Tuesday, September 07, 2010

30 Ways to Pay Off Debt

Over 1,000,000 Americans have foreclosed on their homes this year. Over 750,000 Americans have filed for personal bankruptcy and the numbers continue to rise. If you are lucky enough to have a job and are in debt, get out of debt as soon as possible.
There is no longer job security and Americans have to plan for their future which includes eliminating debt, saving and investing. It took a long time to get into debt and will take a long time to get out of debt – but with patience, sacrifice and dedication you can live a debt free life. Here are 30 ways to pay off debt now and become debt free.

1. Stop using your credit cards.
2. Pay cash for all purchases until you pay off all of your debt.
3. Empty the change from your car, sofa, wallet, purse and pockets into a jar each day. Every 3 months deposit the money into your bank account. Use that money to pay down debt.
4. Track your spending daily or weekly until you pay off at least 75% of your debt.
5. Downgrade or downsize – move into a smaller and less expensive home or apartment. Trade in your luxury car for a car with no note or a cheaper car payment.
6. Pay additional money or your mortgage payment or car loan. Even an extra $10 a month will make a difference.
7. Setup automatic paycheck deductions to pay bills or use online banking.
8. Setup a debt payment plan with your creditors.
9. Use any raises, bonuses, commissions to pay down debt.
10. Create a budget or spending plan and buy more needs vs. wants.
11. Stop eating out – bring your lunch to work and eat at home.
12. Sell items not used within the past 6 months or more on eBay or Craigslist.
13. Donate items that did not sell to charity and write off on your taxes.
14. Hide your credit cards or cut them up, especially department store cards which usually have the highest interest rates.
15. Cancel your cable service, use internet service at the library and get the cheapest cell phone plan available.
16. Always pay your bills on time or before the due date.
17. Get current on late payments – pay off collection accounts, tax liens and judgments as soon as possible.
18. Get current on student loans to avoid collection fees, loss of a tax refund or garnishing your paycheck. Visit finaid.com for information on student loan forgiveness programs.
19. Start with the smallest bill first and pay it off. Take the money used for that monthly payment and put towards the next bill to pay debt down faster.
20. Evaluate your insurance policies to make sure you are properly covered and look for ways to reduce your monthly premiums: increase deductible, eliminate uninsured motorists' coverage, bundle services, etc.
21. Get at least basic health insurance to reduce medical costs, stop smoking, exercise and eat a healthy diet to keep medical costs low.
22. Skip the Starbucks and bring coffee from home or drink tea.
23. Skip drinking sodas and juices and drink more water.
24. Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 76-78 degree Fahrenheit in the summer to keep heating and cooling costs down.
25. Shop at outlet stores, discounts stores or consignment stores for groceries and clothing.
26. Cancel magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
27. Don't go on any vacations until you are completely out of debt.
28. Turn off electronics and appliances when not in use for 20 minutes or more. Unplug all large electronics and appliances when not in use to save money on energy costs.
29. Review your credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to look for errors and to find out about any debt you were not aware of.
30. Don't lend money if you can't afford to. Ask others who owe you money to pay you back.

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