Whether you’re just getting started with getting out of debt, facing a large amount of debt, or have hit what feels like a plateau after a long period of slogging away at getting out of debt, a little jump start can be a great way get you going.
Getting some quick wins in can really get you motivated. To help with that, here are 5 ways to jump start debt reduction in the New Year.
We’ve all got stuff laying around that we don’t use anymore, or that we use so rarely the stuff is not worth keeping. Turn those items into cash instead by listing them online or holding a garage sale. You’ll get some extra cash and clear out some space in the house.
2. Cancel something.
Chances are you’ve got some subscriptions to something that you’re either not using or could live without if push came to shove. Go ahead and cancel or cut back on those things, and put that money toward debt reduction instead each month. Things like gym memberships, cable, and cell phone plans are prime targets — and sometimes it’s worth it to pay a fee to get out of a contract if you’re not using the stuff anyway. You can often cut back on services (say, by getting rid of a data plan), put the contract on hold (cell phone companies will sometimes let you do this, and my gym allows for a $10/mo inactive fee), or find cheaper alternatives (here are some alternatives to cable TV, for example.)
3. Make extra money.
If you read the previous tip and snorted because you’ve never even had luxuries like cable to cut out, well, making extra money is a good alternative. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Of course, getting a second job or asking for a raise work too.
4. Stop saving.
While I am not suggesting that you wipe out your emergency fund, it makes no sense to be saving monthly for something on the one hand while paying out tons of interest on the other hand. Send that money to the first debt in your debt snowball instead. In other words, focus on one thing at a time.
5. Get support.
Talking with other like-minded people can be immensely beneficial. Not only will you realize you’re not the only one out there who thinks “buy now, pay and pay and pay later” is a bad idea, but you’ll get encouragement, inspiration, and support. Inspiration does wonders for your progress, keeps you focused, and spurs you to greater heights.