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If you’re hampered by high credit card balances or costly personal loans, getting out of debt is probably first on your to-do list. And if you want to pay off your debts as quickly as possible, there are two ways to do it: Earn more and spend less. Before your eyes start to glaze over, consider this: With just a little effort on your part, you could rid yourself of debt and live a life that’s freer, less stressful and more enjoyable – and all in less time than you may think. It all starts with a plan and a little motivation.
Here are five ways to get started right now:
Take on a second job. OK, this one’s kind of a no-brainer, and for lots of people already working long hours at their primary job, it also can seem impossible to accomplish. But if you’re interested in getting out of debt, taking on a part-time job – even one offering just a few hours on the weekend or in the evening – and directing all that extra income toward your debt can be one of the most effective ways of getting rid of debt as quickly as possible. If you work in a high-demand industry, you might be able to do consulting on the side or even find a part-time gig you can do from home using your computer. Working for companies like TaskRabbit, Uber or Lyft has become a lucrative side hustle for many people.
If a part-time second job is completely out of the question, try monetizing your hobbies. Etsy makes it easy to set up an online shop for lots of handmade items, or if your hobby is a service like photography, marketing or writing, try advertising on Craigslist or sites like fiverr® and UpworkTM.
Know how much you’re spending – and what you’re spending it on. Commit to writing down ALL your expenditures for a month to see where your money is going and figure out where you can cut back – then direct all those savings to your debt balance. Living without cable or adapting to a bare-bones cell phone plan may seem miserable, but remember your bigger goal: Getting out of debt. Once you’ve achieved that goal, you can always sign up for cable or a more costly cell phone plan again – but maybe you’ll find you don’t want to. For more tips on budgeting, check out our Ultimate Guide to Getting Out of Debt.
Speaking of Craigslist … Sell anything – ANYthing – you no longer want, need or use. Online venues like Craigslist and eBay are popular for both sellers and buyers, but to really draw attention, put some effort into your listing. Include all the details and make the listing fun and friendly. You can also try holding a yard sale or selling at a flea market, but be prepared – both options can be much more time-consuming.
Getting out of debt takes planning and effort, but it’s definitely doable. Take some time to make a plan that meets your goals, then make the commitment to stick to it. And if your plan includes consolidating high-interest debts into a single monthly payment, call CareOne Debt Relief Services toll-free at 1-800-350-6285 right now for your free debt analysis or learn more about debt consolidation with CareOne.
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