Dividend Growth Bunny: 9 Ways to Get Out of Debt Faster

Sunday, June 23, 2019

9 Ways to Get Out of Debt Faster

Debt is an amount of money borrowed by an individual from another party. Many people use debt as a method of making large purchases that they could not afford by paying interest on them. Many get into huge debts and getting out of it can be frustrating and confusing experience if you don’t have the right plan. Some people simply try to avoid these issues and ignore the problems they are already in. However, if these debt issues are not dealt with, it will only escalate the problem much further. This can lead destroying your financial dream. With debt, it will be impossible for you to be financially ahead to achieve early retirement. Before you want to build wealth through your investment, you’ll need to tackle those debts you acquire. So what are ways to get out debt faster?

1. Stop Using Credit Cards
If you want to get out of debt, you’ll need to stop using your credit cards. The more you swipe, the more your debt balance will be. It’s better to use cash from your debit card rather than from credit card. A cash advance via credit card generally cost you a steep cash-advance fee as well as a steep interest rate. In addition, interest start accumulating immediately after you take out the loan. 


2.  Pay More than the Minimum Payment
If you carry a credit card balance of $20,000 that has an average 15% APR, and if you make only the minimum payment of 3% of your credit card balance, which will take you nearly 21 years (253 months) to pay it off and pay $14,079.41 in interest charges. The minimum payment on credit card debt is calculated as a percentage (usually 2 to 3%) of your total current debt balance. The minimum payment drops as your balance is paid, however because of compound interest, it will take decades if you only pay the minimum amount per month. In addition, that’s only if you don’t add additional debt to your credit card balance which can be a challenge on its own. Trust me it’s really difficult by not adding more debt to your balance. I have seen people who increase their debt balance years after years. Their credit card balance used to be below $10,000 requiring paying the minimum payment of only $300 a month, but after years ahead of not dealing with the debt problem and compulsion spending, the credit card balance increases to $30,000 and now the person require to pay the minimum monthly balance of $900 a month. Trust me! Sometimes bad incident occur such as your car broke down, or it can be sickness that require you to be hospitalized. Unexpected expenses will appear along the way of your life and that is usually the reason you’ll need to borrow more using your credit card. You don’t want to keep your compulsive spending and end up with $100,000 in credit card debt that require you to pay the minimum monthly payment of $3000. It will be a total nightmare!

Whatever debt you are carrying, whether it is credit card debt, personal loans, student loan, or even business loans, it’s better to pay them down sooner than paying the minimum monthly payment. By doing so, it will not only help you to save on the interest payment throughout the life of your loan, but it will also speed up the payoff process.


3. Try Using the Debt Snowball method
The Debt Snowball method is a debt reduction strategy in which you start paying of the smallest debt account first to largest debt account, gaining the momentum as you tackle out each balance. The first step, you are required to list down all the debt you owe from the smallest to the largest. You will then start paying the smallest debt balance in as much as possible, while paying the minimum payment on the rest. Then again when the smallest debt account is paid in full, you start paying on the next smallest debt balance. In theory, by the time the final debts are reached, the extra amount paid toward the larger debt will grow quickly, similar to a snowball rolling downhill gathering more snow.


4. Start Budgeting and Start being a Smart Shopper
Take a good look where all your monthly paycheck goes to. By budgeting you are able to know all the monthly expenses you have. You are then able to cut those unnecessary expenses and be a smart shopper. This way you are able to save more money to pay off your debt faster. For example, you can cut the cable television since you can watch most entertainment content online in today’s time. Another example is to stop eating outside. I understand going to restaurant or hitting up the drive-thru is so much simpler than cooking at home. However, cooking at home can save more money to tackle those debts you have and it can be healthier for you as well. Be creative, there are many ways you can be a smart shopper to get the deals that can save you some extra cash. For example, you can shop for clothes when there are sale seasons instead of buying it during at regular price. My recommendation to keep track of your budget is to download an app on your smart phone called Personal Capital. I personally use this app to keep track of my finances. The reason why I love this app so much it’s because of its simplicity and enable me to keep track of all my expenses.


5. Start Selling Your Unwanted Things.
I bet there are so many unwanted things that you rarely use lying around in your house. You can do the old fashioned way by having a garage sale for your spare items. Otherwise, by placing those items on craigslist.org or other source of online marketplace such as ebay.com which can help you get some extra bucks. Trust me; you probably won’t have those credit card debts if you haven’t bought many things that you don’t really need. I personally have been selling unwanted things that I have on craigslist.org. Even when I’m not in debt, but it sure does give me some extra cash and most importantly it helps towards my house from getting cluttered with unwanted things.


6. Sell the car!
I know this sounds insane. However if you bought a car that is too expensive for you to own, it’s better to sell it and buy another car that you can really afford. I would recommend an older model car because it usually has a cheaper price range since its price has depreciated from its original cost. The average monthly payment for a new car is $523. Imagine how much faster your debt snowball move if you pay an extra of $500 month to your debt balances. In addition, a car is a depreciating asset that goes down in value over time. I know people love their car like kids love their toy, but cars only take more money from you since there are expenses for owning it. It’s better to sell your fancy car now rather than later since these assets are actually liabilities that go down in value. You can have those expensive car or other fancy toys when you are financially stable. Remember! There will always be a newer and better car in the future. Its okay to let go of this experience now, since there will always be a next time. It’s never too late when you are financially stable to have those stuffs. Learn that delay gratification will pay off.


7. Pick Up a Side Hustle or Part-Time Job
Attacking your debts with the debt snowball method will speed up the process of paying down your debt; however earning more money can amplify your efforts even further. You can add additional monthly cash flow such as being an Uber or Lyft driver. Aside of that you can take additional job such as being a pizza deliverer or taking more hours at your work place. In addition, there are many great website where you can take a side hustle such as www.upwork.com or www.taskrabbit.com. There are people making a living using these websites. There are many ways you can monetize your skills and talents, so be creative! As for me, aside as working in my dad’s company, I try to become a finance blogger and monetizing it with google adsense. This can be a great way to earn extra passive income.


8. Look for a Lower Interest rate Credit Card
If your credit card is charging you a high interest rate that make you unable to move ahead, it’s worth calling your card issuer to negotiate for a lower interest rate. It’s common to ask for a lower interest rate, and if you have a good credit history, there’s a possibility of getting a lower interest rate. This way you can reduce paying additional towards the interest of your credit card balance.


9. Drop Expensive Habits
If you’re in debt and consistently coming short each month, checking out your habits of spending is a great idea. No matter what, you need to look into detail on how you’re spending your money daily. That way you can evaluate whether those purchases are worth it. By doing so, you can find ways to minimize the cost.

If you enjoy smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, just quit. Those habits do nothing good to you except ruin your life and your long-term goal. Not only they can cost you financially, but they are also unhealthy. Being healthy is a great insurance towards your long term life. Not only it will prevent you from seeing the doctor which will cost you more money, but you will live a healthy life style. Try finding activities that are beneficial for you. For example, working out at the gym can be a hobby that is great for your health but it doesn’t cost much. I personally choose lifting weight and working out at the gym as my hobby since it is beneficial for my health and it feels rewarding when I feel fit and healthy.

Whatever your biggest temptation is, it’s better to avoid it altogether when you are still in debt. When you’re tempted to spend, it can be difficult to avoid new debts, let alone paying off the old one. Don’t end up like the people who constantly add more debt because they love to purchase things that may be unnecessary for them. So avoid those temptation, you can always get those hobbies once you are done paying off your debt. 


In Conclusion
It’s effortless to continue living in debt and living pay check to pay check if nothing bad occurs. However, when there is a disaster such as an accident, or unexpected sickness occur. You might need to take additional loan to your debt balance which will of course increase your minimum monthly payment. Trust me; it will be a nightmare when your debt balance only increases each year. I have seen people whose debt only increases and difficult for them to get out of the rat race. Not only debt is tiring and difficult to get out of if you procrastinate, it will slow down your financial goal towards early retirement. There’s a saying “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else”. So be responsible with your finances, and stay out from those credit cards and most importantly start doing something about it NOW!

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