Use What Got You Into Debt To Pay It Off
I thought that this would be a novel way of looking at how to pay off your debt - using what got you into debt in the first place to pay it off. However, I appreciate this cannot cover all bases as there are so many different reasons why people get into debt, such as illness, but I hope that this can give you some good ideas on how to pay off your debt.
Paying off your debt should be an urgent issue for you. Debt ties up your money that you can use for much better things, and you can pay thousands on interest alone. When you are paid from your hard work, you want to keep that money yourself don't you?
Unfortunately these days there are huge consumer debts all around the world that people are struggling to pay back, from buying things that they don't necessarily need.
I was definitely included in this when I got into debt. I got into debt because my income was so low I felt left out of society and couldn't do even 'normal' things such as go out for an occasional meal with friends or have a car. I never bought anything because I didn't have any money, and I didn't go anywhere - ever.
This was a really difficult time for me that spanned over a period of a few years, and I really struggled. I have now paid off the debt that I accumulated trying to be 'normal' and I'm working on big financial goals that I really want to achieve. It is a great feeling, and one that I wish for everyone to have.
It's easy to think you'll never pay off your debt so just keep on paying the minimum amount each month because it's manageable, but cutting out the interest, monthly expense and stress out of your life is worth all of the effort that you put into it.
A very simple way of looking at how you can pay off your debt, is to reduce your expenses as low as you can (create a budget, do a price comparison on all of your bills, track spending, meal plan etc) and then get as much extra income coming in to put on your debt.
One thing that I always recommend is if you are trying to reach a financial goal, such as saving for a holiday - or in this case, paying off your debt - to commit one full income stream to it.
When I got my second job in an office part time, I did not touch the money that I earned. It all went straight onto debt. Every penny.
When you use a different income stream to reach your financial goal, it will feel like less of a hardship because you are not cutting into your regular wage which I assume pays your bills. This means that your bills will always be covered but you will be able to pay a lot of money towards your debt.
I am a huge advocate of earning extra money to pay off your debt, and I have done it through a few different methods - a second job, dog boarding, blogging, matched betting, mystery shopping and a few other things such as selling old things on eBay and completing surveys.
I hope that if you are struggling to pay off your debt, these ideas for earning extra money could help you. I have a huge list of 100 side hustle business ideas that can help you think of some ideas, but the list below should hopefully fuel your imagination as well!
There are lots of people who are struggling to pay their mortgage or rent on top of all of the other bills and other debts! There are a lot of debates around whether a mortgage should be included as a debt or not, and whether it is just a 'good debt' - but I personally feel as though it is a debt that we should try and get rid of, because if we don't keep up our mortgage payments each month, we lose our house.
If you pay it off every month for 30 years or so, you are left with the house to live in and no more mortgage. I think that we should aim for paying it off much sooner than that in case something happens to our income and we become unable to pay it.
I think that people don't like to include it in their debts (myself included!) because it is such a crazy huge amount, and it's normalised to have long term mortgage.
Typically when it comes to buying a house, you will find that a lot of people try to pay the minimum deposit amount (it is hard to save thousands upon thousands of pounds for a deposit) and go for the biggest amount of mortgage that they are offered. The problem with this is that you are leaving yourself with a ton of money to pay over 30 years or more.
Some ways that you could earn money from your house are as follows:
This is an idea that many people don't like to entertain, and it comes with upfront fees (e.g. solicitors, surveys) - but if you are rattling round a huge house and no need for the excess space, this could be an amazing way to save a ton of money going out of your pocket and into someone else's.
Before you dismiss the idea, think about whether you really need those spare rooms. Could your children share a room for a little bit? It doesn't have to be a long term thing - especially if you are renting - but a short term pain can certainly lead to a long term gain.
Got any spare rooms? As annoying as it may sound, having a roommate could earn you thousands over time. It could pay your mortgage each month! Do a quick Google search on rooms to rent in your area, and I bet that you will be surprised. Renting costs are generally high because people want to cover their mortgage and earn extra on top, so even if there is just a room to rent the price is quite high.
I just did a quick look in my area and even just rooms within houses are going for a minimum of £400 per month. Don't forget that your bills are likely to go up - especially things like electricity and water - but it shouldn't be too bad.
I have a lodger (my brother) and because I managed to cut back on our electricity/gas and water bill so much, him moving in had no negative effect on my bills.
This is something that I do, and I love it. It's an easy way for me to make money on the side, and has helped me pay off my debt. Dog boarding is where you look after other peoples dogs when they go on holiday or away for a weekend.
I get a steady stream of work from this, and I am quite fussy about the dogs that I take because I have a young daughter. However, if you aren't fussy about the kind of dogs that you look after, you can make lots more money.
Even if you work a 9-5 you can still do this because many people just go away for a weekend. The site that I do it through let you quote for the jobs that you want to go for, so you aren't contracted in to doing a particular amount - just quote whenever you are free.
Rent out drive
This is not possible for everyone, but if you live in or near a busy city centre, or a train station, your driveway could be in demand. Do an internet search in your local area to see how much people are renting theirs out for. You could advertise on sites such as Gumtree or JustPark.
Rent out house for TV/Film/Photoshoots
This sounds like something that is unlikely, but I have been in a house before that is rented out for photoshoots - there are many that like them to be done in a real house. Some sites that you could do this through are: Creative England, UKFilmLocations.com, Location Works or JJ Locations.
It seems to be the norm nowadays to buy a brand new car on finance - which means paying hundreds each month for years. Cars decrease in value quite quickly - well, as soon as you drive them off the lot!
One of our friends pays around £500 a month for his car finance alone - which is an insane amount to me to pay each month - with insurance, tax and petrol on top too. Is an expensive car really worth being in tons of debt for? Could you sell your car and buy a cheaper, more reliable one? Luckily, there are some ways in which you can use your car to pay off your debt (
Drive for Uber
You have probably heard about Uber now - the lift sharing platform which has exploded in success over the world. It is essentially a taxi service, but you only work when you want to work, and it is usually all done via an app on your phone.
If you and your car meet the necessary requirements, this could be quite a flexible way to earn some extra cash on the side.
If there's anything that I've learned from reading and interacting with US blogs, it's that there is a lot of student debt over there. There is of course, student debt here in England - but we have very small interest rates, you don't have to start paying it back (via tax) until you are earning a certain amount of money, and it gets written off after a period of time (usually 25 years).
Put that learning to good use and teach other students! Tutoring can be highly lucrative if you received good grades and can help other students improve theirs. You could earn between £25 - £35 an hour, or more depending on your skills.
Advertise locally - on University noticeboards, forums, Facebook, Gumtree etc. Let people know that you are offering private tutoring too and word of mouth could get you some more work too.
This is a great way to make extra money regardless of what stage of life/work you are in, but if you have been studying for years in one specific subject matter, you will have the information needed - and you will be used to writing as well.
There is a demand for academic articles, so this could be a good way of going about it, or you could look for publications/websites who need something written in your area of expertise.
This one can be a common reason for getting into debt - and it is easily done. Day-to-day life spending that can get you into debt could be: buying clothes, buying toys for your kids, going on holiday and so on.
It has become the norm now to put things that you want on a credit card. See something you want but can't afford it? Put it on the card! It's a vicious cycle that can be hard to escape from.
A good way of paying off debt using this could be to sell everything! I'm a big advocate of selling your stuff, especially if you find yourself in financial difficulty. We all tend to be quite guilty of holding on to objects in our house, especially if they hold some kind of sentimental value.
I enjoy doing car boot sales and selling on Gumtree or eBay to declutter and earn some extra money on the side.
There are other ways to earn extra money to pay off your debt, such as getting a second or third job, deliver pizza/takeaways, do ironing, dog boarding, blogging, matched betting, start up your own business and lots of other things.
Could you use what got you into debt to pay it off? Or are you using another method?