Credit card debt is something which many of us simply live with. It’s like having an itch that you’ve had for so long that you don’t think about it anymore. The problem of debt has become a national epidemic now. More people in debt means less money going into the economy, meaning more jobs cut, which in turn means more people in debt. It’s a problem! In fact, the average American owes a whopping $47,000 in consumer debt. Yuk.
All of this debt is stressful for most people and so they look for a way to pay it down. Of course paying down the debt means cutting out extraneous expenses and making more income, but how can you inject some fun and creativity into what would ordinarily be a financial drag?
1. Tap Into Your Talents
Sure you have your 9-5 job and it’s fine. But if you want to pay off the debt faster, you’ll need to bring in more money. Time to work overnight? Nah, why not work with what you love for a year or two? Perhaps you have talent as a writer? You could write a few articles a week for some extra cash. Or start a small baking on the side. Babysit or tutor school kids. Doing what you love can make the debt shrink faster, expand your network, and let you have fun. Even if you only bring in an extra $100.00 a week, that’s $400 a month or $4800 a year and that’s quite a dent in credit card debt, on top of your normal payments of course.
2. Start Saving
Some financial advisors say you should pay the debt first and then save, but, I’ve found that doing both may work better. Put some money away into savings every month and that way you have a security net so that you’re not touching the credit card when something comes up. Furthermore, once your savings matches a credit card, you can flatten the card down all at once which is a very satisfying feeling. If you have a card carrying $6,000 for example, put down your usual payments and then put a roughly equal amount in savings. As the credit card goes down and your savings rise, the numbers will meet in the middle and you can crunch that card debt.
If you have a hard time with sticky fingers and savings accounts, put the money in an account where you will be charged for withdrawals, and then only make the withdrawal once you’ve reached your goal.
3. Become a Coupon Warrior
It’s not hard to find coupons anymore! There are entire websites devoted to coupons. And these little pieces of paper add up to big savings, which can then be put toward your plastic friend (fiend?). Coupons also mean that you can splurge on those treats every so often without blowing up your personal entertainment budget.
4. Flip It
Flip it good! There are lots of things in the world which are broken or worn out, but can be fixed and resold. The concept of ‘flipping it’ became popular through flipping houses: buying a cheap, run down home and then flipping it to resell it for a huge profit. But you can do the same thing with just about anything, including electronics, computers, and furniture. Buy cheap, fix it up and sell at a profit. Could become a fun sideline while providing an extra income to help you pay down your debt faster–plus more.
Do it yourself. If you rent and you want to fix up part of the house, most reasonable landlords will happily defer part of the rent to make up the cost of fixing the home. That money can then be used to pay down your credit cards. Many home fixer upper jobs aren’t hard, just time consuming–and it’s a great way to make a rental property something that is more yours.
Scratching the Surface
There are lots of other ways to pay off your debt faster! Don’t be afraid of some hard work, be creative, and you’ll be debt free faster and without sacrificing everything you love. Good luck!