How to Jumpstart Your Debt Payoff Plan
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When you’re in the middle of paying off debt, and you feel like it’s going nowhere fast, sometimes it’s necessary to take more extreme measures to jumpstart your debt payoff plan. We’ve had to make adjustments several times as we’ve worked to get our debt paid off and our debt-to-income ratio down, each time, taking measures that we previously thought were unnecessary or too extreme. Here are some measures that might help you to push your debt out the window faster.
Jumpstart Your Debt Payoff Plan by Rethinking Your Expenses
The answer to jumpstarting your debt payoff plan may be to ask yourself if you have overlooked some expenses in your budget that really aren’t necessities. Some ideas might be: your cable TV or cell phone plan, charitable giving, or lunch out every Friday with your co-workers. Maybe it’s time to cut the kids’ allowances or reduce the amount you spend on birthdays or other gifts. Scrutinize your budget with an objective eye, scouring it for any item that can fuel your debt payoff plan.
Remember too, that often times there can be acceptable replacements for this things. For instance, that Friday lunch out with co-workers? Suggest a potluck at the office or brown-bagging it at a nearby outdoor location, such as a park. Instead of cable, sign up for Netflix. Instead of paying the kids allowance for their work, suggest a fun activity to do each week until your finances get back on track.
Find Cheaper Housing
If your house payment is seriously hindering your debt payoff efforts, maybe it’s time to sell it or rent it out and find cheaper housing. Although this might not be an ideal situation, reducing your house payment might work well for your family for a short period of time so that you can pay off debt more quickly.
Another option would be to rent out a room in your house. Friends of ours who were working toward debt freedom years ago rented one of their bedrooms out to a college kid, and it worked out great. They were bringing in a few extra hundred dollars a month and the college student had a nice, safe, cheap place to live. This slick move helped our friends to reach debt freedom quite early in their life, and from there they moved onto the wealth-building leg of their journey.
Work Harder at Making More Money
If you’re not making the headway you want in paying off your debt, maybe it’s time to sell that boat/car/fur coat or whatever it is that you have sitting around. Be careful what you part with, as you can’t get it back, but also try to be objective. You might not want to sell grandma’s heirloom ring, but if you can’t take your boat out anyway, due to limited funds and time, why leave it sitting around, collecting dust, when it can be a way for you to achieve debt freedom much earlier?
If you’re finding yourself with lots of free time, maybe it’s time to pick up a second job, or get more side hustle income. I know these things can be overwhelming thoughts, especially when the road to debt freedom can be so stressful anyway, but remind yourself that the second job is only temporary, and that you can get a different boat/car/fur coat or whatever once you are debt free and your cash flow is more liquid.
If you’re finding that your debt payoff plan isn’t working nearly as fast as you’d like it to, consider stepping it up a notch, and finding ways like those listed above to jumpstart your debt payoff plan toward a quicker finish.
What ways can you think of that can help jumpstart a debt payoff plan? How have you found creative ways to cut expenses and fuel your debt payoff efforts? What do you do to stay motivated on your debt payoff journey?
Photo courtesy of: Kyle Johnson