only way to become debt free is to get rid of all of your debt, and the
best way to get rid of all of your debt is to pay it off. If
having debt problems, you very likely have no extra money left over
each month. If you have no extra money, then how do you pay
Here's the answer: If you don't have extra money to
debt, then get some extra money. Easy to say--not so easy to
this article I'm going to discuss ways to get your hands on
extra money which you can then use to begin getting yourself out of
Before I get started, please understand that few, if any, of
ideas are fun. That's because getting out of debt is no fun.
What you need to always keep in mind, though, is that all of
effort for extra money is temporary. Once you are debt free,
won't need so much extra money so you no longer have to worry about
getting it. On average, it takes two or three years to become
completely debt free, not counting your mortgage if you have one.
So, you may have to use some of these methods for two or
years in order to become debt free. I know--two or three
a long time; but, if you do all of the things you need to do during
that time, you then get to spend the rest of your life living debt
Living debt free means very little financial stress and a lot
more money that you
can afford to spend any way you like.
Before we talk about
what to do to get extra money for debt reduction, lets first talk
about what not
to do. Do not
borrow money to get out of debt.
If you want to do a consolidation loan, which I don't usually
recommend, you better make sure you first get rid of the mistakes and
habits that got you into debt in the first place. Otherwise,
of your original debt eventually grows back and you end up
consolidation loan on top of it. Read my article about consolidation loans
before even thinking about trying it. To put it simply, you
get yourself out of debt by taking on more debt. It's silly
think you can, so don't try it. The best way to become debt
and wealthy is to pay off your debt, then start saving and investing
what you were
paying on the debt. The best way that I know of to pay off
debt is a method I call
the debt ladder.
To make the debt ladder work, you need to free up some extra
money. Here are some ways to do just that:
First, make sure you create and follow a spending plan so you'll
have control of your money. There are only three things you
can do to deal with debt:
certainly don't recommend doing nothing, so let's look at the other
two: decreasing expenses and increasing income. We will be
about extra income shortly, but let's first address decreasing
Creating and following a spending
plan, or budget, helps you to
control your spending and also shows you where all of your money is
currently going. If you design and follow a well-thought-out
budget, it will feel like you got a pay raise. With luck,
will free up some money to use to pay off debt. If, after
expenses via a budget, you still don't have the money you need to do a
debt ladder, then we
need to go on to the next idea which is to
increase income. As I have already stated, these ideas are
fun. They take a lot of effort, a lot of time, a lot of
aggravation and a lot of determination. But remember that it
only for one to three years until you are out of debt and well on the
to becoming wealthy.
So here we go...
Ideas to help
you bring in some extra money.
Make sure that any and all extra money
you come by is used for debt reduction regardless of how small an
amount it might be. If you get a cash gift for Christmas,
birthday, graduation, wedding, etc. make sure all of that extra
money goes into your debt ladder.
If you find money laying on the
street, it also goes into your debt ladder. So does change
in your car or under the couch cushions. Get it? All extra
money must go toward debt reduction regardless of how little it may be.
If you get a federal income tax refund each year, that goes
debt ladder as well. The average tax refund is one to three
thousand dollars. For most people, that will knock off one or
of your smaller debts. From now on, until you are debt free,
do not make plans about how
you will spend your tax refund. After you become debt free,
your tax refund will be all yours to spend as you please.
Your federal income tax refund must go into your debt ladder.
If possible, see if you can pick up some
extra hours at work. Yes it's no fun, you'll hardly ever see
your family and you'll have no free time, but it is temporary.
Once you are debt free, you can drop the extra hours.
then, take any additional hours you can get and put all of the extra
money you earn toward your debt ladder.
Look around your
house and see if you have any possessions you can sell. Do
have vehicles, ATVs, boats, guns, sporting equipment, etc. that you can
sell? Do it and then use the money for your debt ladder.
Selling stuff doesn't mean only big items either.
Gather up all of the junk you can find around the house, then
a garage sale. Put all of that money into your debt ladder.
If you are computer savvy, you can also sell stuff on Ebay or
other places on the Internet. I have personally seen people
hundreds or even thousands of dollars doing just that. Look
anything and everything you can sell, sell it, then use the money for
debt reduction. It is even possible to make a small business
of buying things and reselling them on the Internet. The more
places you can think of to find things, the more things you will find
and the more money you can make reselling them. Go to every
garage sale, estate sale, block sale, flea market, Goodwill store,
Salvation Army store, and resale shop you can. If you do this regularly
and consistently, you will start to find the really good stuff! Also,
be on the lookout for friends, family or acquaintances who are good at
crafts. You might be able to buy some of their work at a really good
price and sell at a profit, especially if they are older or not
computer savvy and are not already selling online. And don't
forget the treasure trove that is your attic, garage or basement. You
would be amazed at what some of that "junk" will go for on Ebay. I
managed to sell an old, beat up automobile owner's manual for five
dollars! It's always worth a try since if it doesn't sell, it only
costs you some time and relatively low listing fees. If you are not
above it (I'm not) you can often find goodies on the tree lawn on
garbage day. And don't overlook all of those
"dollar store" type establishments. Since their stock is often made up
of overruns and slightly irregulars, you might find something that
isn't available at all of the franchises. Furthermore, depending upon
where you live, you may find some stuff in those stores that is no big
deal to you, but may be quite in demand in other areas far away. And
always be on the lookout for the opportunity to buy things cheaply in
bulk and resell the items separately, or buy them separately and sell
them as a lot or collection. Lastly, take the time to browse Ebay and
get familiar with what kinds of things do and don't sell. You'll be
surprised what does and what doesn't sell. You can also look to see
what kind of competition there is for items similar to yours
Look for sidework you are able to do.
If you have any skills which can be used to earn money on the
side, do it. This could be such things as landscaping,
painting, accounting, tutoring, etc. If you don't have any
professional skills, then how about babysitting, pet sitting, cleaning
houses, mowing lawns, etc. Use your imagination--you'll be
surprised at the things you can come up with to earn a little extra
money. Even small amounts move you in the right direction.
Don't be afraid to take on a second job. It
doesn't have to be high-paying. Money you earn delivering
working in a fast-food restaurant, or sorting packages at some delivery
company can add up to
quite a bit when it is all put into your debt ladder. Yes,
will be dead tired each and every day, plus your family and personal
life will be pretty much nonexistent--temporarily! Don't
this is only to get yourself out of debt. Trust me, once you
debt free, you will look back and say that is was worth it.
may not seem like it now, but it will happen.
If you are
married, perhaps your spouse could take on an extra job. Even
one of you needs to be home to raise children, you can always work
different shifts. Yes, it stinks. You hardly ever
other. But it is only for a few years until you are debt free
never have to live like that again. Remember, you do this for
a few years, and the rest of your life will be very different
because you were willing to sacrifice some time and effort now.
If you receive any
kind of bonuses from work, or anywhere else for that matter, use the
money in your debt ladder.
Any kind of bonuses or incentives you
get your hands on should go toward paying off debt. Not just
money from work, it could even be money from incentive plans or even
cash-back rebates on purchases. It doesn't matter how much or
money it may be, every bit helps and every bit must go into paying off
debt. Don't make the mistake of saying "it's such a small
it won't make much difference, I'll just spend it, I deserve a little
fun." Keep in mind that in order to change your financial
you have to change your habits. Disciplining yourself to put
small amounts of money into paying off debt forms one such habit--the
habit of using any and all additional money to become, and then stay,
Read the articles you find on the Financial Page
and learn from them. Even the ones that don't seem to apply
you now, might apply to you someday. Either way, you will
lot about your money, and knowledge truly is power.
Doing all of this can be
very stressful on a marriage, family life and social life; but, so can
crushed by debt. Working so hard to bring in extra money will
be very difficult, but don't forget that it is a temporary
step on your way to becoming debt free and free of financial stress.
Expect it to be difficult, prepare for it mentally
and emotionally, talk about it with your spouse, family or friends, and
stick it out until you are debt free and have more time and money than
you ever thought possible to do the things you can't afford to do now.
Don't forget that this list is just a few ideas to get you
started. Using your own imagination and skills might provide
more opportunities to bring in some extra money. Whatever you
to get extra money, make sure you are actually earning it by working or
by selling things. Don't get involved in any get-rich-quick
you see in magazines, on television, on the Internet, or hear about on
the radio. There reallys is no quick easy way to get the
you need to get out of debt. If you find a way that seems
and easy, it either won't work for very long (if at all) or is a
complete scam that will actually end up costing you money instead.
Be smart, be hard-working and become debt free so that you
start living like others wish they could. You can do it--but
have to do it.
learn a lot more about saving, investing,
eliminating debt and
becoming wealthy, please read the articles
on the Financial Page.
There, you will find a veritable treasure of what to do and
how to do