Debt not only negatively affects your finances but causes undue amounts of stress and frustration. Unless you know what to do, you may find yourself in a hole forever, constantly trying to keep up with interest payments.

Tips to Get Out of Debt

Your debt does not have to control you. There is a way for you to overcome it. Try these tips for digging yourself out of debt.

Start with the Debt Snowball Method

First, list your obligations from smallest to largest. Shell out as much as you can on the first debt of the list while paying out only the minimum on the others. Once you’ve eliminated the first debt, move on to the next balance and finish that one off, and so on.

This method lets you eliminate the smaller balances first while freeing up more money to eventually tackle the largest ones. You’ll feel better about your successes as your payments snowball you to debt freedom.

Pay More than the Minimum

overcome debt with bankruptcy tips

If you have $1,000 credit card debt with an 18% Annual Percentage Rate and a 2% minimum payment, it will take you 151 months, or over 12.5 years, to pay that off. And that’s assuming that you don’t use that credit card to buy anything else.

The only way you’re going to get out of this obligation sooner is to pay as high above the minimum payment as you can. You’ll also save on the interest over the life of the loan.

Cut Up Your Credit Cards

You’re never going to get out of debt if you depend on credit cards to finance your daily expenses. It’s just too easy to use the plastic to buy something on impulse, even if you don’t need it.

Fortunately, the solution is simple. Cut up your credit cards, which removes the source of any financial temptation. When you’ve finally eliminated your financial obligations, you can always call your credit card company and ask them for a replacement.

Pay Yourself Not to Spend

Eliminating unnecessary expenses, such as eating out, going to the movies, or buying expensive clothes, is a necessary part of eliminating debt. But it can be hard to do because it entails a sacrifice without offering an immediate benefit.

You can make it easier by paying yourself when you don’t spend. For example, rather than eating out for lunch at work, bring something from home. Then put the $10 or $15 cash that you would’ve spent on an outside lunch in a savings account or other safe place. You’ll soon find yourself with $50 to $75 in cash from the lunches alone.

You’re more likely to continue this strategy because you’re seeing money from your efforts. And you can use what you’ve saved to pay off your debts.

Get into a Side Gig

Do you have a car in good condition? Then work for a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft. Are you good at crafts? Sell what you make at a selling platform like Etsy. Do you love pets? Then start walking or taking care of other people’s dogs through the Rover or Wag pet services.

All these side gigs cost almost nothing to get into except for an investment in a smartphone app. You can do them while keeping your regular job. And they’ll bring in extra money that you can use to pay off your obligations.

Get Help

Despite trying all these ideas, you may still find yourself in debt that continues to grow because of circumstances beyond your control. Perhaps you or someone you love is suffering from a medical condition, you lost a job and can’t find another, or you’re saddled with a student loan or financial judgment that you can’t cope with. Then get some help.

At Clark and Washington, your Atlanta bankruptcy attorney, we offer several solutions to help you with your debt problem. Perhaps all you need is some credit counseling to get you on the right financial track. Or maybe filing for bankruptcy can finally free you from your debt. The only way to find out for sure is to call us for a free, friendly, and no-obligation consultation.