1. Start a side hustle
For me, starting a freelance business on the side of my full-time job was the quickest way to see the results I wanted. The more I worked the more money I could make, which meant more money to throw at my debt.
Not all my side hustles worked, and some of them I had to quit because the pay wasn’t worth my time. However, an awesome benefit to starting another income stream was that it kept my mind preoccupied with things related to work and making more money.
Instead of obsessing over my debt and lack of progress, I had other things to worry about – like finding new clients or solving other people’s tax issues. After a few months, I looked up and realized I made a huge amount of progress.
2. Find a part-time job
If you’re a bit gun shy of starting your own freelance business or side hustle, another option is to apply for a regular part-time job. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, and if you’re lucky you might be able to work at some place that relates to a hobby you enjoy.
For instance, Starbucks could be great part-time job if you’re trying to cut back on the costs of a daily cup of coffee. Or a bookstore like Barnes and Nobles if you’re a book geek like I am. As an additional bonus, both of these places are well-known for offering part-time employees excellent health benefits.
3. Sell anything and everything
If you want to jump-start your journey towards debt freedom, one of the best things you can do is start selling stuff you already own.
Whether it’s furniture, clothes, kitchen items or even your TV (trust me you won’t have much time to watch it anyway) there’s a lot of money to be made from stuff in your own home.
You might be thinking that you don’t know how to sell anything, and I used this excuse too. But thankfully, Craigslist makes it extremely easy to sell. All you have to do is snap a photo, write a short description and respond to any offers. There’s no need to sign up or create an account. Plus, there’s no fee to sell and the buyers pay with cash (unless they try to write a check).
4. Make more money
If you're very determined to pay off that debt within the year, you should look for ways to increase your income and use that extra money to pay off debt as quickly as possible. Whether it's taking on a part-time job or negotiating a raise with your boss, think of some ways to start earning more money for at least a few months and make debt elimination a high priority.
5.Overpay your minimum repayment
If you find that you have extra cash in a month, resist the urge to spend it and rather put it towards reducing your credit card balance. Doing this will minimise your debt faster and will save you extra money you are paying towards credit card interest. Remember that in South Africa every payment on a debt is first put toward serving the interest and fees, and then applied to the remaining capital. With this in mind, paying a little extra each month will ensure that more funds are applied to the outstanding capital, reducing your balance faster.
6.Perform small tasks
Some of the things I’ve listed here might be time consuming, and if you’re like me, you don’t have a lot of time to waste.
Instead of doing big tasks and projects consider doing little ones for a little bit of money. With Fiverr and Taskrabbit you can start making money immediately.
From running small errands like picking up groceries or tasks like signing a personal message, there’s all kinds of ways to make an easy $5 0r $10 bucks. And we all know how powerful a small amount of money can be once they add up.
These are just a few of the way I brought in extra money while I was paying down debt. And although the process is often slow and tiresome, you can speed up (and have a little fun) with these ideas.
Pick one today and see how much faster you reach your goal!
7. Make bi-weekly debt payments.
If your budget allows, pay bills like student loans and credit card debt twice a month to help reduce the loan’s accrued interest and pay off your debt faster. “I've been able to successfully pay down $2,000 of my student loans in less than a year, so I'm really happy about that,” Ciara says. To ensure you benefit from this strategy, talk to your banker to make sure all partial payments will be applied to your loan. If your financial institution doesn’t allocate partial payments right away — and, instead, holds the funds until your next scheduled payment — you could also inquire about making principal-only payments to pay down your loan quicker.