11 Creative Ways To Pay Off Debt in 2021
Creative Ways to Pay Off Debt (and Actually Enjoy It!)
Getting out of debt doesn’t have to be a pain in the you know what!
It’s all about perspective. You have a choice to look at it in two ways. 1) Negatively: “I’ll never get out of debt,” or 2) Positively: “I’ll crush debt and find the best, efficient, and creative ways to pay off debt fast!”
You’re improving your financial health, and that’s a great thing, so buckle down and enjoy the journey.
Of course, I know being in debt is NOT fun. It can feel like you’re bound, and you can’t find the best way out. But, I’m going to share the best 11 creative ways to pay off debt and actually enjoy doing it.
I bet your stress level is probably at an all-time high, especially if you’re living in a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle.
You probably may not want to hear this but, enjoy this period. When you reach debt freedom, it’s an indescribable feeling, and you’ll more than likely never end up there again without having the skills and knowledge to tackle it the best way you know how.
You’ll find 11 creative and realistic ways to pay off your debt and achieve debt freedom.
There are hundreds of reasons you could be in debt, and you are NOT alone. Because guess what?
- 1 in 3 Americans is behind on bills.
- The average credit card balance is $6,506.
- Studies show you’ll spend more when swiping a card versus using hard-earned cash.
Whatever your reason may be, let’s focus on how to get you OUT of debt.
To get started you’ll need:
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
How To Get Out Of Debt
Here I list the best ways to get pay off debt. These ideas will help you to significantly pay down or pay off your debt and share your debt freedom journey with others to pay it forward!
1. Use The “Snowball” Or “Avalanche” Method
When you’re working on paying off debt, there are two proven methods to help guide your journey 1) the debt-snowball method, or 2) the debt avalanche method.
What do they mean exactly?
- Debt Avalanche: The debt avalanche method involves making minimum payments on all debt, then using any remaining money to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate. Using the debt avalanche to pay off debt will save you the most money in interest payments
- Debt-Snowball Method: The debt-snowball method is a debt-reduction strategy, whereby one who owes on more than one account pays off the accounts, starting with the smallest balances first while paying the minimum payment on larger debts.
When you decide which debt pay off method works best for your situation, make sure to consider these key takeaways.
- Make minimum payments on debt & use the remaining money to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate, or pay off the smallest debts first then tackle the bigger ones over time.
- The debt snowball method can be valuable for maintaining energy and dedication while paying off debt.
Get familiar with your financial status. If you don’t know your credit score, you can sign up for Credit Karma to get both your TransUnion and Equifax credit scores.
Don’t worry, checking your score won’t hurt you.
2. Use The Zero-Based Budget Method
To pay off debt efficiently, you’ll need to budget effectively. I recommend using the zero-based budget.
That way, every single dollar is accounted for and working toward paying off debt.
I use this customizable Annual Budget Template that includes my husband’s “expenses” and “income.” It gives me a good clean view of our financial status in a one-page simple snapshot.
If you want to know how to pay off debt in a year, this is it.
I’m able to clearly see how much we’ve saved and spent for the year without having to check in a million different places. I’ve gone through plenty of budgets in my life, and this is the best one I’ve used because it does something to your mindset when you know you’ve earned over $100K/y and have absolutely nothing to show for it.
I may be a little obsessive, but using this template is such a fun way to track debt payoff.
It’s one of the best visual aids to help you stay motivated on your debt-free goal because you can see the full picture.
3. Cut Your Monthly Expenses
How much money do you waste on non-necessities a year?
Did you know a typical American spends about $1,200 on fast food annually?
Most of the time, we don’t even realize how much we’ve spent on things that don’t even matter much like fast-food or subscription services we forget we pay for. That’s another reason why I love using the annual budget template. Because you’re able to see those small ticket items add up over a year.
A few things you could cut from your monthly expenses:
- Subscriptions you forgot you have
- Fast-food & restaurants
- Gym memberships
Stop buying items like water, paper towel, dryer sheets, etc. to save money. These are things you could be saving hundreds on a year.
My husband and I cut out our gym memberships, restaurants and fast-food, and non-necessity shopping to drastically cut our expenses.
And of course, you’ll miss some of the things you’ll cut out to save money, but remember this isn’t forever!
I miss going to Zumba Classes at Lifetime Fitness like you wouldn’t believe, but when you look at how much you could save, it’s a no brainer.
When you’re back to the normal programmed schedule, make sure to make enough money to cover these things you enjoy with passive income.
4. Start A Side Hustle
Equipment: Computer, internet access, printer, scale, boxes and tapes, shipping labels
Increase your debt payments with income from a side hustle. That’s what I did to knock off over $5,000 in medical bills, and I paid the balance off in less than a year by reselling products on Amazon.
Reselling products on Amazon FBA was one of my first side hustles. I earned over $9,000 reselling part-time in my first year of selling.
FBA stands for Fulfillment By Amazon, which means exactly that. Your job will be to find a product usually on clearance, ship it to Amazon, and when your item sells, Amazon will package it up and ship it to your customer, handle all of the customer services, returns, etc.
The main reason I was so successful in just a few short months, was because I took a course from The Selling Family to help kick start my business.
I won’t lie, it was HARD work, and countless late nights learning how to be successful selling on Amazon as a newbie while working a full-time job.
Jessica from The Selling Family turned her Amazon FBA business into a full-time, 6-figure business! She helped guide me on how to source products, which products may be a good buy, how to strategize my Amazon Business to stand out against all the other Amazon Sellers, etc. If you decide to go this route, make sure to take advantage of the information she has to get you earning several thousand in profit per year.
Now, this is by far one of the best, most rewarding ways I make money from home, and I love it!
How to get started:
If you want to find out more about one of the best ways to make money from home, click here to sign up for Jessica’s FREE Amazon FBA Starter Course.
Other great side hustle ideas are:
- Blogging [Earn $25,000 – $100,000/y]
- Bookkeeper [Earn $22,000-$75,000/year]
- Proofreader [Earn $35,000-$65,000/year]
You can check out the full list of best side hustle ideas for a full list of side hustles to help you pay off debt. This is one of the best ways to pay off credit card debt.
5. Sell Stuff – Flipping For Profit
Equipment: Computer, word processing software, some storage space
Selling clutter or items you no longer use can be profitable, and one of the best creative ways to pay off credit card debt.
Did you know you can earn several thousand flipping items? Rob from the Flea Market Flipper is the MASTER flipper and earns over $130,000 flipping items from Flea Markets and thrift stores PART-TIME online on eBay.
After selling on eBay for just two months, I flipped a Kate Spade bridal clutch that I purchased from Hautelook. That one item was over $250 in profit! I couldn’t believe I did it!
Hautelook has great designer deals. That’s where I get most of my products. I did a deep dive on how to sell on eBay for beginners.
Platforms to Sell On:
Some of the designer names that do VERY well for me are:
- Rae Dunn
- Kate Spade
- Badgley Mischka
Keeping an eye out for the things or brands that sell well have made my sourcing and selling experiences much better.
How to get started?
If this sounds like it could be the money maker for you, I strongly consider taking Rob’s Free workshop to turn your passion for visiting thrift stores, yard sales, & flea markets into a profitable reselling business – in as little as 14 days.
6. Use Credit Card Rewards or Cash Back to Pay Off Debt
One of the easiest ways to make money is by spending with a cashback credit card.
Warning: Credit Cards are NOT for everyone. Make sure you are responsible enough to pay your bill monthly if you aren’t do not get a credit card.
Take advantage of the free money that they’re offering! This year alone, I’ve earned $450 in cashback rewards.
I recommend doing research to find out what the best cashback credit card for you is. I have the American Express BlueCash Every Day credit card with no annual fee.
Using cashback to pay off excess debt is one of the best and easy ways to help you get rid of debt.
The other great way to take advantage of free money is shopping with Rakuten.
More and more people are shopping online these days, and Rakuten has thousands of stores to shop from. I am very frugal, so I usually only do necessity shopping, and I still earned over $400.00 from Rakuten.
My favorite new-ish thing about Rakuten is that you no longer have to wait for a check in the mail. They will send you money via PayPal!
7. Start A Blog (Instead of Getting A Part-Time Job)
Equipment: Computer, Internet Access
I remember when I was considering getting a second job to pay off my debt.
But Whitney (a friend of mine) strongly advised I hold off on the part-time job, BECAUSE a part-time job can limit you when it comes to your earning potential.
Whitney is the creator of Tried and True Mom Jobs that is now a 6-figure business and featured on Parents.com. The best part about her story and that she’s only been blogging for 2 years and has already generated a 6-figure income…
Can a part-time job do that for you?
I strongly recommend finding something that you are good at (or not) it’s OK to get started on a blog not knowing exactly what your niche will be.
Write a few articles and see what happens. You have NOTHING to lose in the blogging world.
How to get started:
If you’re interested in starting a blog, check out How To Make Money Blogging. That’s what I did, and it seems to be working.
I will warn you. It is hard work! When you create content, you want to make sure yours is the best out. Give readers a real reason to come to you instead of the next best blog. You have to find your niche and be the best in whatever that is. It’s a never-ending exciting journey.
You will get out what you put in.
8. Create A Monthly Challenge
If you’re a competitive person, creating a challenge is a great way to help pay off your debt.
My husband and I did a few no spend challenges throughout the year, that helped us to save hundreds! Before you ask, YES! It was tough!
Because he’s the spender and I’m the saver.
When you go on a no-spend challenge, you won’t spend any disposable income for a day, a week, two weeks, or longer. A spending freeze can help you learn how you’ve been spending (or wasting) money in the past, and add extra money to your savings account once you’re done.
Remember, this isn’t a permanent thing. Just TEMPORARY, and it’s a great way to save money quickly.
This is one of the best things people do to save money quickly.
9. Search For Lost Money
Did you know state treasurers and even the IRS have unclaimed funds? Yes, as in money they’re supposed to give to the rightful owner but can’t.
You could be one of them, and that money could help you pay off your existing debt.
It’s really easy to find out if you have any lost money. All you’ve got to do is visit the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website and click on the state you live in.
It’ll redirect you to the appropriate website.
Important: Make sure you’re on the right website!
There are a handful of websites that aren’t legitimate, but they sure look like it. And if you get an unsolicited email or phone call about unclaimed money that belongs to you, be careful and skeptical until you know it’s real.
10. Do a Balance Transfer with 0% Interest
One of the smartest things I did while paying down my debt was taking advantage of a balance transfer with 0% interest for six months when I knew I’d have the balance paid off.
That way, you aren’t paying any interest!
You can check with your bank or credit union first to see if they offer any balance transfers with 0% interest.
The best way to use credit cards with no balance transfer fee is by paying off your debt in the first 12-18 months. You can click here to learn more about 0% balance transfer credit cards.
This way, you can chip away at credit card debt longer than usual.
11. Consider Debt Consolidation
Don’t be afraid to consider a debt consolidation loan.
Debt consolidation helped me pay off $10,000 with less interest than I was already paying.
Some credit cards have interest rates are as high as 29.99%. And there is absolutely no way you could pay that off in a reasonable amount of time.
I looked into personal loans that could lock me in at an interest rate of 7%. That was a no-brainer for me. I set up my direct deposit so I wouldn’t have to worry about the payments, and I cut up my other credit card.
One of the best parts about a personal loan is that you can pay it off earlier, so you’d be paying less interest than originally agreed. A personal loan offers you 1) Loans up to $35,000, 2) Low fixed rates, 3) Affordable monthly payment, and 4) No prepayment fees.
If your finances could use a personal loan to get rid of credit card debt with outrageous interest rates, consider taking out a personal loan.
Enter your loan amount to see what your rate could be. Don’t worry, checking your rate won’t impact your credit score.
Taking out a personal loan is one of the best tricks to paying off credit cards.
Your credit score will likely jump, it saved me thousands of dollars, and I’m able to manage my payments much easier than I was with my credit cards.
I know I may sound like that GEICO commercial, but I really did save more money by switching to a personal loan with a low APR. In fact, it saved me over $600.00 in interest.
The most important thing to note about taking out a personal loan is that this is not a forever thing. I recommend taking out a personal loan to get out of the hole you may be in. Get out, and stay out. You don’t want to do all of this hard work just to get right back there. Make sure to stay out of debt if you can.
I even found out how to save and pay off debt.
Pro Tip: If you’re wondering how to pay off debt in collections, call to speak with the creditor, or institution, they’re usually able to work something out to prevent the debt from going to collections.
Tips for Getting Out of Debt
There’s more to life than accepting and settling for being buried in debt. Why do what everyone else is doing?
Now that you’ve gone through these 11 creative ways to get out of debt, you’ve learned some great ways to pay of debt!
I can promise you in the next few months, you’ll experience some or all of the following:
- Less financial stress
- No more paycheck to paycheck lifestyle
- Ability to save more money for retirement
- Allows you to have more freedom to pursue other goals in life or finding a new job role.
- Lower interest rate/s
What was the craziest thing you did to pay off debt? How much debt do you have? I’d love to hear your *getting out of debt* stories! Let me know in the comment section below.
Ready to pay off your debt?
Here you have them: the 11 best creative ways to pay off debt!
If you liked this article, there’s more. I’m working on some more ways to help get out of debt fast and to stay in the know. You’ll have to join my mailing list.
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11 Creative Ways To Pay Off Debt in 2021
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