Life is already hard for most preppers and off-gridders as it is without having to deal with debt. If you add it up to the daily struggles it can be something truly difficult to manage. You have to pay it off every month, but with the interest added constantly, it seems like it will never go away. These strategies should help you get that debt paid down in no time.
There are many different types of debt including mortgage, student loans, and credit card payments. One thing is certain, regardless the nature of your debt, you have to get rid of it before it brings you down. Some of us are just a paycheck away from homelessness. Having to pay interest for the debt it certainly doesn’t increase the quality of our life. It’s better to struggle and pay it down so you can have more money in your hands over the long term.
Having more money at your disposal is something we all want and it all starts with clearing out your debt. You could use the extra money to stockpile your pantry, you could keep it for darker days or you could use it to start a new life, off the grid. Having no debt is the first step towards your self-sufficient life.
Related reading: What you should know before going off the grid.
It’s not an easy task to pay down debt, but these strategies can help. Try them out an see for yourself!
Create a budget:
This is the first thing you have to do, if you need to know where all your money is going and if you have anything left to spend on the debt. It will draw a clear picture of where all your funds are going. You will know if you can spend more money than you already are or if you have to stick to paying the minimum of your debts. However, if you have some extra money in the budget at the end of the month, you could use it to help pay off your debts. Creating a family budget is something you have to do.. Do this even if you don’t have debt because you will discover hidden costs that you never thought of.
Pay above the minimum
Most people are only paying the minimum amount that they are allowed each month. They think they are somehow keeping the bank at bay or under control. Even though it might seem a good idea for the short term, it’s really not. You are like a dying patient that is being pumped with medicine. It doesn’t do you any good, it’s just making the ordeal last longer. Think about it! The more the ordeal lasts, the more you will be charged in interest and by the time all this ends you will end up with less money.
You need to step it up and pay more than the minimum payment on the debt. If you have a payment of $200, consider paying $300 or even $350. It will help you get your financial freedom sooner. Of course that you have to do this once you’ve checked all your expenses, don’t just run to the bank and do it if the money’s not there. Think of paying a bit more and establish the amount based on your monthly expenses.
Cashing out is not an option
Some people will cash out their investments or their savings and use that money to pay their debts. If you can pay down the debt don’t do it! You will only lose money if you don’t have a bit of interests on those accounts. You are taking a huge risk if you do this and this is just a last resort solution. I suggest doing this only when you have no other option and this is the only solution that could work for you.
Debt snowballing is something you have to try
This method should be considered if you have more debts. You should target the one which has the highest interest. Paying off a little bit extra on that one is something you need to do in order to pay it off as much as possible. All your other debts will be paid off with the minimum payments if you cannot add a little extra for them. Soon you will get that debt paid off and once this happens, you will take that extra money left over and put it towards the next debt. You have to keep doing this over and over again until all of the debts are paid off. It’s not something difficult to be done and you don’t need any financial adviser to figure it out.
It’s time to cut up the cards
Credit card debt is one of the biggest ordeals most of Americans have to deal with. It keeps holding them back because they keep spending on things that they don’t really need. It’s the biggest scam of them all and it encourages you to spend money. Then, after you got what you wanted, they charge you outrageous amounts of interest just to allow you to keep doing it. I know people that had to struggle for years just to pay all of this back. You should take your credit card and cut it up because you will better off without it. It’s better to use cash or a debit card for all of your needs. The only credit card you should have on you should be the credit card knife.
Work bonuses or commissions are not fun money
If you ever end up getting a bonus from work or some type of commission, you should consider putting it towards the debt. It’s easy to consider this extra money as fun money and use it for buying frivolous things. However, that’s not the best use of the money. You will get upset about not buying that huge LED TV you wanted, but if you spend some time and think about it, you will be much happier with the freedom it can give you later down the line when everything is paid off. You won’t have to worry anymore about not being able to pay your debt or about getting those annoying calls from the banks.
Cut down on your grocery bill
You could grow your own vegetables for example and save some money on your grocery bill. You don’t need much space to improvise a garden; all you need is the will to do it. A garden will help you save money and will provide you with fresh produce. Another method to cut down on your grocery bill is to use coupons, use coupons for everything! All the money you will save can be used to pay down the minimum payments for your debt. You can even add a little extra on your monthly payment.
You should also read: Useful tips to stretch your food budget.
Make some extra money
Nowadays it’s easy to make a little extra money without even leaving your home and all this thanks to the internet. There are many ways to make money online. You just have to spend some time and find out what is right for you. There are all sorts of websites that pay money if you answer to surveys or if you review products, apps and so on.
Here’s just one example on how you can make some extra money, you can use Fiverr and get the most from your skills; you can do pretty much anything with it. You can get money from writing personalized letters to drawing or even giving life advices. Discover what you’re good at and use your skills to make some extra cash. And no, you won’t be using this money to buy that TV you keep thinking off, you will use it to pay down debt.
Get rid of bad habits
Bad habits are nothing more than money sinkers. The sooner you realize it the better off you will be without these habits. Bad habits are different from person to person, and you should think about yours and about how they affect your monthly budget. For me, when I worked in the Media industry, my bad habit that kept draining money from my pocket was my game addiction. More precisely, I was spending money on virtual stuff. Once I realized what it was doing to me, I wiped out my phone and it is still clean of games.
For example, a colleague of mine was spending a lot of money on Starbucks coffee and other “healthy” items they were selling. When her extra hours were cut off and the money stopped pouring in as it did before, she started making her own coffee just to save some extra cash. If you get rid of your bad habits you will have the extra money to add a little more on your debt payments. It’s all up to you and you can certainly do it if you put your mind into it.
Make sure that you experiment with a couple of these tips to dispose of the debt that you are in. Nobody likes owing money to someone else if you think about it. With these great tips, you will have the capacity to pay down debt in no time. Try them out and let me know how it goes. You can also suggest some of your money saving methods using the comments section.
Stay Safe and God Bless!
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