pebble, it may take some time, but there is still hope. You just need to take it one step at a time, focus on small chunks, and find some ways to bring in extra money. To get you started, here are 5 ways to earn some extra money and pay down debt.
5 Ways to Pay Down Debt
1. Get a second job.
One of the best ways to pay down your debt is to increase the amount of money you make. The quickest way to do that is to get a second job. It can be hard to work two jobs but if you sacrifice your time now and dedicate all the money from your second job to paying down your debt, you will be much better off in the long run. If you do get a second job, always remind yourself that it is only temporary. Your sacrificing now for a better life in the not-to-distant future.
2. Ask for a raise.
As I said, increasing the money you make is a great way to get your debt paid off. You can do this by asking for a raise and using every bit of that raise to go towards debt. This can be a little more difficult as you never know what your company will say when you ask. But it can’t hurt. Do your research beforehand. Know how much your position is worth in your area and weigh that against how long you have been in that position, when your last raise was, etc. Having these details in your mind can make you much more confident in what you are asking for.
3. Have a garage sale.
To earn some quick cash to pay down debt, have a garage sale. Go through your house and very carefully look at everything you own. Do you need every item you see? Are there things you can sell? You may not be able to bring in a ton of money, but every little bit helps.
4. Trade in your car.
If you have a car with a high monthly payment, consider trading it in for a cheaper car. Again, this would only be temporary until you get your debt paid off. A lot of us have cars with payments of $300-$400 a month. If you could trade that in for a decent used car with a $100-$200 a month payment, that’s an extra $100-$300 a month you could be using to pay down debt.
5. Get a cheaper living space.
If you rent, move into a cheaper house or apartment to save money on rent and put the savings towards your debt. If you own your home, consider bringing in a roommate to pay a portion of the expenses for a little while in order to save money.
If you have high interest credit cards you are paying on, consider transferring your balance to another card. A lot of cards have promotions where you can transfer you balance for a fee and enjoy no interest on that balance for anywhere from 12 to 21 months or more. This is a great way to save money on interest and know that every cent you put towards it is going towards the debt itself. Only do this, though, if you are serious about getting it paid off before the promotion is over. Otherwise, you will be paying a fee (usually around 4%) up front and then paying interest on the balance when the promo is over thus defeating the purpose.
No matter what options you choose to pay down debt or what other ideas you come up with, you must make being debt-free your mission. You must dedicate yourself to using any funds you save from budgeting, switching cars, selling possessions, etc. to paying your debt off. In the end, you will be much happier and a step closer to being stress-free.