One of the best tips for digging out from under a mountain of debt is to get a bigger shovel. Outside of finding deep meaningful motivation for getting out of debt, increasing the amount of money you put towards debt each month will probably the next biggest catalyst for overcoming debt. Note that if you haven’t truly figured out your financial purpose, you may not have the motivation to finish the job. But if getting out of debt is truly important, why only use your current income to get you there? Here is a list of some ways to create more money to help bust your way out of debt.
Cut Costs – You should be tracking your weekly and monthly expenses, and testing them against your desire to get out of debt. Things like cable, eating out, and movies are all taking away from the amount of money that you can snowball towards your debt.
Ebay, Craigslist, and Garage Sales – Often our debt gets us a bunch of stuff that we don’t need. Look around your house and consider selling everything that isn’t a necessity. Use the extra cash to put towards your debt. This step also has the added benefit of helping break the pattern of materialism that runs counter to getting and staying out of debt.
Extra Job – Yes, I know you don’t have time or you don’t want too! But deliver some pizzas or packages, shovel some snow, or cut some lawns. Remember that this is a short term solution, to a huge problem. If you change you spending behavior in the process, you shouldn’t ever have to get a second job again. You will reap the benefits of putting forth the extra energy early in the process, and then you can quit your second job and be debt free!
Ask for a Raise – Consider asking for a raise, or taking on more responsibility at work. A positive outcome would have compounding benefits for not only ditching the debt, but also for the rest of your life.
Tap into your Savings – By savings I mean liquid accounts, not things like 401k. This one is usually mathematically logical, because the interest rate on our debt is worse than the rate on the savings. Even if it isn’t, I still argue that changing your financial behavior and dumping debt will radically change you perspective and life enough that you will overcome and surpass that lost savings in no time. This one comes with a caveat though. If you aren’t truly committed to staying out of debt and changing your financial behavior, keep the money in the bank. You will probably find yourself in debt again, but now you don’t have the money in the bank.
Now go out and kick those debt reduction plans into high gear!