How We Paid Off Over $1,200 of Debt in One Week: the Side Hustles That Helped Us Out

How We Paid Off Over $1,200 of Debt in One Week: the Side Hustles That Helped Us Out

Debt. Blah. I am so sick of it. It’s funny how when you start paying attention to something after years of ignoring it, it finds a way of working it’s way into your brain. Permanently. After saving up $1,000 in a few weeks to help pay for our vow renewal, I started really seeing so many ways we could be making money to pay off debt. While we have only been working on our final $10,000 of debt for a few months, we have been consistently paying it off (with a plan) for years. I am so ready to be done. I want financial freedom, I want a patio, I want to travel and finish our basement. Finally, I have decided I’ve had enough. In one week we paid off over $1,200 of debt and I want to tell you how. Plus share the side hustles that helped us do it!

*This post contains affiliate links. While I may make a commission, all opinions are my own. 

Debt Snowball

It all started with the Debt Snowball. Tom and I had heard about the Debt Snowball for years and always thought it was too hard so we kept living with constant debt and no money. Typical.

When we finally decided we wanted to be done with debt, we were able to pay off over $6,000 in 6 months with the Debt Snowball. Why, oh why didn’t we do this sooner? (Insert face palm emoji.)

Why we took out a loan

Our final $10,000 debt was originally a credit card that we had let get way out of hand. After our son’s hospital visit, because all of my focus and energy went toward him and keeping myself going, I put our money on auto-pilot. It was bad. I used our credit card for almost everything.

We continued making payments each month but our total never seemed to go down!

I decided to look more into where my payments were going each month and it seemed like over half of our monthly payment was going toward interest! I felt like we would never escape this impossible pit of credit card debt. So, we decided to take out a loan with a lower interest rate. You can apply online for FREE.

If you are struggling with a high interest credit card debt, this is something I strongly recommend looking into. Our monthly payments stayed about the same, but now most of our payment goes toward our principal balance rather than toward interest so our total actually goes down each month! Finally, we can see progress!

See if you qualify for free:

What we pay each month

With the Debt Snowball, we pay an additional $200 per month on top of our $264 monthly loan payment for a total of $464. This is our minimum payment. I have also been putting any additional funds that I can toward paying it off each month while also still repairing our cars, paying doctor bills and just trying to survive life!


The blog has been a HUGE source of additional debt paying income for us. In fact, the best thing about living off one income is that we are able to put any money I make toward debt because it doesn’t have anywhere else to be.

It’s frustrating to think that if I could have been putting all of my blog earnings toward debt, it would be gone by now but, because there were car repairs, vet bills, doctor bills, school problems and a long list of other “life happens” things that got in the way. I’m still thankful for this income, however, because without it, we would have had to put our debt payoff on hold in order to cover the costs of these mishaps.

Running a blog, the most stressful thing has been making money. I should say getting paid. One month I may make over $1,000 and yet I won’t see $900 of it for up to three months from now!

If you have ever considered starting a blog, make sure you get my course. I break it down and get totally honest about exactly what it takes to run a successful blog.

Dog sitting

Can you say, “BEST JOB EVER!?!” My aunt filled me in on the a dog sitting site called Rover that connects dog owners with local dog sitters. I signed up for Rover and within 20 minutes I already had a request to dog-sit for an adorable Boston Terrier.

We got to hang out with Lola for 4 days and I actually got paid for it!

If you are a dog lover like me, this is the perfect way to earn some extra cash!

How to earn money with Rover

  • Walking dogs
  • Visiting dogs at home
  • Hosting dogs during the day while their owners are at work
  • Hosting dogs over night (earn the most money this way)

Apply for Rover totally free or get a $20 credit for your dog!

Selling online

This one right here is why I am so insanely excited about our debt payoff this week. Being a minimalist, I don’t have much trouble letting go of possessions. They mean very little to me…unless they were my grandmother’s.

While I don’t love having clutter, or buying things, there are still a few things I hope to purchase after we’ve paid off debt. Here’s a little preview:

  • Finish basement
  • Build a patio
  • Travel like crazy

Because we hope to finish the basement someday we have hung onto our old couches, desk and shelving in hopes that we could still use them once the basement is finished. The thing is, the basement will never be finished as long as we have this debt hanging over our heads. In the 2 years we have lived in this house, our couches have maybe been used 5 times. Maybe.  The desk hasn’t been touched and our shelves just collect more junk and dust.

All of these things were standing in our way of getting out of debt and getting what we really want!

I have known this for a while, but this month, I was finally able to get Tom to see my side of things! So, we started selling our stuff! Anything we don’t use on a regular basis was out the door.

How to sell your stuff online

  • Facebook Marketplace – I love selling on Facebook Marketplace because you are reaching people in your area. This is ideal for big items like furniture.
  • Decluttr – Decluttr is an awesome site that allows you to ship off all your items like DVDs, electronics, gaming systems and more and get paid for them right way! This is perfect if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling online or meeting up with people to make sales.
  • Half Priced Books – If you have a Half Priced Books or another used book store in your area, I strongly recommend giving them a try to make cash on your old books, games and DVDs. This isn’t as easy as selling online but it’s definitely a close second!
  • Amazon – Yes!!! You can sell on Amazon. In fact, some people earn a living this way! It’s also a great idea if you have items that you are hoping to sell because Amazon allows you a wider audience and they only charge a 99 cent fee for selling an item. Personally, I would recommend this for nicer electronics like phones, laptops or iPads. See how to get started.


Another thing I did to earn some extra cash this month was doing photography for friends and family. I used to do photography full time, so people know and trust my work. This summer I decided to charge a simple $50 per photo session and it has been a great way to bring in some extra cash!

Other side hustle ideas:

Pin this for later!

Paying off debt doesn't have to be that hard! We paid off over $1,200 in one week! See how we did it! #payoffdebt #debtpayoff #debtsnowball #debt #sidehustles #makemoney


Paying off debt doesn't have to be that hard! We paid off over $1,200 in one week! See how we did it! #payoffdebt #debtpayoff #debtsnowball #debt #sidehustles #makemoney

About The Author


Renee is the blogger behind The Fun Sized Life. After downsizing with her family, she also took the time to get serious about he finances. Now she is sharing the wealth with all of her readers.


  1. Dianna | 21st Jul 18

    Thanks for sharing all your tips! I’m a huge budgeting nerd!

  2. Robert Rio | 22nd Jul 18

    Side hustles are key and can be fun too! Thanks for the tips!

Leave A Comment