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If you’re deep in Baby Step 2 and laser-focused on trying to get out of debt, you’ve probably had a few moments of feeling like you hit a wall. Maybe you’re thinking you should be making better progress. You’re exhausted, and you feel like there isn’t anything more you can do to become debt-free.
Don’t worry if you’ve run out of ideas—that’s what we’re here for! Here’s 25 creative ways to help you get out of debt.
1. Start couponing.
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times—but are you doing it? You can save a ton of money just by showing a coupon to the cashier. Just be sure you’re using coupons for products you already buy, otherwise you could end up overspending on items you’ll never use. That’s how you end up with 10 bottles of spicy mustard sitting in your pantry.
2. Try consignment shopping.
Let’s be real: Kids grow out of clothes at the speed of light. It’s not worth it to go into debt for your two-year-old’s wardrobe. Check out consignment stores that sell pre-loved outfits in good condition. If you’d rather shop online, no problem. Sites like thredUP and Swap.com are great resources to get adult and children’s clothing at a fraction of the cost.
3. Cut the cable.
Welcome to this millennium, where you can watch most of your favorite shows online. If you haven’t bitten the bullet yet, do it! Put that $100 cable bill toward your debt each month and watch how quickly your debt snowball starts rolling.
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4. Stop going out to eat.
We get it—going to a restaurant or hitting up the drive-thru is so much easier than cooking at home. But while you’re enjoying the freedom of not having to cook, your purse is in a pinch. For a creative way to socialize and share a meal, have friends over for taco night instead of meeting up at a restaurant.
5. Break up with your barista.
If you don’t know where all your money is going each month, we’re pretty sure your favorite coffee shop can locate it for you. Brewing your own coffee at home is a simple way to save money fast.
6. Visit the library.
Remember libraries? They have plenty of books and movies you can check out for free! Your wallet has never loved movie night more than it does now.
7. Plan your grocery trips.
Make a list and stick to it! Use the calculator app on your phone while you browse the aisles to make sure you’re sticking to your budget. Do impulse items always end up in your cart? Try ordering your groceries online and then picking them up curbside at the store. Oh, and don’t ever shop on an empty stomach!
8. Learn to say “no.”
Make it a new part of your vocabulary. Love it. Embrace it. Because when it comes to spending money, you’ll be saying it quite often.
9. Tell the kids you’re on a budget.
When it comes to money, the kids can be a worse guide than your stomach. Be open with them about what you do and don’t have room for in the budget. And remember: Never be afraid to use that magic word, “no.”
10. Avoid expensive hobbies.
Do you really have $200 a month to spend on golf? Are you serious?
11. Ditch the gym membership.
You can still go for a run outside—for free.
12. Sell items on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Dig through your kids’ rooms and the abyss of your closet to find things you can part with to make some quick cash.
13. Start a side gig.
Starting your own business has never been easier! Do you have a knack for making things? Sell your product online! Animal lover? Take up dog walking or pet sitting. Have a good eye and a nice camera? Start taking on clients for photo sessions. Christy Wright’s Business Boutique is a great resource to walk you through the process!
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14. Sell the car!
The average new car payment is $523 per month.(1) That’s just outrageous! How much faster could your debt snowball move if you applied that $500 to it each month?
15. Cut up your credit cards.
Shred ‘em. Burn ‘em. Shoot ‘em. You’ll never get out of debt until you stop making debt a way of life.
16. Use the envelope system.
When you pay with cash, you actually feel your money leaving your hands. Ouch! Nobody likes that. People tend to spend less when paying in cold, hard cash.
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17. Stop investing.
Yep, you read that right. And yes, we even mean stop contributing to your 401(k). Right now, you want all your income to go toward getting out of debt. Once you’re debt-free and have saved three to six months of expenses in an emergency fund, then you can resume your contributions. By then you’ll be on Baby Step 4 and can start putting 15% of your income toward retirement.
18. Ignore your broke friends.
Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses! Remember, you’re living like no one else now, so that later you can live like no one else! In 20 years, you won’t have a financial worry in the world while everyone else will still have car loans, mortgages and credit card bills.
19. Make a budget!
Budgeting should be easy and—dare we say it—fun! Use our free budgeting app EveryDollar and focus your money on what matters: day-to-day spending, those pesky debts, and wealth-building.
20. Listen to The Dave Ramsey Show.
Listening to the show will encourage you when you feel like you aren’t making progress. Every day, Dave helps millions of people across the country find hope and make a plan for their money. Their successes will inspire you to keep moving forward.
21. Get a part-time job.
Why not become a driver for Lyft or Uber? Or take on a pizza delivery job? You can even deliver other types of food in your spare time by working for places like uberEATS or Grubhub. Sure, you’ll have to put aside your pride and give up some nights and weekends of downtime. But that’s a small sacrifice for extra cash in your pocket.
22. Find free entertainment.
Put a spending freeze on your entertainment costs for a little while. This means no going out to the movies, concerts, mini-golf, bowling, or whatever you do for fun that costs money. Instead, challenge yourself to find free ways to stay entertained. Take the kids to the park, go for a walk or a hike, enjoy a free concert, or look for a free event in your community.
23. Ask for a raise.
What do you have to lose? You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
24. Give more.
Wait a minute—give? Yes! Giving changes your spirit. Make giving a priority in your budget, and you’ll see a difference.
25. Lead a Financial Peace University group.
Leading a group of people on their journey to paying off debt is one of the best ways you can stay gazelle intense and keep yourself accountable! Not to mention—you’ll be helping change someone’s life. Watch what happens when you become an FPU coordinator and help others win with money.
There you have it—25 ways to get out of debt and breathe fresh air into your debt-free journey. Try a few of these tips and see if they work for you. When you hit a wall and feel like you’ll never figure out how to get out of debt, just keep working the plan! Continue to chip away at that debt snowball little by little. Over time, your dedication is going to pay off!
If you’re just starting out on your debt-free journey, you need the right plan! Dave’s best-selling program Financial Peace University has helped over 5 million people get on a plan to pay off debt. This works! Get started today!