5 Ways to Eliminate Debt Fast

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This post is part of the 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses series. Visit this page for even more ways to slash costs and eliminate unnecessary spending! 

Buried under thousands of dollars worth of debt? Here are 5 easy ways to eliminate debt fast. #5 gives you the greatest potential to succeed!

Maybe you’re wondering why I waited until the very end to talk about debt. I mean, isn’t that really important to get rid of?

Oh-my-word, YES! But here’s the thing…

When you aggressively tackle debt that is above and beyond the average house payment — meaning, credit cards, school loans, car payments, outstanding medical bills, etc. — how are you going to have any extra money to put towards the balance if you haven’t tried reducing any of the previous expenses at all?

You can’t. Unless, of course, you get a second job to increase your income. Personally, I think it’s much easier to cut the costs we already have, rather than work longer, harder hours at minimum wage!

We are all just trying to survive — some of us paycheck-to-paycheck even, so the thought of having an extra $20 to put towards debt might be a pipe dream to you. But when you radically reduce ALL your expenses like we’ve talked about in this series, it becomes an even greater reality. <– {Click to Tweet}

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How to Eliminate Debt:

1. Target One Balance at a Time – By focusing on just ONE area of your finances, you will not only eliminate debt faster, you will also be more organized in your approach. There are a couple different methods to do this — one is to focus on the lowest debt amount you have to get rid of it as quickly as possible, or focus on the debt with the higher interest rate. Being a number cruncher, I personally go with the higher rate so you don’t pay any more than you have to in interest. Of course, Dave Ramsey believes in the smaller amount method. Do what feels most natural or comfortable for you — the key is to just get rid of debt!

2. Negotiate Lower Interest Rates – Speaking of interest rates, it doesn’t hurt to call up each of your creditors and ask if they would be willing to negotiate. Explain that you are working hard on debt-reduction, and are ready to aggressively pay off that card or loan. If it doesn’t work the first time, try calling again another day. Sometimes it takes speaking to the right rep or manager to cut you a break.

3. Sell Your Clutter on Craigslist – A great way to find extra money to put towards debt, it to sell your own junk. We always have items lying around that we don’t need, and any income you can put towards debt is better than letting these dust-collectors clutter up your beautiful home. Host a garage sale for smaller trinkets, and list higher value items on Craigslist for a bigger profit. {Just don’t forget my #1 tip to a successful sale!}.

4. Use Your Tax Refund  – Any time you get a tax refund, put that money toward debt! I know it’s so very tempting to use that influx of cash towards something else, such as a remodeled bathroom or brand new TV. Obviously, the final decision is up to you, but I do encourage you to sit down and allocate most, if not all, of your refund towards something that will help you financially in the long run. If you need even more ideas on how to use your refund, here are 12 smart tips.

And lastly, you might have already guessed it…

5. Reduce Your Expenses – If you missed some of the previous days in this series, go back through this page and take the time to read each post. Write down your own personal goals on what you need to work on as a family. Take just one or two ideas from the list and commit to trying them right away. It’s no good to have all this knowledge and not use it, so consider this your push to go reduce something….now! Then turn those savings into an extra payment.

Today’s Challenge:

If you still have debt, decide which balance you are going to pay off first, then work on 1-2 ideas to eliminate it as quickly as possible. Give me a peek at your debt repayment plan, or tweet @KalynBr00ke with the hashtag #ReduceYourExpenses!

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One Comment

  1. So glad you said ‘Excess’ debt and not the generic ‘all’ debt. Debt gets a bad rap but can be a great tool to use wisely.

    Have always loved the strategy of focusing on lower amount debts first when paying of debt. Probably throwing some money away by not tackling higher rates first but it’s great to see those accounts drop off fast.

    My favorite credit ‘fix’…most know that you can contest errors on your credit report by writing to the company that put them on your report. If they don’t respond in 30 days you can call the credit bureau and have it removed…but this also works with old stuff as well.

    Miss a payment on your Macy’s card a few years ago? Write them a letter. If the account is closed, they’re probably not going to bother responding and you can get it removed from your report.

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