5 Creative Ways to Reduce Your Debt

by The Happy Rock on July 22, 2008

cut up credit card

This is a guest post contributed by Heather Johnson, who writes on the subject of Discover rewards programs. She invites your feedback at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

Whether we can officially call the economic downturn we’re currently experiencing a recession, we can all agree that it’s harder and harder to keep your head above water these days.  If you’re like me and in debt then you are feeling the pinch even more so.  Being in debt is always a terrible feeling but it’s worse when your dollar just doesn’t go as far as it used to.  The high gas prices and soaring cost of food have made being in debt as bad as it’s been in decades.  While there are no easy ways to get out of debt, there are ways we can stem the tide.  Here are a few ideas for you as you try to crawl out your umbrella of debt:

  1. Cut up your cards or toss them away for the time being. Consider relying on cash for the foreseeable future.  This will put you in a position where you are weaning yourself off your reliance on credit cards.  You may want to keep a low interest credit around for extreme emergencies.
  2. Talk to your boss about a raise. This may sound like the boldest move you could make but it’s not so far-fetched.  Presuming you have a good track record at work you could be in line for a promotion or a raise.  Go to your boss and talk about your options.  Express desire to take on more responsibilities.  Being proactive will increase your chances at earning that much needed raise.
  3. Be proactive. Talk to your lenders personally and let them know you’re taking ownership of your debt.  This will make them more likely to be lenient if further problems arise down the road.
  4. Get the best deal you can on your utilities. This is a great way to increase your savings.  Spend some time online and find out if you’re overpaying for any of your utilities.  20 or 30 bucks a month off your bills will go a far way in helping you confront your debt issues.
  5. Be creative. If you own your house or rent an apartment with an extra room, consider renting out it out to pick up some extra cash.  Look around and see if you have any appliances or anything of considerable value that you can sell to increase your cash flow.  Now is the time to make cash and if you have to think outside the box then so be it.