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These 5 Practical Tips for Paying Off Debt faster will hopefully help you!  Just like clutter weighing you down, the worry of debt will put a heavy weight on your shoulders. Whether it’s student loans, medical bills, failed businesses, or just a habit of using credit cards to spend more money than you earn, debt is a heavy burden to carry.  On top of the demands and responsibilities of family life, debt can be pretty overwhelming.  Debt strains relationships, drains resources, tries patience, and steals peace.

pay off debt faster
Today’s tips come from Stephanie at Six Figures Under…
“During my husband’s four years of law and business school, we acquired over $130,000 of student loan debt.  As I crunched the numbers several months after his graduation, I immediately felt the weight of our enormous debt.  Seeing how long it would take us to pay off the debt and how much we would pay in interest over the life of the loans, made me physically ill.  I knew we had to do something about our debt NOW!

My husband and I made getting out of debt our number one financial priority, even though we really wanted to save for a house.  We set a lofty goal and are giving it our all.  We are living as frugally as we can and making some big sacrifices to make our goal a reality.  We’re halfway to being debt-free!

Are you eager to get out of debt too?  Are you ready to start building a positive financial future for your family?  You can do it!  Here’s how you can make it happen!

1. Set a Goal
Don’t just mosey down the path toward financial freedom.  Set a goal that will force you to pick up the pace.  Set a date for when you will be debt-free.  Your goal should be lofty enough to push you and motivate you, but not so far-fetched that you get easily discouraged.  Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page.

2. Take Budgeting Seriously
Everyone needs a budget.  Even you!   A budget doesn’t have to feel limiting and controlling.  Believe it or not, a budget can actually be freeing instead of restrictive.  With an effective budget, you’ll be sure you are spending less than you earn (so you aren’t acquiring more debt) and you’ll have a clear picture of where you are spending your money (so you can make sure it’s in line with your priorities).  Budgeting is crucial for maximizing your debt repayment.

3. Cut Costs and Make Sacrifices
You probably already have a pretty good idea of some budget cuts you can make.  You might be surprised that you can lower many of your bills, even the expenses that you think are fixed.  Before you spend money, ask yourself if the purchase is necessary or if it can wait. Be creative and resourceful in finding alternatives to spending money.  Challenge yourself to spend less and do without.  Make it a frugal competition and you might even find it can be fun!

If you are going to make real traction toward your debt-free goal, it’s going to take sacrifice.  Are you willing to give up your cable package, gym membership, and eating out while you get out of debt?  Not only will your sacrifices free up money to put toward your debt, they will also provide a constant reminder of your goal. Every time you have a hankering for Starbucks, you can remember that giving it up is putting you closer to your goal.

4. Start Earning Extra
Saving money is just part of the equation. Increasing your income will really help you pick up the payoff pace.  When it comes to earning money, the sky is the limit.  Whether it’s taking an extra shift at work, finding a part-time job, opening an Etsy shop, selling on ebay, or starting a blog, anything you do to bring in extra money will help you reach your goal faster. Think outside of the box to come up with creative ways that you can increase your income.

Don’t let the extra income fool you into thinking you can spend more.  Any additional income streams should go straight toward your debt.

5. Don’t Give Up
Paying off debt takes longer than getting into debt.  It won’t be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.  Find someone to be your cheerleader and accountability partner.   Keep your spirits and motivation up by celebrating your success along the way.  Focus on the big picture, while realizing that every small choice matters and quickly adds up.

Your goal is within reach. You can do it!  You’ll be so glad you decided to get out of debt now!

A woman smiling for the camera.BIO: Stephanie loves helping families live frugally and pay off debt.  At Six Figures Under, she shares creative ways to save money, earn extra, live frugally, and budget effectively.  She makes personal finance public as she shares what her family of six earns, spends, and pays off in debt each month.  You can follow along on FacebookPinterest and Twitter.

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. Great tips! I like the tip about not going to starbucks every time you get a craving. It’s tough to think about it in the moment, but over a year, your starbucks cravings will cost you so much money. If you plan it out and add it all up, there is no way you would spend that much money over a year on it if you knew actually how much it was. Is it possible to be in so much debt people can throw you in jail?

    1. Oh I know – my Uncle was spending almost $3,000 a year when he added it all up (just on Starbucks!)