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Debt can often feel like a huge enormous gigantic weight hanging off your neck.
You feel helpless to escape its clutches no matter how much you try and cut back.
The important lesson is that debt can be eradicated effectively and quickly with the right mindset and by adopting the right strategy.
I graduated in 2008 with over $25,000 of student debts from my time at law school. I managed to wipe the slate clean within about 5 years and I wasn’t even really trying that hard.
So whether you’re a student with a ton of college debt or a mom who has been a little bit too giddy with the store cards, this post should help you on your way to a debt free future so you can stop worrying about money and start enjoying yourself.
The question is – where do I start? Well, let’s look at 9 ways you can get started today with minimal effort.
1. Introduce Some Side Hustles
The blindingly obvious way to get shut of debt is to pay it off as quickly as possible.
Easier said than done right? – Especially when you’re already living from paycheck to paycheck each month anyway.
The good news is that just spending a couple of hours a day doing side hustles can often be a good start to lowering your debt.
Just putting 2 hours a day aside to attempt side hustles can often amount to a few hundred bucks over the course of the month.
So what side hustles should you do?
One of the easiest way to make a few dollars is to complete online surveys.
In the years after I graduated from college, I committed around an hour a day just completing surveys and would usually have around $200 at the end of the month that I would use to pay off my student loan.
The surveys I did back then were nowhere near as profitable as they are now.
I would start with the following:-
Survey Junkie: You can earn up to $18 an hour with them and I’ve even heard of people earning up to $75 for just one survey – that is insane!
Inbox Dollars: They offer a number of ways you can make money online with their app.
You can earn by:-
- Completing surveys
- Surfing the web
- Reading emails
- Playing games
- Reviewing Products
They are therefore a very versatile company to use meaning you’re less likely to render yourself brain dead by spending some time with them.
Their website is a joy to use and they offer a $5 sign up bonus just for entering your details.
They do advertise that you can earn $75 per survey which are usually for products for you to review, which you can keep after!
Generally the more complicated the survey, the more you earn.
Their payments are usually higher than a lot of other survey companies so they’re definitely one to consider.
You generally earn around $1 to $2 for surveys that take around 5-10 minutes to finish so around $10 per hour – not bad from the comfort of your sofa.
Another bonus is that you get the cash rather than points so you know exactly where you are.
2. Use Passive Money Making Apps
One great way to reduce debt is to use apps that earn you money for doing nothing. Sounds too good to be true?
Well….Check out the Nielsen App
Simply download the Nielsen app onto your mobile and they’ll send you $50 a year for your trouble. It doesn’t get any more passive than that.
Another great app is SweatCoin
Simply add the app to your phone and it tracks the steps you take in a day and rewards you points which you can then redeem for special offers they have.
Approximately 5000 steps gets you 5 sweat coins which you can then redeem for various low value gifts, which change each day.
However, there are much bigger gifts you can redeem like iphones and Samsung TV’s. Obviously it will take you a lot longer to get there but the great thing is, you can pool your points with your friends so you can unlock these offers much quicker.
3. Make Savings on Things You Buy
Wouldn’t it be great if you could get cashback on things you’re going to buy anyway.
With these apps, you can do just that and save a ton of money in the process which will help you pay off that mounting debt.
Ibotta ia great app to use when you go shopping. It allows you to secure cash back and earn points when you buy things you are going to buy anyway.
You can even send you receipts to the app when you’ve finished shopping to get your cash back and rewards then.
When you’ve reached $20 it gives you the opportunity to withdraw via paypal or to redeem for gift cards.
Ibotta is currently giving away a $20 cash back bonus when you redeem 10 offers!
Perfect for the savvy saver!
Similar to Ibotta above, ebates (now Rakuten) allows you to secure cash back up to 40% on items you purchase.
It can be used at over 2500 online retailers so you’ll have plenty of products to choose from.
The best thing is that they’re giving away a $10 welcome bonus in cash currently!
You get paid via paypal or by cheque to make it easy to cash out your returns.
They also have a handy browser extension which basically alerts you when there’s an applicable product on the website you’re surfing!
You can get the extension here
?Want to make up to $300 extra each month? Check out these free websites!
Join Survey Junkie: Expect to earn on average around $10 an hour. However, their focus groups (i.e. surveys in person or over the phone) do pay on average around $75 when available and are subject to your location – I earned $300 one month with them – 5⭐ rating on TrustPilot!
? Get a free Survey Junkie registration bonus when you sign up
Join SwagBucks: The second best survey company. Make money completing surveys, watching videos and playing games – up to $10 per hour – $5 bonus and tons of ways of making cash!
Join MyPoints: Again, make money completing surveys, watching videos and playing games – up to $10 per hour.
4. Balance Transfer Your Credit Cards
This might be an obvious one but there are thousands of people out there who are needlessly paying interest on their credit cards.
It’s simple maths, if you keep adding to your debt by paying interest, you’re going to find it much harder to pay off your debt as every time you take a chunk out of it, the interest puts a little bit back on.
The key is to make sure you regularly balance transfer your credit card debt to a new card provider so you avoid interest on your purchases and debt. It may cost you a small fee to transfer but on the interest savings over the following months, you’ll be making a massive overall saving.
There are hundreds of deals out there that offer you a year or two without interest payments. I am saving around $50 a month since I transferred my credit card to a 0% interest one.
5. Shop for the Best Deals
Whether its your electricity, gas, water or phone bill, there are hundreds of competing companies out there looking to give you a better deal than your current one.
The key is to go through all of your utility bills and get yourself on comparison sites on the internet and work through each type of utility to identify a better price.
I can almost guarantee you that at end of doing this task you’ll have identified some huge savings.
I saved $500 dollars (per year) by looking for the best deals. This took me around 4 hours to complete – $125 for per hour. Awesome!
6. Make Use of Your Possesions for Cash
The bottom line is, you likely have possessions you don’t need to use all the time that someone else could make use of.
If you’ve got a spare ride or perhaps you don’t use your vehicle all the time and can go a few days without it, then why not rent it out to people for cash.
The website Turo lets you rent out your vehicle at a rental rate of your choice.
Simply register on the Turo’s website and start offering out your car to someone for money. You even get $20m of motor liability insurance
7. Ask Your Lender for a Lower Rate
You’ll be surprised what a credit card company will do when you threaten to take your business elsewhere.
To make savings on your credit card, you should definitely try giving them a call to discuss lowering your rate.
I have done this on numerous occasions and even secured a reduction of 1% on one of my loans. This might not sound a lot but when it’s a $10k loan, it’s not a bad saving at all.
8. Practice the Debt Snowball
The idea behind the debt snowball is to focus on small debts which you can tackle easier than one big debt.
Just start by paying off your smaller debts which give you a sense of belief and confidence that you can also tackle bigger debts. It helps you realize that you can actually live comfortably even if you do shave off a little more debt than you normally do in a month.
Before you know it, you’ll have paid off the small debts and built up confidence to target your bigger debts and be well on your way to a debt free existence.
9. Make a Budget
The key to being more frugal and debt free, is to be organized and savvy with your spending.
One awesome tip is to create a budget for the month and systematically eradicate things that are not necessary.
I mean, who really needs that second chocolate latte or that extra large popcorn at the cinema?
Aim for one saving a day where you try and cut out, say, $5’s worth of spending. By the end of the month you’ll have saved $150 and you probably won’t even notice much of difference to your life.
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