Have you ever met anyone that said they love their car payment, school loan, or credit card bills? Of course not! Debt has a tendency to take over your life and drown out the joy that should be there.
Going debt free and not borrowing for things made my life better in every way. Below I share some of my tips for going debt free quickly. My husband, Jeff and I, used most of these so I know they work.
- Read here how we paid off $65,000 in just 17 months!
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Here we go!
- Get Serious!
If you want to pay off debt fast, you cannot play around with it. Don’t make excuses! You have to be very intentional and be ready to sacrifice some things in order to reach the goal.
Cars, boats, and all of your precious stuff might need to be sold so you can achieve the desired result.
You can always buy another car or boat, in CASH, once you are past this place in your life.
You cannot casually wander out of debt. It takes being intentional and very on purpose.
- Sell Something
This is a big one! I would venture to say you have $1,000 of stuff laying around your house. Unless your great grandmother left it to you, it should be on the table as “sell-able.”
Stop hanging on to that treadmill you never use! Sell your kids old clothes on eBay. Have a garage sale. Stop hanging on to your kid’s bicycles and toys. It is time to get rid of things. If you don’t use it once a month or every so often, it is way past time to sell it.
- Make a Budget
I know, this is a bad word to many. The truth is, you probably don’t know where your money is going.
If you don’t sit down and start a budget then you will never win with money.
Sometimes, once you do the dreaded budget, you find out that, maybe, it isn’t as bad as you thought.
I recommend Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover. It will walk you through the steps we went through to pay our debt in 17 months! This book transformed our financial lives and a decade later, we can do just about anything we want.
- Cut out the Starbucks!
We call Starbucks, FIVE bucks at my house. Mainly, because you cannot get out of there without spending at least $5!
I’m not just talking about coffee shops either. I am also suggesting you stop hitting fast food joints too. Any place that you find yourself stopping at frequently needs to be looked at. Sometimes, this becomes a habit and not a need.
Ask yourself before buying it, “Do I need this?” If you don’t, keep driving.
My suggestion: Pack your lunch for work and use your own coffee maker during this journey. It will save you a ton and you will probably be healthier too. Starbucks will be there once all your debt is gone.
- Maximize Surprise Money
This could be everything from tax returns, a raise at work, money at Christmas or birthdays and surprise checks or refunds in the mail. Money does occasionally show up unexpectedly. Be sure to use that towards debt reduction.
Be careful not to “reward” yourself too much with this type of money. When you do, you are just prolonging the jail of debt in your life.
- Negotiate Interest Rates on Credit Cards
If you have high credit card debt it is time to consider calling and asking for a rate reduction. Sometimes, just asking will produce what you want. The worst they can say is no.
As a side note, credit cards will kill your ability to build wealth. Once you have paid yours off consider never getting one again. It is just a though.
- Negotiate Medical Debt
First off, if you are drowning in medical bills you need to call each doctor, hospital and provider you owe and tell them what you can afford to pay monthly.
Many times medical bills are sent with the full amount due put on the statement. However, if you cannot afford the full amount right away you can negotiate the amount you can pay on a monthly basis.
They will generally accept this as long as you consistently make those payments.
Secondly, if you owe a hospital a very large amount of money you should consider negotiating for a reduction in your bill. You’ll have to have cash in full for this to work. If have a chunk of money and are ready to pay now, get those negotiating skills going and pay what they are willing to accept.
I have a very good friend who did this and it does work. She owed over $50,000 after a week stay in a hospital. She called several weeks after her recovery and negotiated a huge reduction in her bill if she paid the debt in cash. In the end, she paid $26,000 and the hospital called that “paid in full!”
It’s worth a phone call.
- Start a Side Hustle
Although this is towards the bottom of this list it is super important. It is possibly the most important part of getting rid of debt FAST.
In order to kill debt quicker, you need to generate more money. I am not saying you have to work like a dog forever, but for a season, it is an idea.
I know you are busy, but getting out of debt takes determination and being intentional. Bringing in more money will make that debt snowball that Dave Ramsey talks about go much faster!
- A Step by Step Guide for Starting Your Own Money Making Blog
- Nine Ways to Make Money Quickly. Most Are Easier Than You Think!
- Side Hustles that Work. Start Making Money TODAY!
- 12 Side Businesses You Can Start in 7 Days
I recommend displaying a picture of what you are going to do once you’ve accomplished your goal. Put it in a prominent place where you will see it each day.
This could be a vacation spot, furniture you want to buy or anything that motivates you.
Seeing this daily helps to remind you of what is waiting at the end of your journey. Getting rid of debt is tough, but the rewards FAR outweigh the difficult process.
There is a picture in our home of the first trip we took after our debt was gone and our emergency fund was full! Do you think we looked stressed? No! The trip was paid for in cash, there was no debt waiting at home and our emergency fund was full! Debt freedom changed our lives!
The End Result
Living debt free is just more FUN!
I know you think you are having fun sliding that credit card all the time but I promise that life is so much easier when you know there is no debt to drag you down.
I have lived both ways. There is no comparison!