Maybe your credit card balance never changes. Or your student loan balance is somehow growing. Sound familiar?
You’re on the debt treadmill, my friend. The debt treadmill is the feeling that you’re paying monthly payments and still aren’t getting out of debt.
Here’s three easy ways to hop off that nasty workout and chip away at the debt.
1. Cut out a little thing
Each month, cut some expense and use it towards your loans. Instead of ordering Seamless or going out, head to the grocery store and make meals for the week. I’d recommend Budget Bytes, which tells you the actual cost per serving.
Do this for one week out of the month and calculate how much you’re saving.
Take half the amount you’ve saved and put it towards your debt, whether it’s credit card, student loans or auto loans. Save the other half for a rainy day. Rinse and repeat each month and you’ll notice your balance going down.
2. Do a side hustle
Find something that you love doing. It does not have to be anything related to your regular job. In fact, it’s a lot better if it isn’t.
Dedicate two nights a month to this activity. If you like driving, sign up for Lyft and try it a couple nights a month. You can get creative here — think of anything you do that you often give away for free, then try charging for it.
Use the profits from this directly towards your debt. You’ll notice soon enough that your balance is creeping down. If you enjoy it, try working four nights a month.
3. Stop using any debt
One of the best ways to stay away from high balances is to stop using any debt. You’ll have a tough time paying down that credit card if you keep using it at the bar every weekend. Looking to buy a new car? Well, you better save up, because you aren’t getting out of debt by taking on a car loan.
Stick to cash. Using our cash forces us to come up with a realistic way of spending money. Go to the ATM before going out and force yourself to only use that cash. Try it for a few months and you’ll notice those balances actually going down.
While it might take a little time, these minor adjustments will make a huge difference.
In fact, paying just $20 extra dollars above your minimum payment (for a $3,000 credit balance at 17% APR) would save you $2,645.50 on interest and be paid off 14 years faster!
If you have more suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment here 🙂
Originally published at medium.com on September 14, 2017.