Published June 26, 2024

How to get out of debt: 19 ways to pay off your debt faster

How to get out of debt

This Barrie 360 article is brought to you by Della Dwyer.

Debt can feel like a relentless mountain, casting a long shadow over your financial well-being. But, with the right tools and strategies, you can transform your debt into financial independence. 

Here are 19 ways to pay off debt faster …

1. Get comfortable with finances 

No matter what method you choose for paying off your debt, financial literacy is key.

The more you know about personal finance and debt management, the better equipped you are to make informed decisions and navigate the financial landscape. Consider taking online courses, reading personal finance books, or attending workshops to gain valuable financial knowledge.

Della Dwyer Ad

2. Try the debt avalanche method

Not all debt is created equal. Some have substantially higher interest rates than others. 

This approach, known as the debt avalanche, takes advantage of this to save you the most money in the long run. Make minimum payments on all your debts, then throw any extra cash at the high-interest monster. Once it's slain, roll its conquered payment amount into the next highest interest debt, creating an avalanche of payments that demolishes your debts one by one.

3. Consider the debt snowball method

This next strategy for paying off debt faster provides a powerful psychological boost. 

The debt snowball prioritizes paying off the smallest debts first, regardless of interest rate. Every conquered debt feels like a victory, keeping you motivated on your debt-slaying journey. The quick wins can also free up extra cash to throw at remaining debts, accelerating your progress.

4. Slash your budget

Debt thrives on excess spending. Take a critical look at your budget and identify areas where you can cut back. Every penny saved strengthens your debt-fighting arsenal. 

Consider cheaper grocery alternatives, unsubscribe from unused subscriptions, alternate between streaming channels each month to reduce your monthly spend while enjoying all of your favourite shows, or explore cost-effective entertainment options. 

Remember, small changes can yield big results over time.

5. Boost your income

The more money coming in, the faster your debt disappears. 

This one is definitely easier said than done but if you’re motivated to try your hand at it, here are some ideas to explore: 

  • Increase your value at your current job: Negotiate a raise, take on more responsibility, or pursue professional development to become more qualified for promotions.
  • Find a higher-paying job: If you've maxed out your earning potential at your current company, explore new opportunities in your field.
  • Start a side hustle: Turn your hobbies or skills into a source of income. This could be freelance writing, photography, graphic design, or anything else you're good at. Start by providing free or discounted work to friends, family, or employers/collegues to build word of mouth and then see where it takes you. 
  • Invest: Growing your money through smart investments can provide a long-term income boost. This could include stocks, bonds, real estate, or other assets.
  • Rent out unused space: If you have a spare room, parking space, or vacation property, consider renting it out for extra income.

Every extra dollar earned goes straight towards conquering your debt mountain.

6. The power of one less

Challenge yourself to spend "one less" on a specific expense category each day, week, or month. Skip that daily coffee, opt for a home-cooked meal instead of takeout, or downgrade your entertainment plan. 

Even small reductions add up, freeing up extra cash to fuel your debt-fighting fire.

7. Let go and gain

Do you have unused items cluttering your home? Turn them into cash! 

Consider a garage sale, online marketplaces, or consignment shops. This "debt-tox" not only declutters your living space but also injects valuable resources into your debt-reduction plan.

8. Only use cash (for some things)

Consider a cash only challenge for specific categories like groceries or entertainment. 

This forces mindful spending and helps you avoid the easy swipe of a credit card. Set a weekly or monthly budget in cash and stick to it. 

Della Dwyer Ad

9. Have a no spend month 

Consider a no-spend month, a self-imposed challenge where you restrict discretionary spending to zero for a set period. This can be a powerful way to jumpstart your debt repayment and build momentum. 

To make the most of it, plan ahead, make sure your friends and family know about it so they don’t add accidental pressure on your wallet with unexpected outings and get creative with how to spend your time. 

10. The "Fun"d Challenge

If a no-spend month isn’t doable, here's a twist – the "Fun"d Challenge!  

For a set period, allocate a small, fixed amount for guilt-free spending on leisure activities. This allows you to enjoy some flexibility while still prioritizing debt repayment. Track your progress and witness the positive impact of your spending discipline.

11. Temporary downsizing 

Consider temporary downsizing measures to help free up cash. 

Could you move to a smaller apartment, move in with family, rent out a spare room, or find a roommate to share costs? Remember, this doesn't have to be a permanent lifestyle change, but a strategic move to accelerate your debt payoff journey.

12. Negotiate lower interests rates

A little negotiation can save you big on interest and accelerate your debt payoff.

Don't be afraid to call your creditors and negotiate lower interest rates. Explain your commitment to paying off your debt and see if they're willing to work with you. Be prepared to walk away or escalate to a supervisor, and always document your call. 

13. Automate your payments

If you have a regular source of income coming in, set up automatic payments to ensure you never miss a due date and incur late fees. This sets you on "autopilot" for debt repayment, making the process seamless and avoiding potential setbacks.

14. Reward yourself (but strategically)

Debt payoff is a marathon, not a sprint. Celebrating your milestones along the way can help it seem less daunting. 

Treat yourself to a small reward after conquering a debt or reaching a savings goal. Just be sure the reward doesn't derail your progress! Perhaps a nice dinner out after eliminating a credit card, or a weekend getaway after a more significant milestone.

15. Embrace the power of "No!"

Learn to politely decline unnecessary purchases that can derail your progress. While this can be hard at first, you can work on mastering the skill. 

Start by figuring out what triggers you to overspend. Is it shopping with friends who pressure you to keep up? Targeted advertising bombarding your social media? Once you know your triggers, you can develop strategies to navigate them. 

16. Seek support and accountability

Debt repayment can be a lonely journey when you’re doing it alone. 

To help make it less isolating, share your goals with a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor. Having a support system keeps you accountable and motivates you during challenging times. Consider joining a debt-free community online or in person to connect with others on a similar path. 

17. Leverage balance transfers

Credit card balance transfers can be a powerful tool if used strategically. Look for cards with 0% introductory APR on balance transfers. This allows you to focus on paying down the principal amount without interest accruing for a limited period. Remember, always prioritize paying off the balance before the introductory period ends to avoid getting hit with high interest rates later.

18. Explore debt consolidation

Debt consolidation involves combining multiple high-interest debts into one loan with a lower interest rate. This simplifies your repayment process and can potentially save you money. However, carefully evaluate the terms of the consolidation loan,  ensuring the interest rate is truly lower and the repayment period isn't extended significantly.

19. Consider a debt consolidation mortgage 

If you own a home, you may want to consider a debt consolidation mortgage. This strategy allows you to use the equity in your home to pay off other high-interest debts. It essentially involves refinancing your existing mortgage for a higher amount, using the difference to pay off your other debts. This can be a good way to simplify your finances and potentially save money on interest, since mortgage rates are typically lower than interest rates on credit cards and other unsecured loans.

How to get out of debt so you can get ahead

Debt payoff is a journey, not a destination. 

There will be setbacks and moments of temptation. But with perseverance, discipline, and the right strategies, you can reach the summit of financial freedom and enjoy the breathtaking view of a debt-free future.

By incorporating just a few of these powerful strategies into your debt-fighting arsenal, you can transform the seemingly insurmountable mountain of debt into a manageable challenge. 

Della Dwyer Ad
What do you think of this article?

Have a breaking story?

Share it with us!
Share Your Story

What Barrie's talking about!

From breaking news to the best slice of pizza in town! Get everything Barrie’s talking about delivered right to your inbox every day. Don’t worry, we won’t spam you. We promise :)
Subscription Form
Consent Info

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Central Ontario Broadcasting, 431 Huronia Rd, Barrie, Ontario, CA, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Related Stories