How far would you go to get out of debt? The answer may depend how bad you feel in it.
Being in debt can feel draining. For one, your money is being drained each month by bill companies and lenders. Then, if you start making extra payments to speed up the debt repayment process, your finances get tighter and you have to either cut expenses or earn more.
Paying off debt requires lots of determination and focus along with a little sacrificing. It’s hard to pay off debt without sacrificing something, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to give things up either. Still the pain is worth the reward of financial freedom; and nothing feels as good as that.
If you’re eager to get out of debt, here are a few sacrifices you can make to get out of debt faster.
Move Out of Your Home
If you didn’t have your rent or mortgage payment, you might be able to double or triple your monthly debt payment. If you could move in with family to save money on housing, it might be worth it in terms of paying off your debt faster.
However, not everyone has that option or wants to take it. My rent is currently pretty low and I like my space. Even though my family lives super close and might have room, I don’t think it’s the best idea to move my husband, myself and our son to my parents’ house where space is limited and we’d still have to pay for a storage unit for our things and chip in for bills.
On the flip side, I’ve heard of people moving to their parents’ basement and paying off their debt much faster, or even taking it to the extreme and living out of their car or at a campsite so they don’t have to pay for rent or a mortgage.
If you choose to make this sacrifice, it all depends on what you’re comfortable with and your desired timeline for getting out of debt.
Sell Your Car
If you don’t want to give up your living space, you could get rid of some other property like your vehicle. Cars cost quite a bit these days including the cost of gas, maintenance and repairs.
If you choose to sell yours, it could allow you to put thousands toward your debt.
Of course, you’d need to decide if the decision is something you can even consider doing. If you depend heavily on your car for transportation, it may make more sense to keep it if selling it won’t really save you any money and will create more of a hassle.
But if you have a two car household or could use public transportation or ride your bike around the area, you could make it work.
Give Up Some of Your Time
Time is one of our most precious assets. When you start making money from home or pick up overtime hours at work, it can help you pay off your debt faster, but you’ll have less time to do other things.
When I was working full-time and side hustling, free time seemed like a luxury. I was pretty tired some days and didn’t have the time or energy to do some of the things I wanted to do.
On the bright side, paying off debt isn’t a forever thing and as long as you stick with it, your situation will change. Earning extra income may require sacrificing more of your time but once your debt is paid down, you can change your schedule and get some of your time back.
Live On Half of Your Income
Another sacrifice you can make is temporarily giving up some of your disposable income to make extra debt payments each month. If you don’t want to cut huge expenses like your housing or your car, you can cut a ton of smaller expenses so you can free up more of your income to put toward debt.
I tried living on half of my income during my first year of serious debt repayment and it was rough but possible because I kept my living expenses super low. You can cut or reduce expenses like:
- Gym memberships
- Dining out
- Daily coffee
- Cell phone bill
- Holiday gifts
- Haircuts and salon appointments
- Holiday/birthday gifts
- Fancy Dates
I just listed 11 generic expenses you can cut. If you can trim $30 from each category, that’s a total savings of $330 per month which could be more if you eliminate some of these categories completely.
If you’re not sure which of these (or other) expenses in your daily life to cut, consider making a budget. Doing so will help you determine which expenses are the best ones for you to cut to reach your debt payoff goals most effectively.
If you’ve not looked at it, you could also consider consolidating your debt and lower your interest rates – thus making each payment more effective at killing the debt for good. You can consolidate through Lightstream, for example, and get a rate as low as 1.74 percent. Click here to check your rate.
Some of you may not realize that holidays and birthdays can come up often and be quite expensive. Christmas is no doubt the most expensive holiday and Americans end up spending anywhere from $500-$1500+ on the one day alone.
Imagine if you decided not to exchange gifts with your partner for Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day and birthdays. What if you didn’t throw an Independence Day or New Years party?
This doesn’t mean you have to cut out fun altogether, but finding free and frugal ways to celebrate special events and entertain yourself is the way to go when you are trying to pay off debt quickly.
Remember, It’s Only Temporary
Sacrificing things to get out of debt is pretty normal and it’s not always fun but it doesn’t have to last forever. It’s also nice that you can shape your own debt repayment journey by giving up things of your choice depending on your values and comfort level.
What sacrifices have you made to pay off debt? Have they been temporary or permanent? Is there anything you wouldn’t give up to pay off your debt faster?