Today’s post is the first ever guest contribution on this blog! This post was written by Stacy B Miller over at Kiss Your Money. I like the tips she gives below and if you’ve got debt, it’s a good read. Just remember your consumer debt is an emergency and you need to kick it in the face as fast as you can!
4 Tricks to get out of debt even when you earn less
Who said you have to earn a fat paycheck to get out of debt? Call that person who told you so, and ask him or her to read this article once. It will take only 4 minutes to read.
Life is brutal. Sometimes, it makes us earn less due to job changes and financial priorities. Creditors are more brutal and merciless. They won’t allow you to live peacefully without paying off your debts.
Many people simply lose hope for getting out of debt due to a drop in their wage. But I feel it’s possible to kill debt for good by using the following tricks.
1. Change your spending style
Positive spending habits help to reduce debt substantially. Sometimes, the best way to develop healthy spending behavior is to eradicate the wrong financial habits. I’m not saying that it’s easy, but it isn’t impossible.
Stop eating out at expensive restaurants. You’ll be shocked to know how much a person typically spends on dining out and fast food. Try to live without luxury items since they cost a lot of money. Have a healthy, nutritious, and cheap diet. Avoid visiting restaurants altogether. You have to spend a lot of money not only on the food but also on the tips.
Skip your weekly car wash, monthly foot message, and other luxuries you’re accustomed to. Wash your car and rub your foot with essential oils at home. You’ll save a good amount.
2. Get a side gig to make extra money
I can predict what you’re thinking. No matter how much you save by reducing your lifestyle expenses, it’s not going to help you get out of debt. Even a spending fast can’t help you.
I agree with you. Sometimes, saving money is not enough when you want to get out of debt fast. You have to look for a new way to make money. Take up a part-time job or some assignments on the weekends to accelerate your monthly income. For instance, if you’re a graphic designer, you can take up a few assignments where you have to create images for various websites. If you have a flair for writing, then you can develop website content and get paid for that. Just make sure you complete all your assignments within the deadlines. Clients won’t pay you for half-done projects.
3. Ask creditors to lower interest rates
Call your creditors and ask them to reduce interest rates or the total debt accrued in the last few months. Explain clearly that it’s impossible to pay off the debt in full with your low income. If your creditors don’t believe you, then you can show them your pay stubs to prove your point.
Sometimes, creditors offer hardship programs when they see that debtors have a very low income. Try to qualify for those hardship programs so that you can pay your bills with an affordable repayment plan.
Some creditors may even agree to settle your debts if your income is too low. They don’t want you to file bankruptcy and get a meager amount.
4. Determine your spending triggers
It’s important to know your spending triggers and the ways to counteract them when you’re in debt. For instance, my spending trigger is boredom. Whenever I’m bored, I tend to do 2 things. I go to the mall and start shopping with the money I don’t have. Secondly, I order pizzas and start watching 13 Reasons Why (it has become my recent obsession) on Netflix. Both make me spend money unnecessarily.
I have found a solution to these problems. I don’t carry credit cards at the time of visiting malls. This has stopped me from making impulsive purchases. I have also stopped ordering pizzas. Instead, I have bought a good sandwich maker. I make amazing sandwiches at home and eat them while surfing Netflix.
What are your spending triggers? Identify them and do something to counteract. This will help you to save money and pay off debt quickly.
Don’t wait for a long time just because you don’t get a fat paycheck every month. Not all of us make 6 figures. But if you wait for a long time, your debt problems will become worse. The compounding interest on your credit cards will increase your outstanding balance and lower your FICO score even more. So it isn’t a good idea to wait for the next hike or the next new job. Who knows, you might get the next new job after a year. Your creditors or debt collectors won’t wait for another 12 months. They can sue you after a few months.
You can tackle your debt problems right now. You have to save money, earn a few extra bucks, negotiate hard with creditors to start repaying your debts. Participate in various debt forums and ask industry experts to give you valuable suggestions on how to get out of debt. Read the threads carefully because they contain tons of valuable information. You’ll get lots of tips from there.