One of the most agonizing things about being in debt is the feeling of barely treading water. You make money, that money goes into your debts. The needle barely moves as interest digs into your income. How can you get out of debt without going crazy from the time it takes to pay everything off?
Today, we’re going to leave you with a few strategies that can help you become debt-free sooner than you thought you could.
Don’t just pay the interest on your debts and hope that you’ll win the lottery someday. You won’t. Instead, focus on one of your debts. Figure out which of them has the highest interest rate and start hammering that debt. Take any extra money you were thinking of saving or using for fun spending and funnel it into your highest-interest debt.
This technique will quickly burn down the debt, but it requires a lot of patience and sacrifice.
Trust us when we tell you that it’s well worth it.
By focusing in this way, you are essentially buying yourself money in the future with your money now. The interest you end up not having to pay by paying the debt off sooner will likely be a huge help down the road. But you don’t stop there.
Once you’ve paid off your highest-interest debt, it can be tempting to return to minimum payments on everything. Don’t do this. Instead, take all that money you’re saving from the debt you just paid off and pay it into your next-highest-interest debt. This is a technique called “snowballing,” and it’s a huge help when you’re trying to organize your debts.
By doing this, you’ll burn down the next debt even faster than the first. Repeat this technique on each of your debts, starting from the highest interest and ending with the lowest. As you continue, you’ll free up more and more money and eliminate each debt faster than the last. This process could take years, but it will be worth it.
Once you’re debt free, don’t stop there. Take the money you were using to pay down your debts and start investing it. Now, you can get interest rates working for you, instead of against you. Find stable, long investments for your money if you’re younger. If you’re older, more aggressive, high-risk, high-reward investments could be more profitable.
Through this snowballing strategy, you can make interest work for you and make your debt disappear.