We paid off our $6,000 of debt in 6 months by using sneaking debt hacking tricks. The thing is, I’ve been holding out on you. Even though we didn’t personally take advantage of all these options, there are actually a lot of ways to hack your debt, get it paid off sooner and finally get your life back. Check out these 13 ways to pay off your debt faster while still enjoying your life!
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Stop using your cards!
First thing’s first. Don’t be silly. If you are going to work to pay off debt, the absolute first thing you need to do is stop racking it up!
This means, if you are carrying credit cards around with you, knock it off!
The more purchases you add to these cards, the more money you are getting charged in interest. You don’t want to work against yourself by keeping yourself in the habit of racking up debt.
A solid way to make sure you’re not dependent on credit cards anymore is to have a solid emergency fund that you can use to avoid needing to turn to a credit card in case of an emergency.
Keep an emergency fund
An emergency fund is the best way to help you keep yourself on track with debt payoff — just remember it’s only for emergencies!
A great idea is to build a $1,000 emergency fund and then set rules for withdrawing money.
For example, we can only take from our emergency fund for:
- Vet emergencies
- Medical emergencies
- Car repairs
That means we don’t take from our savings if we just over-spent or sabotaged our budget for the month. It has to be used only for emergencies.
Lower your credit card interest rates
One of the best debt hacks I ever heard of to help you pay off your debt faster is just by calling your credit card company and asking them to lower your interest rate.
Who knew this was even a thing!?
“I can just call and get a lower interest rate?”
Now, to be fair, your credit card company can say no. BUT they just might say yes.
Getting your interest rate lowered while aggressively paying off debt could prevent you from having additional interest charges you have to pay.
When we started to seriously pay off our debt faster, one of the first things we did was consolidate our debt and get a lower interest rate.
Yes, you can call your credit card company and attempt to do this, or you can get a quote with Lending Tree to see what kind of interest rate you might qualify for.
Taking out one lower interest loan to pay off all our debt made debt payoff simpler and faster
Hack your Budget
A crazy fact is that when people truly believe they have no money, they are actually just not accessing it all. You’d be surprised how much money is actually hiding in your budget.
Use these 3 budget hacks to find lost money in your budget and then use this newly found money to put toward your debt payoff using the Debt Snowball Method — click here and grab a FREE printout too.
Cut your $5 spending
What if you could find an extra $5 in your budget each month? That actually ends up being $150!
Check out your online statements and browse through your last 30 days of spending. Any purchase you made that was around $5 (coffee, fast food, Target dollar section purchases) add them up and see what you get!
This was something I constantly did. We would get toward the end of the month and have no idea where our money went. Then, when I would add up our small expenses in our budget, it would total like $500! For real!
Eliminate subscription services
The next area of your budget to look at is where you are overlapping subscription services. A lot of us have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Choose one, and eliminate the other costs.
Even though this might end up being an additional $20 per month, that adds up to $140 per year!
Cut wasted spending
Unfortunately, there is some spending happening that is just totally wasted and we know it.
The most common expense? Gym memberships!
If you aren’t making it to the gym, don’t use the membership. You can create a home gym for the cost of a one-month membership or trying getting your physical activity in a way that is more aligned with what you love.
Dispute your debt
In some cases, you may be able to get your debts disputed and negotiated.
One major issue you may want to use this in is when it comes to tax debt relief. Dealing with this kind of debt can be incredibly overwhelming and most people don’t even know where to turn.
Getting help with debt relief often comes at a cost, but if you are in need of major help then their services might be worth it.
Increase your income
The golden rule of budgeting and debt pay off is that you can only cut back so much…then you just have to find ways to make more money.
Don’t stress just yet, I have three options for upping your income to pay off debt faster.
Ask for a raise
If you have been in your place of employment, consider asking for a raise. Of course, you have got to be an employee deserving of a raise!
Many people ask for raises and they do it in the wrong way. That’s why I have the script to follow to as for a really big raise.
Lower your 401K
LOWER your 401K ONLY during debt payoff AND still get your employers
Yes, this section comes with a giant, bold warning.
If your employer has matches for your contributions, make sure you are taking advantage of this! This is FREE money from your employer that is going toward your retirement. Don’t skimp on this!
However, if you are giving more than your match, you might consider halting your contributions temporarily while you pay off debt.
Now, side hustle.
Thankfully, we live in the day and age when finding a side hustle is crazy easy. Here are my top recommended side hustles to start that cost nothing to start.
Teach English Online – Most of these require a degree, but can be a great work from home side hustle.
Tutor online – If you have an expertise in a particular area, try signing up for CourseHero that connects you with kids from all over the world who need tutoring on a variety of subjects.
Airbnb – You can rent out a room in your house or your entire house. Use the Airbnb calculator to see how much you could be making.
Personal shopper – Hang out at your favorite stores and grab groceries for busy families in need — and get paid for it!
Apply your taxes
You know that super awesome tax rebate that you might be getting back? Well, first of all, you shouldn’t be getting a big one and second of all, if you do…use it to get out of debt!
Apply tax rebates to debt
If you are getting your tax rebate back at the beginning of the year, get disciplined and apply it to your debt! Make sure you’re sticking to the Debt Snowball Method to help you pay off your debt faster — this tax rebate will help!
Claim a higher number on your taxes
It can be tough to know how many exemptions to include on your W-4 which is why a lot of people never change this number.
Here is a great article that talks about W-4 allowances and how many you should take.
A quick summary: the more allowances you claim, the more money you’ll get every month! You can then use this money to apply toward your debt!
Keep your eye on the prize!
The biggest key to debt payoff is remember that you are working toward a goal!
If you start to get discouraged, remind yourself why you started. Join the #debtfreecommunity on Instagram to be a part of a community that is on the same journey as you and come hang out in my FREE Fun Sized Budgeters Facebook Group. Interact and get advice from people who are working as hard as you to improve their financial situation.