How To Erase Your Debts The Hard Way

I‘m convinced that there is only one surefire way to undo your debts. No, it’s not with a debt consolidation company. We’ve paid off our debt without negotiating for lower payments, lower amounts owed, or fighting with collectors.

Some may say we had it easy. Sure, it wasn’t the most difficult situation. But that doesn’t mean undoing our debts was an easy task. Here are some things that worked for us as we fought our way to freedom from non-mortgage debt.

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debt reduction strategy

Step 1: Cut Expenses Wherever You Can

This isn’t going to be pretty. If you want to get rid of your debt in a hurry, think of things you are paying for that you really don’t need in your life anymore. For example, do you have cable TV? It’s time to get rid of it. Visiting Starbucks every day on your morning commute to work? Well, I think it’s time to make some coffee at home (or for you brave ones, try drinking water instead)!

Remember, this is how to undo your debts the hard way. Anywhere worth going is worth the extra effort, and paying off debt is no different.

Step 2: Get A Second Job, Or Third Job!

Once you’ve cut your expenses the most you can, it’s time to start thinking about getting another job:

  • Deliver pizzas.
  • Clean houses.
  • Mow lawns.
Do whatever it takes (well, within reason) to bring in some extra money! Get up early in the morning and go to sleep late at night (but still get some rest). You’re going to need to get crazy about the business of bringing in more money!

Step 3: List Your Debts Using The Debt Snowball Technique

This is where you list your debts smallest to largest in amount and pay them off in that order. Now, that may seem like the unsophisticated way to pay off your debts – everyone knows that paying off your higher interest debts first saves you the most money – but you need quick wins in order to stay motivated. As you pay off the smaller debts, you’ll be empowered to pay off the larger ones. In the end, you’ll pay off your debts quicker and with greater intensity.

Dave Ramsey is the main proponent of the debt snowball technique. I highly encourage you to read more about his plan to help you eliminate your debt.

Step 4: Rinse And Repeat!

You’ll need to revisit these steps often. Over time, expenses can creep up on you or your income might go down. By repeating these steps every few months, you’ll discover new ways you can more quickly eliminate debt and reach your goals.
Make sure that you create a visual tracker for your debts. When I said “list your debts,” I meant it! Make a big list you can check off on your refrigerator. Having this visual aid is a reminder of what you are making these sacrifices for, and will keep you motivated to stay strong.
Trust me, I know it isn’t always easy to stay motivated. When you are working two jobs and living on “beans and rice,” the first thing you are tempted to do is to give up. But you shouldn’t. Why?
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. – Proverbs 22:7
When we are in debt, we are slaves. Who wants to be a slave? Nobody. God calls us to be free! I believe in you. You can do it. Be free!
Meet us in the comments and let’s discuss some creative ways to get out of debt. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Last Edited: 10th February 2014

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  1. says

    This is very practical and doable. The only way you will not be able to erase your debt is if you are not serious about it. Your tip to “revisit” these steps every now and then is important to the successful implementation of the steps. The first thing I did to cut expenses was to cut my cable TV. For 3 years, we didn’t have one and just contended ourselves with the regular free TV channels. It paid off. Thank you for the encouragement. God bless you more!

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