Paying off debt can be an emotional and tumultuous process for many people. It is hard to get ahead financially when you owe money and expensive monthly payments and high interest rates make it hard to save for emergencies. Not only that, but it is easy to feel stressed out, vulnerable or lose motivation when paying off debt.
Debt fatigue, or the feeling of being exhausted by debt, can result in losing your overall drive to get out of debt. However, it's important to keep that motivation going because getting out of debt is just as much mental as it is financial.
But how can you ward off the debt paying blues? How can you stave off debt fatigue? Use these 6 ways to kickstart your debt repayment:
Let Your Goals Inspire You
Start by looking at your monthly payment towards debt. Then think about what you will do with that money once you are debt free. Will you go on vacation? Buy a house? Whatever your dreams may be, think about all the things you can accomplish once you free up those funds. This is a powerful way to kickstart your debt repayment, as it forces you to think ahead and work backwards. While paying off debt is not fun, think about all the things you can do once you are debt free. Let those dreams and goals inspire you to pay off debt.
Make Biweekly Payments
Instead of making monthly payments to your debt, start making biweekly payments. Even if you don't pay more towards your loan, by increasing the frequency, you will pay less in interest and the payments will add up over time.
Put All Extra Money towards Debt
If you get money for your birthday, the holidays, or even a raise at work, commit to putting that towards debt. Putting windfalls, raises, or tax refunds towards debt can be a great way to expedite the debt repayment process. The best part is that generally this money is unexpected and hasn't yet hit your overall budget.
Use Online Tools
Now more than ever, there are amazing tools and resources online to help you budget and get out of debt. Consider these tools to get started:
- YNAB (You Need A Budget): a tool to help you budget with ease.
- Mint: An online budgeting tool that tracks all your income and expenses.
- ReadyForZero: an app that projects your debt free date and helps you pay off debt.
- Tuition.io: a web-based app that helps you manage your student loan payments.
Look Into All Your Options
When paying off debt, it's important to look at all your repayment options. For example, if you have student loans, you might be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program if you work at a nonprofit and make consistent payments for 10 years. If you have six figure student loan debt, you could also consider refinancing your student loan with services like SoFi.
For others with debt, consider consolidating your loans or getting a personal loan. For more information, check out our reviews on which personal loans are best. When looking into other options, it's important that you look at all the terms and conditions, as well as interest rates to decide what is right for you.
Get a Side Hustle
If you really want to kickstart your debt repayment, consider getting a side hustle to supplement your income. A side hustle is any money making venture outside of your main job, like babysitting, pet sitting, selling things on eBay, etc. Look at your skills and available time to decide what side hustle is best for you. By working just one or two extra hours a week, you could get out of debt sooner.
While paying off debt is tough, use these six tips to kickstart your debt repayment. The sooner you get out of debt, the sooner you will free up money to fund your life's goals and dreams.