You’ve got your $1,000 safely tucked away in an emergency fund. Now, you’re ready to attack your debt with passion and intensity. You’re primed to get that debt snowball rolling downhill as quickly as possible. That’s great!
But could it be even better?
With a little creativity and a lot of intentionality, you might be able to find ways to add even more green to your debt snowball. Here are seven practical ideas for finding some extra money that you can use to pay off your debts faster.
1. Get on a budget.
You know you should create a new budget on paper, on purpose every month. But are you doing it? Like Dave says, when you start using a budget, it can feel like you’re getting a raise. Find where all those extras dollars are hiding and add them to your snowball.
"...eliminate the danger of late fees..."
2. Stop digging.
One smart step toward getting out of the pit your debt has created is to put down the shovel. It’s the basic principle of adding through subtraction. You save money by refusing to spend any more of it on new interest payments or hidden fees. The cash you’re not spending on new debt can help you pay off the old debt faster.
3. Find the deals.
As you’re looking over your budget, find ways to do things for less money. That might mean using coupons at the grocery store or shopping around for better rates on your insurance. Also, making the switch to automated payments can eliminate the danger of late fees. If you take the time to do the research, you probably can find cheaper ways to get things done—and that means more money for debt reduction.
4. Join a carpool.
Gasoline prices may rise or fall, but carpools always make good financial sense. Whether it’s catching a ride to work or helping take the neighbor’s kids to school, you can reduce your automotive expenses. Over time, that could mean a bigger debt snowball.
5. Sell something.
It might be something big—like a vehicle. It might be something small—like what you can sell at a yard sale. But you’ve probably got some extra money just lying around the house collecting dust. Find it. Sell it. Pay off more debt!
6. Get a second job.
Dave always says work is a surefire, moneymaking scheme. Make that scheme work for you. It might seem inconvenient, but just remember that it’s not forever. Think of it as a temporary sacrifice that will help you permanently fix a huge problem.
"...the progress will be unstoppable..."
7. Pay cash.
You don’t necessarily have to eliminate every fun thing in your life, but you do need to be a little wiser about how much you spend on them. If you pay cash, you’re much less likely to overspend on anything—from a fast-food meal to a piece of furniture. The feeling of cash leaving your hand is a warning against releasing more of it than absolutely necessary.
Let’s be honest . . . paying off debt isn’t easy. You’ll face temptations around every corner. But stick with it. As Chris Brown says, “It's not really about the pit, it's not about the promise, it's about the process.” Once your debt snowball gains momentum, the progress will be unstoppable until that last debt payment is in your rearview mirror.