There are plenty of traditional methods and advice for paying off debt. Most of these carry plenty of value:
Create a budget, spend less than you earn, cut up the credit card, earn more, make higher repayments, create forced savings, pay the highest interest rate first, automate your repayments, and consolidate your debts…
I’ve spent more than 10 years helping clients with these types of strategies and we’ve now built a business around it.
(If you’re in a situation where the above can help you and you want more info get in touch.)
None of the above are very exciting or creative. Often the best strategy for paying off debt is to keep it interesting. You need to shake things up and I want to show you some ways to make this happen.
(This is by no means an all-encompassing list but my hope is that it gets you thinking more creatively about paying off debt to free yourself from this mess.)
Start a side hustle – you’ve got 24 hours a day. Time to turn off the Kardashians and pull yourself out of this rut. Do some freelance writing, drive for Uber, be a maths tutor or an online dating consultant (yep, they exist!) – there are millions of ideas here. Get off the couch and use the time you’ve been given.
“Money didn’t make me. Those broke days did.” – Fetty Wap
Lose the gym membership – often one of the biggest but most under-utilised expenses in my clients’ budgets, there are cheaper ways to exercise. The ocean is my gym but if that’s not your cuppa tea, go for a run, or read my friend Jess’ awesome blog for a heap of home gym and outdoor exercise ideas.
Get the Crowd on Your Side: Launch a GoFundMe Page! –
Ok, it’s a bit of a joke but hear us out! We’ve stumbled upon some incredible tales of people receiving unexpected assistance to pay off their debts or even tackle those pesky speeding fines. And who knows? It might just work for you too!
Think of it as your own personal debt-busting campaign, with friends, family, and even total strangers rallying behind you. With a compelling description of your financial struggles, a dash of charm, and a pinch of humour, you’ll have people hooked and ready to support your cause.
Airbnb your home – if you have a spare room or two, make the most of it. Do this permanently, or at least whenever you go on holiday, even if it’s just a long weekend visiting family.
We’ve done this with our place a few times, last year it funded most of a three-week trip to the US.
Move back home – your parents will kill me. This is something I couldn’t really take advantage of as Grafton NSW didn’t have much in the way of dream jobs, but I have definitely seen others create this win.
Just make sure it’s a temporary move. Your independence matters more in the long run, but paying off debt is a short-term issue so deal with it first.
Negotiate a remote work arrangement and drop the commute. You’ll get more done in less time, save travel costs, and make some of your rent or mortgage tax deductible. The world is now connected by this thing called the internet – just as many others have done before you, jump on board and make it your advantage.
Live somewhere cheaper – city living is ridiculously expensive in comparison to regional areas. Either commute further (and spend the travel time creating a side hustle); work remotely; or set up a virtual business like we have, so you can be location independent and remove the impulse spending distractions that are so prevalent in big cities.
Put your car on Uber Carshare – a great sharing site to earn some extra $ from your gas guzzler.
Better still, sell your car and use Go Get or another sharing service. I have a few clients who use this and absolutely rave about it.
Don’t cut the holiday but turn it into a savings opportunity.
Everyone needs a break to relax, dream bigger and reset. Find cheaper places to travel, get away from the 5-Star BS that got you into this mess in the first place, actually meet the people and see the world.
Sleep less – It’s probably a short-term solution, but you can do it. Go to bed later, set the alarm early and use the time to build your side hustle, write a meal plan, track your budget or start a blog.
Who said paying down debt had to be boring? Take the time to analyse your life and decide if you could pull off any or all of the above and disrupt your debt cycle.
If you’re still not sure where to turn, speak to a financial adviser about creating your debt-reduction plan and turning your life around.