It’s surprisingly easy to get into debt. Even people who think they’re pretty good at managing their money can get into a difficult spot. All it takes is for you to lose your job or get hit with a huge medical bill, or even a vet’s bill, and you could start to sink fast.
Unfortunately, getting out of debt is not so easy for many people. Some people end up working 2,3, or 4 jobs to make ends meet, and even then, it isn’t always enough. This shouldn’t scare you if you’re struggling with debt, however, because there are lots of ways, many of them quite uncommon, to get your finances under control and wave goodbye to debt for good. Here are some of them:
Become a Minimalist
The minimalist lifestyle is gaining a lot of traction right now, and it is perhaps the perfect lifestyle for people looking to reduce their debts and live a healthier financial life. When you make the decision to go minimalist, you can make a surprising amount of money by selling off all of the stuff in your home that you rarely use, don’t really need and don’t particularly love. In fact, some minimalists have made $10,000 or more by selling their excess stuff, and they still live comfortable happy lives.
When you’re a minimalist, you also don’t need to keep buying new stuff constantly to keep up with the Jones’ and that can help you to curb your spending impulse and stop using credit again in the future on things you simply don’t need.
Become an Extreme Couponer
Have you ever seen the show Extreme Couponing? It’s about a really frugal bunch of guys and girls who are absolutely obsessed with finding and using coupons for just about everything in their lives. They might be a bit extreme, but you know what? They can make huge savings on the cost of living and so could you. By using coupons for everything, you will be able to save literally thousands of dollars every year and pay off your debts once and for all. If you keep couponing after paying off your debts, you’ll be less likely to get into difficulties again too.
Cash in Your Retirement Fund
This certainly isn’t something you should do lightly, and it might not even make sense to do so in your situation, but if you’re really struggling with debt, it might be worth checking out the 72 t calculator to see if cashing in your IRA is viable. If the penalty is too high or if you don’t think you’ll be able to live comfortably in the future by doing so, don’t, but don’t dismiss it out of hand either. It could really help you to get back on an even keel, and you can start saving more money once you don’t have the burden of debt weighing you down.
Many people who are struggling under the burden of debt would not even consider selling their home and downsizing to another property, but unless there’s a very good reason not to, such as being in negative equity, needing to be close to an old relative or requiring lots of space for a very large family, it is one of the best ways to clear debts. You just have to be willing to make the short-term sacrifice to secure a better future for you and your family.
Rent a Room
If you can’t or don’t want to downsize, but you do have a spare room in your home, why not think about renting it out? I know this can be a rather daunting prospect, especially if you have a family, but if you carefully vet your tenants, you shouldn’t have a problem and the rent they bring in will help you to clear your debts much more quickly.
Have a No-Spend Month
Okay, this one is going to be hard. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a shopaholic, chances are you make a lot of little purchases most days, and it will be hard to break the habit, but having a no-spend month can help you save a decent sum of money to put towards debt, especially if you do it several times a year, and it will help you to re-evaluate your spending habits, which will help to keep your finances in check in the future. It can also be a lot of fun as you and your family try to find ways of entertaining yourselves without spending money on the movies, restaurant trips, toys and even take out coffees!
If you want to save money so that you can pay your debt down, organizing swapping arrangements with friends, neighbors and family members can be very effective and can continue to keep your expenses low long after you’ve settled your debts.
Whether you need a babysitter, new clothes for the baby or repairs for your car, chances are you know someone who can help you out and who is willing to do so in return for your help in another area of their life.
Hang with the Frugal Crowd
If you hang out with a lot of people who are all about spending money and as a result, all of the events you’re invited to are giving your wallet a bit of a hammering, it might be time to start re-evaluating your social life. I’m not saying that you should ditch your friends, but by spending more time with thriftier people, you won’t be under so much pressure to spend, spend,spend and you’ll be able to reign in the debt now and in the future by only splurging on the occasional indulgence.
Become a Garage Sale Regular
You’d be surprised how much money you can make buying other people’s ‘junk’ for a few dollars at garage sales and then selling them on for a profit. So many people sell their unwanted stuff for way less than it’s worth, and if you can find it, you could start a very lucrative new side gig that will help you to wave goodbye to debt and earn you enough to pay for any little luxurious you desire in the future.