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Debt can literally feel like a prison. It can keep you from buying things you want, taking vacations or saving for your future. And it can feel like you are stuck on a never-ending hamster wheel of “minimum payments.”
Learning how to pay down debt faster can change your life. With finance charges getting tacked on every month, credit card debt is toxic to your financial health.
Not only does it suck away your fun budget, but it also keeps you from making money, since you have nothing free to invest.
You may want to be debt-free, but feel like you can’t get there because you just don’t have enough each month to really make a difference. And just paying the minimum payment due each month, keeps that mountain of debt from moving at all.
“But how can I pay off debt with no money?”
By making money! You need a debt hack. Or really, a cash hack. There are lots of ways you can make extra money to pay down your debt faster.
You may feel trapped by your credit card debt now but don’t lose hope! Here are 14 ways to find extra cash to pay down your debt faster even with a low income. You can make as much as $2,500 in one month!
1. Sell your stuff
Estimated cash generated: $150
Some of us have junk drawers and well, some of us have junk rooms.
But almost everyone has extra “stuff” sitting in closets, storage rooms, and the garage that never gets used.
If you are serious about tackling your debt quickly, look around at the stuff you have and see what you can sell.
Unless your items are family heirlooms, you probably won’t miss it when it is gone. You can host a yard sale, take your stuff to a consignment store, or post it online and offer it up basically to the world.
You probably know about eBay, OfferUp, and Craigslist. But Facebook marketplace is a great new place for selling. Also try Everything but the House which is another auction style site. And Poshmark is great for selling clothes!
Once your stuff sells, pay down your debt immediately with the money you earn. Depending on what items you have to sell, you can earn hundreds of dollars in less than a week!
Bonus tip: If you are doing well selling items online, try searching local estate sells or Goodwill for items you can pick up cheap and resell to generate even more extra cash!
2. Start your own adventures in babysitting
Estimated cash generated: $125
Remember when you used to make money as a teenager by babysitting? Turns out this is still a great way to quickly generate extra cash.
Offer to watch your neighbor’s kids while they have date night. Take the extra money and use it to pay down debt. Before you know it you will be making progress on those stubborn credit card balances.
This is also a great side-hustle for stay-at-home moms. You already are home watching your kid, why not make money for it?
If kids stress you out, you can babysit fur-babies too! Set yourself up on Rover.com or advertise your services on next door or Craigslist. You can keep your neighbor’s pets while they are out of town and easily make extra cash to pay down debt faster. Plus, who doesn’t love some dog therapy time?
3. Take a part-time, extra job
Estimated cash generated: $600
If you really want to know how to get out of debt fast, take an extra part-time job on the side. Working a couple shifts at a local restaurant as a host or hostess or a server can generate a lot of extra cash quickly.
Plus, it can be a great way to meet new people! Trying something new in your life can be fun. Why not take a job at a restaurant or boutique that lets you socialize and make money at the same time!
The fastest way to make an extra $2,500 a month is to take a part-time job. Sinking that much extra cash onto credit cards can help you get out of debt fast.
Another easy way to make extra cash is by driving with Uber or Lyft. You can make your own schedule and work at any time. The great thing is once you’ve signed up, all you have to do is click a button on your phone and start driving for dollars at any time you want!
You can pick up a ride share on your way to the grocery and make the money you need for your food for the week on your way there! I drove for Lyft for a while to help make money for a down payment on a home.
And when I bought that home guess what happened? I started making even more money. It is now exclusively a rental property that makes passive income for me! While having an extra job might not be fun, it can really pay off in the end.
4. Generate online income
Estimated cash generated: $200-unkown!
Get your side hustle on! If an extra part-time job is not an option to help reduce your debt, look for work online to earn extra money to help pay down your debt quickly.
You can sell arts and crafts or vintage items on Etsy. Sign up for paid survey sites, complete transcription work, or even create a blog you can monetize. The list of options on making money online is endless!
Here are just a few ways to make extra cash online:
Sell your own products
It is easier than ever to generate income from your own eCommerce channel. From photography prints, to home décor, to vintage items sourced from estate sells, there are many options for selling.
Pick a product, and pick a place to sell it!
Etsy is a great site to sell products on. They only charges 20 cents to list an item for sale and then take a small commission once an item sells.
You can source local estate sales for vintage items and sell those. If you are a photography buff, you can sell your prints online.
You can even have your prints placed on popular products like coffee mugs, notebooks or even laptop covers giving you multiple ways to make money from one photograph. An easy way to do this is with a site like CafePress where you can create almost any product you want from your own design.
Upload a high-resolution scan of your photo, artwork, or graphic design and order anything from a shirt, to a coffee mug or even a pillow. You have to use high-resolution, high quality images however or the quality won’t be good enough for a product.
Another great way to sell is to set up your own online shop on Shopify. With marketing, payment processing, and hosting all-in-one, it is an easy platform to help you set up a store with little-to-no fuss.
Last but not least is Amazon fulfillment which is another great way to start your own retail business. Learn more about it here.
Take paid surveys
Basically you can sit at home and make money to answer questions! This is an easy and fast way to make extra cash to pay down debt. Survey Junkie is a great site to quickly make extra cash for easy surveys.
Paid Viewpoint offers quick, easy surveys that usually only take 2-3 minutes. They will actually pay you money just for registering on their site! And unlike some of the other surey sites out there, you earn actual dollar amounts from the get-go, rather than points you can turn in for gift cards.
Swagbucks is another well respected survey site that offers multiple ways to make money in the form of gift cards.
You can take surveys, watch videos, answer quick polls or even shop online and generate points you can turn in for cash! They will even reward you just for searching the web!
Start a blog
This one will take more time to generate revenue but if you are someone that enjoys being creative, it might just be a hobby you love that ends up helping you pay down debt.
Learn tactics that will build traffic, and ways to monetize your blog. Plus starting a blog takes less than 10 minutes, learn the steps here.
The sky is the limit when it comes to the avenues of income you can earn from the comfort of your own home. And starting your own virtual business requires little overhead.
Just make sure you are paying taxes on any extra income!
5. Ask for money gifts
Estimated cash generated: $250
Tell your friends and family to forget the fruitcake, and give you dough instead!
If there is a holiday coming up like your birthday or Christmas, ditch the gifts and ask for cash. This is a great way to quickly get together a few hundred dollars and it literally takes no effort!
While not getting gifts for yourself isn’t fun, receiving money will pay off in the long run and reduce your stress levels for many years to come. It is the gift that keeps on giving!
Plus, once you are debt-free, you’ll be able to buy yourself gifts!
If you are nervous about explaining why you would prefer money instead of an actual gift, don’t be; debt happens to everyone at some point and your friends and family will probably applaud your efforts and be happy to help.
Not to mention it can be stressful for them trying to figure out a gift to get you that you actually want. This makes things easy on everyone.
6. Cancel subscriptions and services
Estimated cash generated: $25
Beauty product subscriptions, magazine subscriptions, and home care services can cost a lot of money over the course of a year, money that would be better served chipping away at your debt. Especially considering they are often used once and then forgotten about. Just buy them occasionally!
Take an inventory of the subscriptions and services you have and make some cuts where you can. If you want to get out of debt fast, you have to find every penny you can!
Look for sneaky subscriptions hitting your monthly income that may have started once a free trail ended. It is easy to sign up for two months of something for free and forget to cancel before the trial period is over.
Most home care services like lawn care and house cleaning can be done by your family (put your kids to work!) on the weekend. Just think of it as making $40 per hour instead of the person you normally pay.
You can save up to $25 per month or more and apply this money to your debt instead.
7. Rent out space in your home
Estimated cash generated: $500
One of the fastest ways to pay off your debt is to rent out living space in your home. This one may not work if you already have roommates, but if you have an extra room or office space put it to work for you. Renting it out can generate a lot of cash quickly.
Getting yourself a roomie could bring in an extra $500 a month. This may be one of the quickest ways to pay down debt fast and it requires the least amount of work. Renting your home out on sites like Airbnb is another great way to make money off your home.
Learn how I make $8,500 per month with my AirBnb side hustle. I used the money I made off Airbnb to save for a down payment to buy a second home! Register with this link and make your first $25 on Airbnb!
Plus, it doesn’t have to be forever. Renting out a part of your home for 6 months might mean you can pay off an entire credit card!
8. Review reoccurring bills
Estimated cash generated: $50
Log on to each of your monthly repeating bill accounts and see how much you are actually paying for services.
Take the time to look at your cellphone plan, water bill, cable bill, trash, insurance bills, and others. There can be lots of ways to reduce bills and free up extra cash for debt pay down.
Is there a less expensive phone plan to switch to, or premium channels you could remove from your cable bill?
As mentioned in number 4, there are some sneaky ways companies sign you up for promos that once expired they begin charging for. Locating items like this can add up.
Another great way to save big is to switch providers. Call a different cable or cell phone company and ask what promotional offers they can give you to switch companies. Many will offer a year-long promotion that saves as much as $50 a month, plus some also offer Visa gift cards just for signing up.
Heating and electricity bills are one of the biggest money wasters you will find in your reoccurring bills.
Take some time each day to look for ways to reduce the energy you use in your home. Turn the thermostat down when you aren’t home, turn off lights when you are not in a room, or even invest in LED lighting that will cost more upfront, but pay off in the long term.
Finding ways to reduce multiple monthly bills can add up and really help you make a dent in your debt.
9. Go on a spending fast
Estimated cash generated: $150
While food fasting is a tradition that is practiced in many religions, have you ever tried completing a spending fast in an effort to save money?
Pick a day, weekend, or even an entire month and see if you can prevent yourself from spending any extra money.
Eat food that is already at your home, use up supplies that have been laying around, and complete projects that are on your to-do list, but you haven’t found the time to do.
One of the best ways to keep yourself from spending on items you don’t need is to just not shop. Temptation can be hard to resist so stay away from your favorite online stores or local boutiques.
Taking a spending fast takes discipline, but can yield valuable extra money.
10. Track your expenses
Estimated cash generated: $100
The first step to saving extra money to pay down debt faster is knowing exactly where you spend it.
Create a spreadsheet on your computer, through your bank’s website, with a mobile app or with good old pen and paper, and jot down every expense you have throughout the month. Download this free financial planner and have everything in one place.
Separate your expenses into detailed categories like gas, groceries, restaurants, coffee, car repair, cleaning supplies, beauty products, etc. so you end up with good information to work with.
After keeping track of your expenses for a month or two, review your spreadsheet and see where you can make cuts. You can find categories where you can reduce your spending and instead use that money to pay down debt.
Maybe you are spending $200 a month going out to eat. Eating at home instead could save you as much as $150 a month! Maybe you’ve been wasting $20 a month on Starbucks lattes. Learn why you should stop spending on Starbucks and start saving for your dream instead!
11. Use coupons
Estimated cash generated: $25
You may remember your grandmother “clipping coupons” out of the Sunday paper. You could be leaving a lot of extra money on the table by not finding and using coupons.
While using coupons will only save you a couple of dollars here and there, this money adds up over time when you use coupons every time you go shopping.
Get into the habit of searching for coupons for items you are going to buy anyway. If you can’t find the coupons you need, do a simple google search for coupons on the item you want. Use an app like iBotta to source coupons and cash-back offers on your grocery trips to save even more.
Many grocery stores now like Kroger offer online digital coupons you can click to easily add to your rewards card. The next time you shop and use your rewards card, the coupons will automatically process when you check out. In addition, they offer fuel points every time you shop that can add up to some great savings on gas.
Once you start using coupons, put away the money you save until you have enough to make an extra payment toward your debt balance.
12. Look for freebies
Estimated cash generated: $50
Before heading off to the store to purchase clothes, office supplies, home improvement items, housewares, and all other stuff you need, do some research and see if you can get any of these items for free.
Many communities have neighborhood swap events or websites where people can offer up and receive free items. For an extra bonus, take these free items and resell then on Ebay or Etsy.
Sign up for the next door app in your neighborhood or your local Facebook community group keep an eye out for free items. You can also contact manufacturers and get free samples of products you want to try.
13. Consolidate your debt
Estimated cash generated: $75
Moving debt around may seem like a strange way to pay it down but it can be very effective. If you have the chance to open a new credit card with a 0% APR balance transfer offer take it!
Moving debt from a card that is hitting you with finance charges every month to one with a year-long promotion offering no APR can go a long way to helping you pay down debt faster. Removing that finance charge achieves the same result as generating extra cash. You might be paying as much as $60 a month on finance charges which is wasted money.
Another great way to consolidate debt is with a low APR personal loan. If you have debt spread across several cards with heavy finance charges, taking out a low-interest personal loan allows you to reduce all the finance charges into one small one. LendingTree is a great place to start to find a personal loan.
Instead of just making the minimum payment each month with most of it going to finance charges, you can make a bigger dent in your debt every time you make a payment.
14. Ask for a settlement
Estimated cash generated: $200
Even though you may be faced with a fixed amount of debt, many lenders and debt collectors are open to settling the debt for lesser than what is owed, especially if the debt is old.
If you have a lot of cash together and are willing to pay less of the amount you owe in full, see if you can negotiate with the collector for a lower amount but a fast pay-off.
For instance, if the original amount of the debt you owe is $7,000, but you are able to pay $6,700 in one lump sum, see if the collector will accept this as payment in full to close out the balance due. Before making the payment, make sure to get the agreement in writing through email, and then make the payment as promised.
While paying off your debt can be more like a marathon than a sprint, these simple cash hacks can help you earn more money quickly to pay it off faster.
Paying off debt takes dedication, a little creative thinking and a change in how you do things. But it is possible to get out of debt! And, there’s no reason you can’t make the process fun by challenging yourself to come up with even more ways to cut your expenses!