Up until 2018 I was constantly in debt, living month by month scraping by. It’s not a nice position to find yourself in, but there are ways to get yourself out of debt.
People will say “how am I supposed to pay off debt when I can’t even pay my bills?” Without stating the obvious, you need more money.
It will definitely be a difficult task to pay off debt with low income, but if you’re determined, it can be done.
To pay off any debt you are going to need to DECIDE and COMMIT to the process. Following these two principles is so important, you will not succeed if you don’t.
The below 10 tips have worked for me, and I believe they will work for you. It won’t be easy, and with low income, it will definitely be harder and take you longer.
I believe you can pay off your debt.
With determination, persistence and commitment, it can be done.
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Make the debt your top priority
This is not easy. Our money is spent in many different ways and paying off debt is never fun.
But once you manage to pay it off, life will be much better and the weight of the world will come off your shoulders. You will have more money to enjoy life and be more flexible with your spending.
In order to get to this stage, you need to make working towards being debt-free a high priority in life.
This will look differently depending on your specific circumstances.
For example, a family could pay their essential bills each month, and then pay as much as they possibly could to their debts, while leaving enough left over for the grocery budget and basic needs.
You need to live simply and not purchase expensive things you don’t need. You might not be able to do an activity with friends because it’s too expensive, but you need to think of the end goal of being debt-free.
By doing this it means you are committed to being debt-free as soon as possible. Someday, you will be free of the money issues and be able to spend your hard-earned cash on those nice things you have missed out on while being focused on reducing your debt.
You can kill off your debt. But you have to make it a priority!
I started the Snowball Method back in 2018 and have paid my debt off after two years.
I encourage you to really look into and consider these two methods. Talk it over with you partner (if you have one) and put a plan into place.
Once you decide on the method that’s right for you, commit. Dedicate yourself to a plan, and stick to it.
Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate your plan if your financial situation changes.
One debt at a time
For a while I was making the mistake of spreading my money over various debts. I found this to be more of a long-winded way to pay off my debt.
At the time I believed that spreading my payments would help me pay off the debts faster, but this definitely wasn’t the case.
Focus on one debt at a time, once this is paid off, then move on to the next. I started with the smallest debt then moved onto the next in size after that.
By doing this method I paid my debt off faster.
Cut back on expenses
with the savings you make on cutting back, pay it off your debt.
It’s really as simple as it sounds. The more you can throw at your debt, the faster it will be paid off.
Anywhere you can cut back, then do so.
There are so many ways to cut back on your everyday expenses. It takes some work and effort. Sometimes it takes sacrifice. But after a little while it becomes second nature.
The most important thing about cutting back, is that the money you save actually goes on the debt. Don’t spend it on other things you don’t need.
Every dollar/pound you save, should go straight towards your debt.
Cashback sites are a great way to save money online, you can earn cash back on your purchase you were going to make anyway.
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Set yourself a target of coming under budget
Then, devote those savings to your debt!
Before doing this, you need to be able to stick to a budget. But, once you’ve mastered that, then keep going.
Try to come in under budget by spending less than you planned.
Cut back a little bit at a time. Read about ways to save money on food and groceries here.
Then, just like cutting back on your expenses, ensure the money saved goes towards your debt.
The Honey extension/app is one of the best free coupon apps that gives you the latest coupon codes to apply at checkout. Install this app on your desktop, and every time you shop online, it will automatically show you coupon codes to use.
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Live a frugal life
There is no doubt that frugality is one thing that keeps you rich and sorted. A small step towards frugality can help you make some big savings that can repay a big chunk of your debt. For more information on how to go about living a frugal life, you can head over to my post: frugal living tips for beginners.
Stop taking on more debt
When you are already in debt the worst thing you can do is to continue taking on more debt.
This can be hard, especially if a lot of your debt is credit card debt from indulging in shopping and impulse buying.
Adding more debt while you are working hard to pay off your existing debt is like throwing your money away.
Learn to say NO, to your kids and to yourself
We often don’t realise how much money we waste on things that we don’t really need.
We impulsively get convinced by friends to go out when we can’t really afford to, or we end up spending more than we actually planned to.
Sometimes, unplanned expenses take over our financial goals and it’s too late before we actually realise it.
In order to be debt-free tomorrow, you need to make the necessary sacrifices today.
Stop obsessing over what your pals are doing
Peer pressure and an associated desire to live a rich life often forces us to make wrong financial decisions.
You are randomly scrolling through your social media feed, only to catch a glimpse of your old school friend vacationing at an exotic location and you can’t help but obsess over wanting to do the same.
Well, that’s when you need to get hold of your wants and think of spending money on things that you actually need, or you will be driven to a life that might drown you further into a pool of debt.
Focus on what you can afford and not what can drive you further into debt.
Increase your income
In order to get out of debt as quickly as possible, it’s important to expand your stream of income.
You could work extra hours or pick up a side-hustle to chip in with some extra money. This comes with a need to work harder, but these sacrifices will enable you to pay off the debt faster.
10 Tips To Pay Off Debt – Final thought
Being in debt is a nightmare, it’s a horrible thought, knowing that most of your hard-earned money is going on paying off debts.
That’s why it’s so important to put a plan in place to pay it off as fast as possible. Make your debt a priority and cut back where you can to reduce it as soon as possible.
These tips are a great place to start, and helped me pay off my debt.
Pick a strategy, sick to it with commitment and determination, so in the near future, you can live a care-free, debt-free life.
Make sure that you focus on one debt at a time. Cut back on your expenses and try to come in under budget so that you have extra money to dedicate to your debt.
If I can do it, so can you!
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Welcome to my blog! I’m a money-enthusiast, who enjoys helping like-minded people make money, save money and manage their finances. I have also created a lifestyle section, where I will be sharing what has helped me in my journey towards a happy life after 4 years of battling severe anxiety, depression and alcoholism.