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How to Jump Start Your Debt Payoff

July 20, 2016

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Drowning in debt? Here's how you can jump start on your debt payoff today!

When you finally reach that breaking point where you realize how deep you are in debt, it’s natural to want to jump start your debt payoff.

When you are in that dark place, one of two things usually happens. Either you are depressed and think you’ll never be debt free, or you decide to take action to change your situation ASAP.

I hope everyone takes the second approach, but that’s not always what happens. If it is though, finding some ways to get quick wins at paying off your debt is important.

Quick wins with deb make your feel good about yourself and your efforts. They motivate you to keep going.

If you are at you breaking point with debt, here’s how you can jump start your debt payoff.

Start With the Smallest Balance

There’s a reason why Dave Ramsey suggests paying off debt in order of the balance size instead of by the interest rate. Paying off a couple of small balances in a short amount of time will jump start your progress and make you feel motivated. You’ll also be excited about your progress and most likely want to buckle down even harder to pay off more debt.

Reduce Your Expenses

Take a hard look at your monthly budget. Are there things you could cut or expenses you could reduce so you have more money to put toward debt? Chances are you could make at least one cut in your budget to jump start your debt pay off. I like watching TV as much as the next person, but TV was one of the first things I considered cutting from my budget. Another example might be your eating out or entertainment budget.

Even if you can’t cut these expenses from your budget entirely, reducing them will help you have more money to put toward debt.

Consider Cheaper Housing and Transportation

Some of the biggest expenses in most people’s monthly budget are their housing and transportation costs. I used to scoff when people said selling your car and buying a beater to eliminate your car payment was a good way to jump start debt progress, but now I understand why. I don’t plan to follow this advice with my own car. But I can see how it would make a big difference if you are on a limited budget and want to jump start your debt pay off.

Another thing to consider is looking for a different place to live. If you are renting, this should be fairly easy to do when your lease is up. If you own your home, it could be a little more difficult. You’d have to sell your property and find cheaper housing, but it could be done. Moving isn’t the only way to lower your housing cost though. You could take in a roommate or rent out a room in your home to temporary guests via AirBnb.

Find Ways to Make More Money

Making extra money specifically to put toward debt is another great way to jump start your debt payoff. There are an infinite number of ways to make more money.  You could start a blog or podcast. Or you could take up freelance writing, freelance photography, or freelance graphic design. Another idea is to start babysitting or petsitting in the evenings and weekends when sitters are in high demand. You could start mowing lawns for your neighbors. You could even get a part-time job. These are just a few ideas for side hustles that can help you earn more money to jump start your debt payoff.

If side hustling isn’t your thing, there are still other ways to earn more money, like decluttering. There are actually a number of ways you can make money off of your clutter. You could have a garage sale to get rid of clutter, or sell some of your old clothes to a site like ThredUp.

Getting a jump start on your debt is a great way to keep yourself motivated when you finally decide it’s time to face the music.

Can you think of other ways to jump start your debt payoff?

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Drowning in debt? Here's how you can get a jump start on your debt today!

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4 responses to “How to Jump Start Your Debt Payoff

  1. Hi Kayla!

    Always great advice. I’ve been trying to follow Dave Ramsey’s plan for a couple of years. It can be really challenging paying debt down, but it’s totally worth it. I still have a long way to go and could definitely be a lot more disciplined about it!

    1. Thanks Cheri! Even though I like Dave’s plan, I struggle with being “gazelle intense” with it. I still have a lot of debt to tackle too. 🙂

  2. Hey Kayla, good post- I listen a lot to Dave but I too don’t stick to it religiously (evil vacation planned next week, no beans and rice!) interested to know how you are going with your own debt free journey? I have been a longtime reader – and there have been made professional changes since you started etc i so just wondering what impact this has had upon debt or has it changed your priorities?

    1. Hi Suz! Yes, I have had a lot of changes since I first started blogging. I REALLY hope to have all of my credit card debt paid off this year, but we’ll see how the next couple of months go. To be completely honest, last year my focus wasn’t as much on paying off debt as it was on building my business so I could quit my job and improve my happiness. I still want to get my finances in better shape (don’t we all), but I know I’m never going to be as intense as some people about paying off debt.

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