Debt can be a heavy burden to carry, and it can feel overwhelming when you’re living paycheck to paycheck. It’s easy to fall into the trap of using credit cards to cover expenses or taking out loans to make ends meet. However, the more debt you accumulate, the harder it becomes to get out of the cycle. That’s why it’s crucial to have the plan to pay off debt fast, even when you’re broke AF.
In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 ways to pay off debt quickly, regardless of your financial situation. From creating a budget to consolidating debt, we’ll cover strategies that have been proven to work for people in all income brackets. Whether you’re drowning in credit card debt, struggling to make car payments, or dealing with medical bills, these tips can help you take control of your finances and get back on track.
We understand that paying off debt can be a daunting task, but with a little determination and these proven methods, you can turn your financial situation around. So, let’s dive in and explore the top 10 ways to pay off debt fast, even when you’re broke AF!
Table of Contents
How to Pay Off Your Debt When You Are Broke?
1. Be aware of your debt.
The first step to paying off debt fast is to be fully aware of your debt. This includes knowing the total amount owed, interest rates, minimum monthly payments, and due dates. Ignoring your debt will only make the situation worse.
Take the time to gather all the information about your debt and create a list or spreadsheet that outlines the details. This will help you have a clear understanding of the amount of debt you have and how to prioritize which debts to pay off first.
2. Start a side business.
Starting a side business can be a great way to generate extra income that can be put towards paying off debt. It can also be a way to turn a hobby or passion into a source of income. Take some time to think about your skills, talents, and interests and how they could be turned into a business idea. This could be anything from freelance writing or photography to selling handmade products online. With the rise of the gig economy, there are many opportunities to start a side business and generate extra income.
Starting a side business doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. There are many low-cost or even free tools available online that can help you get started, such as social media platforms or e-commerce sites. The key is to find something that you enjoy and that can generate a consistent stream of income.
When starting a side business to pay off debt, it’s important to be disciplined with the profits you make. Resist the temptation to use the extra income for non-essential expenses and instead, put it towards debt repayment. With dedication and hard work, a side business can be a great way to accelerate your debt repayment and achieve financial freedom faster.
3. Cut back on your expenses.
One of the most effective ways to pay off debt quickly is to cut back on expenses. Take a hard look at your monthly budget and identify areas where you can reduce your spending. This may mean canceling subscriptions, cooking meals at home instead of eating out, using public transportation instead of owning a car, or finding more affordable forms of entertainment.
The goal is to free up as much money as possible to put towards paying off your debts.
4. Use a budget to find all “extra” money.
Creating and sticking to a budget is key when it comes to paying off debt quickly. A budget helps you identify areas where you may be overspending and find “extra” money that can be put towards debt repayment. Start by tracking all of your expenses for a month or two to get an accurate picture of where your money is going. Then, look for ways to cut back on unnecessary expenses and redirect that money towards paying off your debt. For example, if you’re spending $100 per month on coffee, consider making coffee at home instead and putting that $100 towards debt repayment.
5. Create an Emergencies Fund.
Unexpected expenses can arise at any time, and they can quickly derail your debt repayment plan. To avoid this, consider opening a separate savings account specifically for emergencies. This will help you prepare for unexpected expenses without dipping into your debt repayment funds.
Aim to save enough money to cover at least three to six months’ worth of expenses, so you have a safety net in case of emergencies.
6. Sell Your stuff.
Your bedroom is probably filled with things that you don’t even use anymore – clothes, shoes, electronics…start getting rid of your old stuff. You can list items on Craigslist or eBay, create your own online store, or sell them to friends and family members. If you’re really motivated try hosting a yard sale. This is one of my favorite ways to make extra cash!
7. Analyze your cell phone contract.
Cell phone contracts can be expensive, and many people are paying more than they need to. Take a close look at your cell phone contract and identify areas where you can cut back. For example, do you really need unlimited data or the latest phone model? Consider switching to a more affordable plan or provider to save money that can be put towards paying off debt.
8. Start meal planning.
Making meals at home is always healthier than eating out or buying junk food. It’s so easy to save money by meal planning – just write down the recipes you’re going to make for the week.
When your grocery shop sticks to your list and doesn’t get distracted by convenience foods or big displays of candy bars! I use this Excel template to plan my meals ahead of time (I even included some family-friendly recipes). Just enter all the days of the week and it will automatically show you how much money you’ll be spending on groceries and what recipes to make.
9. Stop using credit cards.
It’s going to be hard at first, but this is one of the most important steps. Get rid of your credit cards and only use cash (because I know you’ll try to get more credit cards if you don’t cut them up).
Just remember that every time you swipe your card it adds extra interest! So, if you have $1000 in credit card debt with a 20% interest rate, and you pay $100 a month, it’s going to take over four and a half years and cost you an additional $1,923.33 in interest – ouch!
10 . Be patient.
Finally, it’s important to remember that paying off debt takes time and patience. It’s easy to get discouraged when progress seems slow, but it’s important to stay focused and committed to the process.
Celebrate small victories along the way, and remember that every little bit counts. Stick to your budget, look for ways to save money, and stay disciplined. Over time, you’ll see progress, and eventually, you’ll achieve financial freedom.
Traps to Avoid When You’re Getting Out of Debt
Okay, now that you’ve decided you’re going to get out of debt and you basically know the best ways to pay off debt, there are a few traps you want to avoid that could unintentionally set you back.
You’ve probably heard of debt consolidation before and it sounds like a good idea, but beware. When you consolidate your debts, you’re essentially taking out a new loan to pay off your old debts. This might help lower your monthly payments, but you’ll end up paying more in interest in the long run.
A balance transfer is when you transfer the balance of one credit card to another credit card with a lower interest rate. This can help you save on interest, but you need to be careful. Many balance transfer offers come with a “transfer fee” that can be as high as 3-5% of the balance you’re transferring.
So if you transfer a balance of $5,000, you could end up paying a fee of $150-$250. Plus, many balance transfer offers have a limited time period (usually 12-18 months) during which the introductory interest rate applies. After that, the rate goes up, and you could end up paying even more interest than you were before.
Paying only the minimum payment on your credit card balances might feel like you’re making progress, but you’re really not. In fact, minimum payments are just a small portion of the interest and principal you owe, so you’re really only paying off a tiny bit of your debt each month. It will take you years to get out of debt if you only make minimum payments, so avoid this trap if you can.
Filing for Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy should really be a last resort. It will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years and will make it difficult to get approved for new lines of credit. Plus, there are other options for getting out of debt that doesn’t involve bankruptcy.
Pay Off Debt FAQs.
What is the best way to pay off debt?
There’s no easy answer when it comes to the best way to pay off debt. It depends on your individual situation. If you have a lot of high-interest debt, you might want to focus on paying that off first. If you have a lot of debt overall, you might want to focus on paying off the debts with the smallest balances first.
Ultimately, the best way to pay off debt is the method that works best for you.
What are some tips for paying off debt?
Some helpful tips for paying off debt include creating a budget, making more than the minimum payment each month, and looking for ways to increase your income. You can also try some of the methods we’ve listed above, such as debt snowball or debt avalanche.
What is the debt snowball method?
The debt snowball method is a debt payoff strategy where you focus on paying off your debts with the smallest balances first. Once you’ve paid off a debt, you move on to the next debt with the next smallest balance.
The debt snowball method can help you stay motivated because you see your progress as you pay off each debt.
What is the debt avalanche method?
The debt avalanche method is a way of paying off your debts from the highest interest rate to the lowest. This ensures that you are paying off your debts as quickly as possible, while also saving on interest. To do this, you will need to list out all of your debts from highest interest rate to lowest. Once you have done this, you will need to make the minimum payments on all of your debts except for the one with the highest interest rate.
Instead of making the minimum payment on the debt with the highest interest rate, you will need to put as much money as possible towards this debt. Once the debt with the highest interest rate is paid off, you will then move on to the next debt on your list.
This method can be very effective in paying off your debts quickly, but it can also be difficult to stick to. If you are struggling to make the minimum payments on all of your debts, this method may not be for you.
The bottom line
Paying off debt can seem like an overwhelming task, especially when you’re on a tight budget. But with the right strategies and mindset, it’s possible to pay off debt fast, even when you’re broke AF.
Some of the top ways to pay off debt fast include being aware of your debt, cutting back on expenses, opening up a separate emergency savings account, selling items you no longer need, starting a side business, and being patient.
It’s important to remember that paying off debt takes time and discipline, but with dedication and hard work, it is possible to achieve financial freedom. Celebrate small victories along the way and stay committed to the process. By following these tips and staying focused on your goals, you’ll be well on your way to paying off debt and achieving financial freedom.