With a New Year fast approaching, we have all at some point thought to ourselves “this year I am going to pay off all my debt”.
However, the second week of January eventually creeps upon us, and we’re already overspent and deflated, and the rest of the year follows the same pattern.
Well, today I have seven simple tips that if you commit to following, you can pay off your debt easily by the end of the year!
Paying off debt can be painful and difficult, but if you put your head down, work hard to earn extra money, and change your spending habits temporarily, then it can be done a lot easier than many people think.
Ask yourself this, would you rather spend 6-12 months living super frugally in order to get out of debt and be able to live financially free for the years ahead, or carry on living paycheck to paycheck for the rest of your life?
These are the steps I took to pay off £3000 worth of debt in 6 months last year.
I appreciate that everybody’s circumstances are completely different, however I really believe that these tips that should be able to help most people in some way.
7 Tips To Finally Get Out Of Debt This Year
USE YOUR BONUS
Many companies pay an annual bonus, often in either December, January or April. Rather than using your bonus to “treat yourself” to a holiday, new handbag, or any other meaningless item that will lose its value or sentiment quickly, invest the money in yourself by putting it towards paying off as much of your debt as you can in one go.
USE GIFT MONEY
If you’re ever given money by friends of family for occasions such as birthdays or Christmas, then use it to put towards debt repayment. People often think that gifted money should be used to buy something special that you wouldn’t usually buy for yourself, however, how do you think your loved ones would feel if they knew that their gesture was used to finally free yourself of that debt that’s been weighing you down for years?
BOOST YOUR INCOME
Take on a second job, or find a way to make extra money from home. Nothing will accelerate your debt repayment journey more than increasing your income.
Every penny of the extra money you bring in can go towards debt repayment and you could pay off everything you owe in full potentially twice as fast as you could have if you just relied on one income source.
It’s literally as simple as that.
Stop spending money on anything that isn’t completely essential. Morning coffees, takeaway dinners, new clothes, electronics, holidays and trips to the cinema – forget it all.
Not forever… just until you catch up with yourself and pay back some of the money you owe.
Not spending money doesn’t have to mean that you stay cooped up inside with nothing to do for months on end. There are plenty of things that you can do with your time whilst not spending any money.
If you need some pointers then here are 45 Fun Things To Do On A No Spend Weekend.
If you aren’t familiar with Dave Ramsey’s snowball method for tackling debt repayment, then this might be the most valuable tip you can put into action from this blogpost.
Write down a list of all the money you owe, with the smallest number at the top of the list, and the largest number at the bottom.
Focus on paying off the smallest loan in full first, then move onto the next item on the list once the first is paid off.
Starting with the smallest debt first is the best way to make your journey feel more manageable and you can chip away at each item one at a time and see real progress being made.
You will still need to make any minimum payments where they are required, but any extra money you have to go towards your debts should go to one place at a time.
Generally managing your finances better will help you to pay off debt in itself.
Seeing where your money is going, where you can cut back and what’s left after you have paid all your essential bills is the best way to see how much money you can put towards repaying your debt every month.
Keep a log of any incoming and outgoing money every month and tally up what’s left over after all your expenses. This exercise will show you areas that you might be overspending, and what cutbacks you can make to save money.
Choose a method that works for you: you can use an Excel spreadsheet, money management app or even good old fashioned pen and paper. How you keep your budget is not important, what matters is that you do it every single month consistently.
CUT OUT A LUXURY
Face it, if you want to get out of debt this year, then you’re going to have to make some sacrifices.
It’s only temporary, and once everything is paid off, you can bring the luxuries back into your life if it’s something that’s important to you.
When we were paying off debt, we cancelled a few things such as cinema membership and some movie/television streaming services. Check through your monthly budget and see what you can manage without for a few months and then put the money you save as a result towards repayments.
To Finish Off….
I really hope that you enjoyed this post and you found some actionable tips that will help you to finally pay off every penny of debt you owe this year.
Let me know if you have any other tips for managing your finances and I look forward to seeing you around here again soon for more personal finance blog posts!