You might be wondering how to get out of debt when you’re broke. After all, how can you pay down your debts if you don’t have any money? Many people find themselves in this situation and we have a few ideas that could help.
31 Ways to Get Out of Debt
If you’re broke, how do you find money to pay your debt? In general, the two ways to create more funds to pay off debt are: 1) increase your income, or 2) decrease your expenses. There are dozens of ways that people have found to earn extra income or cut expenses. Here are just a handful of ideas for you to get started on reducing your debt.
Limit Credit Card Use
One of the best ways to save money is by limiting how much you use your credit card. If you can’t pay cash, then don’t buy it! This can help cut back on how often and how much you spend on impulse buys which are a major source of debt for most people. Limiting your credit card use can not only help save you when it comes to impulse purchases but could also help you avoid hefty interest fees. If you carry a balance on your credit card, limiting how often and how much you use it could save you money in interest payments over time.
Start a Side Hustle
If you’re looking to increase your income, then a side hustle is a great place to start. A side hustle is a second job or business that you work on in your free time. This can help you make extra money and can help you get out of debt faster. You could find a freelance job, pick up a part-time job, or even try to start your own business.
Lose Unnecessary Bills
If you find yourself paying for unnecessary things, then it may be time to cut back some of your bills. While some of these things may seem like a necessity at first glance, it’s important to review all your current bills and objectively determine if they are actually necessary or not.
Sell Unwanted Items
If you have unwanted clutter around the house, then it may be time to sell it. Whether you hold a garage sale, use Craigslist, or eBay, there are plenty of ways that you can get rid of your stuff for cash. This way you not only make money but also clear up space in your house.
Subscriptions generally will auto-renew, which makes them an easy thing to forget. Rather than letting your monthly wine subscription run for another six months, cancel it and take the savings, and put it toward your debt. These subscriptions will also feel like a small expense in your mind, but when you add up all your subscriptions and the fact you are charged 12 times a year, they can all add up to a lot of money.
Create and Stick to a Budget
Creating and sticking to a budget is one of the most important things you can do to get out of debt. You need a plan and an organized system that works for how your money is spent, so write down every penny you spend over 30 days and see how much cash comes in from all sources. This will help give you an idea of where you can cut back and how you can increase how much money you have for paying off your debt.
Review Your Utilities
Reviewing your utilities can help you in two different ways. First, it allows you to identify how much you are using the utilities and if using less will save you money. Second, it also lets you analyze if you can get the same service from a different competitor at a lower price. Third, sometimes simply suggesting that you might start looking at other providers will motivate your current utility provider to cut you a deal on how much you pay them.
Cut the Cord
Getting rid of your cable subscription might be difficult, but if you are serious about getting out of debt, it is worth the sacrifice. You can generally find other streaming options that allow you to pay less than you were for your cable subscription. The downside is that you may have fewer channels available, but if you analyze what channels you actually use, you might be able to find a provider that meets your needs while reducing your total bill.
Use Coupons When Grocery Shopping
Couponing is something that seems so small and simple that it’s not worth the effort. That may be the case if you’re using a coupon on a single item, but if you’re using coupons on the majority of your cart, then the savings can quickly add up. Many stores also have apps now where you can clip and store coupons digitally, making it easier than ever! To read more about how to make the most of your coupons, you can read our blog: Couponing to save money.
Leftovers can be a great way to reduce your grocery budget and allow you to limit your food waste. Committing to finishing off any foods that you cook can help you buy less from the grocery store and also limit how much you are spending on takeout or other outside food.
Unsubscribe from Emails
Companies love to send promotional emails and we love to buy from promotional emails. However, if you’re trying to cut back your expenses, then unsubscribing can be a great option.
Use Gift Cards
If you have unused gift cards around your house, make it a point to make a list of every card, where it’s to, and how much it is for. Then you can do something that feels like a splurge in eating out, without hurting your overall budget.
Automate Bill Payments
Automating bill payments can keep you from being late on payments as the company will automatically charge you every month. Some companies will even incentivize you to set up automatic payments by offering a discount on their product each billing period.
Mow Your Own Lawn
If you’re up for it, mowing your own lawn can be a great way to save on how much you spend with having someone else do the job. You may incur some upfront expenses from buying a lawn mower and other accessories, but in the long run, you will save a ton by avoiding hiring someone else to do the job. And it can be a great workout, which makes this a win-win.
When you purchase anything, you should comparison shop to make sure you are getting the best possible deal. You can comparison shop online, or you can simply ask a local retailer how much they sell the same product for and then purchase it from them.
If you’re intentional about your driving, you can significantly reduce the wear and tear on your car, gas usage, and mileage on your car. Whether it’s accelerating slowly or finding alternatives to driving your car, you will find that this small change makes a big difference over time.
Buying generic food items can save you a significant percentage on an item, and it will generally taste the same or very similar. You can even find generic versions of many name-brand products that will taste just as good. If you want to spice things up, try purchasing a few different kinds and finding out which ones your family enjoys best!
Create a Grocery List
Creating a grocery list can be a great way to save money and time when you go shopping. Not only will this help prevent wasteful purchases, but it will keep your fridge well-stocked with food that won’t spoil or expire before you can eat them!
Host a Game Night
If you’re looking to save on your entertainment expenses, then we recommend hosting a game night with friends and family! This is an excellent way to spend some quality time together while also utilizing a game that you already have so you aren’t having to spend any extra money.
Visit the Library
Your local library is filled with books, audiobooks, and DVDs that you can check out for free. If you want to read a new book or watch some movies without having to pay the extra money, then we recommend heading over to the library!
Sell Your Car
If you find that you aren’t using your car as much anymore, then it might be worth it to sell. This can be especially impactful for families with two cars who no longer need both. Not only will you make money from the sale of your car, but you will also save on other expenses like gas, insurance, and maintenance.
Make Coffee at Home
Instead of heading over to your local cafe every morning, how about you make coffee at home? This will help save you significantly, especially if you enjoy a pricey drink at your local spot. You can also brew your coffee stronger to make it more potent, which means you will get more for less! If you enjoy a fancier coffee, check out our blog DIY Starbucks Drinks for a few recipes you can try to replicate at home.
Watch the Thermostat
Paying attention to how you treat your home helps to reduce how much money you need to spend. For instance, how about setting the thermostat a little lower in the winter and higher during warmer months? You can also try out heating or cooling just one room instead of making it nice throughout the entire house.
Workout at Home
Rather than continuing to pay your expensive gym membership, how about making this year the time to get in shape with a home workout routine? Not only will you save money, but you can save time by avoiding the drive to and from the gym.
Ask for a Raise
One way to get out of debt is to make more money. If you currently have a job, it might be worth a shot to ask for a raise or apply for a promotion. If they say yes, you can use the extra money to help pay down your debt load or start an emergency fund.
Find Ways to DIY
Finding ways to do things yourself can help you save on the costs associated with having someone come do something for you. From handyman work, to landscaping, to home improvement projects, there are many ways to save money by doing it yourself.
Buy and Cook in Bulk
Buying in bulk can help you save money. You can buy large quantities of food items on sale, store them in your freezer or storage space and use them when needed so that they don’t go to waste. You will want to be careful that you are only purchasing things you will use before they expire as buying in bulk doesn’t save you money if you throw half of the products away.
Rent Out a Room
If you have an extra room in your house, renting it out could help you make some extra income. Make sure to check how many people are allowed per home, HOA or neighborhood rules, and what the zoning laws allow before moving forward with this option. You will want to ensure that you have a contract in place if someone is staying in your home so both parties know their responsibilities when living together.
Pack a Lunch
Rather than eating out for lunch every day, pack one for yourself. You will save a ton of money and the food you bring with you can be much healthier than eating out at restaurants all of the time.
Ask for Fees to Be Waived
Anytime you see a fee on a bill, it’s worth the risk to call up and ask the company to waive the fee. For example, if you’re getting charged for going over your data plan or making a payment late every month, call them and explain how hard it is for you at this moment in time. You can also do this with credit cards since they will want to keep you as a customer anyway even if you’re late on a payment.
Drinking water can keep you from spending money on things like soda or coffee, which will save you money in the long run. Plus it can help with your skin and how your body feels overall—so there are benefits outside of just saving cash!
How Can CreditAssociates Help?
If you’re struggling to keep up with debt payments or feel like you owe too much to pay back, let CreditAssociates help! Our certified debt consultants specialize in negotiating with creditors to reduce our clients’ debt. We’ve helped thousands just like you become debt-free for less than they owe. Many people are shocked by how much they can save with our help, so don’t hesitate to give us a call today at 1-800-983-6693.
Common Questions About Debt:
What happens if I can’t pay off my debt?
If you can’t pay off your debt, the creditor will try to get the money that is owed from you through several different avenues. First they may contact you directly and request that payment be made. If this fails, they will turn to debt collectors who may threaten legal action if the amount owed isn’t paid in full. If you feel like you have too much debt to be able to pay back, debt relief might be a good option for you. Learn more here: How It Works.
Will my debt negatively impact my credit score?
Generally debt on its own will not have a negative impact on your credit score. However, too much debt or debt that has become delinquent will result in a negative score. If you do not make efforts to pay off your debt, eventually the creditor will turn over the account to a third-party collection agency who will report it as delinquent on your credit history. If you’re receiving calls or letters from collectors, reach out to CreditAssociates today. We specialize in dealing with creditors to help our clients become debt-free for less than they owe. See what we could do for you!
How can I make more money?
Our first recommendation for trying to make more money is to ask for a raise or apply for a promotion at work. You could also find things in your house that you no longer want or need, and find a place to sell them, like eBay or Craigslist. This could help you to make some cash on items you are not using and could help boost your savings.
Where should I start with budgeting?
Identifying how much you make and how much you spend is a great place to start when it comes to budgeting. This will allow you to identify areas where you are spending too much money and help you get your spending back in check.