Get Out of Debt Fast!

By on Jul 27, 2012 in Debt | 13 comments

Erase Debt FastMost people want know how to get out of debt fast and I don’t blame them. It can be like this dark cloud looming over you as long as you are in debt. At least that is how we felt when we were in debt.  It felt like we were just getting by and it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We decided that we needed to get a handle on our finances and developed a plan to eliminate our debt. Here is what we did to pay off $52,000 in debt in 18 months which makes us debt-free except our home.

Develop a Financial Gameplan to Get Out of Debt Fast

If you have read anything that I have written, you have probably heard of this before. It is basically a form that has your entire financial picture on one piece of paper (Download  form). This will tell you ultimately how much money you have to work with every month to pay down debt. It will also reveal to you areas where you can cut back to get more money with which you can tackle your debt.

Organize Your Debt

List all of your debt on one piece of paper from smallest to largest (You can use this Debt Reduction form). Than start paying minimum payments on everything except the smallest debt. Take whatever your surplus is, that is, the money you have after paying all your bills and throw that at your smallest debt. For instance, if you have $100 in surplus and the minimum payment on the first debt is $25, now you will pay $125 per month until that debt is gone. What if one of my debts has a higher interest rate than the smallest one? Well, that does factor into the equation but I wouldn’t focus on that much. The idea is to develop a system to pay off all your debt fast. Once you begin paying off some of the small debts, you feel like you are making progress and momentum will build. Keep at it and soon enough you will be DEBT-FREE!

Here is an example to help you organize your debt:

Getting out of Debt Example

Sell What You Don’t Need

When we were getting out of debt, I was shocked at how much stuff we had to sell. Go through your drawers, your closets, your cabinets and pull out everything you don’t need or  don’t use. I used the 1 Year Rule to help determine what to sell. If I hadn’t used it in the past year than I probably didn’t need it. Besides when you are debt free, you can buy it again if you find that you do actually need it. For more tips, read how to Sell Unused Items to Pay Off Debt.

Trim Your Expenses

Go through your Financial Gameplan or budget, look at each line and say, “How can I make this number smaller?” We were able to decrease a lot of our expenses by simply doing this one thing. I called our cell phone company, insurance agency, internet provider and was able to cut the monthly cost for each one. For more tips on reducing your monthly outflow see 10 Ways to Trim Your Budget.

Increase Your Income

Apply for a second job at a pizza joint, serve at a restaurant, deliver papers, do anything you can to bring in more income. I did this and I was able to get a second job in 8 days as a pizza delivery driver. There are many other ways in which you can increase the money you bring in. For more ideas see 10 Ways to Earn Extra Cash.

Be All-In

Give it all you got. Once you make a commitment, stick to it. In poker, you go all-in if you are confident you have what it takes to win the hand. If you want to get out of debt fast, then you need to be All-in.

Have any questions relating to getting out of debt? Ask Deacon.

Image Credit: Images of Money

    13 Comments

  1. Way to go! This is awesome advice to the readers. Getting out and staying out of debt is so important! Along with keeping on the budget you set.

    Robin Uram @ Quizzle

    July 27, 2012

      • I agree with Robin! Deacon, I’m trying to follow your Debt Reduction Form. What is a Snowball Payment and how did you get it? Thank you for your great ideas. I just graduated from college last May, so I want to pay my student loans as soon as possible. Again, thank you!

        Lovette Fernandez

        February 13, 2013

        • Hi Lovette!

          The Snowball payment = Surplus + minimum payment of the debt that you are working on paying off.

          Ex.If your smallest debt has a minimum payment of $20 and you have $150 of surplus then your Snowball payment would be $170. (Once you pay off that debt then you add the $170 to the next debt to get the snowball rolling.)

          I hope that helps. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to send them my way.

          Deacon

          February 14, 2013

    • This is what Dave Ramsey has been teaching for years it’s just copied from him. Good advice anyway.

      Christine

      February 11, 2013

      • Hi Christine! Thanks for stopping by. Dave does have some great advice, we actually tend to have very similar views on money.

        Deacon

        February 11, 2013

      • I think its a good way to get the message out Christine no matter who teaches it. I like it, Congrats on getting rid of that debt.

        Jay

        June 11, 2013

  2. This is great advice Deacon. Using a budget is totally the best way to make your money work for you – and to track your spending. The only way to true wealth is to become debt free! Congrats!

    Greg@ClubThrifty

    July 27, 2012

  3. I agree with all of these. It is really not an easy task to get out of debt. I think the idea of having a game plan would really help. You should also know how to prioritize things. Thanks for sharing these tips.

    jelly andrews

    December 6, 2012

  4. The one thing that I noticed reading this blog, was the couple doesn’t have any children in the picture. So, it would be very simple to pay off the debt they had that fast. Wait till they have children and see how much harder it is to pay off deby like they did. I have 2 teenagers and can tell you that it isn’t that easy. With kids playing sports, scholl activities, clothing, car insurance for a teen driver, etc. It isn’t that easy if you have a family with kids. But try this 52k in 18 months with children and see how far you could get.

    Ken

    February 13, 2013

    • Hi Ken, it is true that having kids can make it more challenging to get out of debt because of the increased expenses of having kids. However, I personally know several families that have become debt-free (except their home) that had multiple kids. They just put together a game plan, cut their expenses, increased their income and before they knew it the debt was paid off.

      Deacon

      February 13, 2013

  5. Thanks a lot for sharing these ideas. It is really a must to get out of debt fast. And the information you shared will help in getting out of debt.

    Candy Smith

    March 25, 2013

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