Yawn… time to get out of debt

Think getting out of debt is boring? Find out why some really creative people disagree

When you’re dealing with debt, it’s normal to feel like you’re alone – the only person facing this struggle. However, even though it’s not something most people talk about, a significant percentage of Americans have their own problems with debt. For example, 24% of Americans have more debt than they have savings with an average of over $15,000 in credit card debt per family.  Meanwhile, Canadians are saddled with record debt, hitting $500 billion last month.

While pundits may have a point when they say widespread change needs to occur, the one good thing about credit card debt being a prevalent problem is that plenty of people have already gone through the process of eliminating theirs. And from others’ experiences, there are a lot of things you can learn about getting rid of your own debt. Best of all, some of those lessons show how creativity can be used to make this process interesting and not overly unpleasant:

Don’t Be a Lone Wolf

Lone Wolf in DebtA common reason people get depressed by their battle with debt is because they try to tackle it all on their own. Instead of going solo, you should involve your significant other in the process. Even if the two of you aren’t married, the support you get can make all the difference.

If you’re not in a relationship, does that mean you’re out of luck? Absolutely not! There’s a good chance you have a close friend who also has debt they want to eliminate. By opening up to each other, you can get support whenever you need it. You can also turn this process into a fun challenge by creating a friendly competition between the two of you.

Turn an Interest Into a Part-Time Job

One of the most effective ways to get rid of debt is to make more money. But since most people can’t get a raise just by asking for it, this may seem impossible. However, a great way to generate more cash is to start charging money for something you enjoy doing. Whether it’s writing, building things or editing videos, for less than $30 you can get a website and a stack of business cards, and start promoting your services to everyone you know. Here is a list of 10 hobbies that pay well.

What if you don’t really have an interest that makes sense to turn into a part-time gig? Another option to consider is to think back to all the jobs you’ve had and identify any that you really enjoyed. For example, maybe you were a waiter during college and really liked the work. Even though you’re probably not going to make as much as you do at your full-time job, picking up a few evening shifts each week can be a fairly enjoyable way to get extra cash flowing in.

Or you can see what jobs people are looking for at Freelancer.com .

Focus on Alternatives Instead of Deprivation

There are plenty of personal finance gurus who will say that if you want to get out of debt, you basically need to put your life on hold and only spend money on absolute essentials. While cutting frivolous spending is definitely a smart idea, that doesn’t mean you have to make every day a miserable experience. From enjoying free events in your area to borrowing DVDs from the library instead of paying to rent them, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy life without constantly needing to spend money.

Here are some tips to save money on protein and on food in general, on laundry and on recreation.

The One Thing About Debt Elimination You Don’t Want to Forget

As you can see from this list, the process of getting rid of debt can really be molded into just about anything you want. Although it definitely takes work to succeed, that doesn’t mean you have to be miserable for the duration of this process. Instead, you just need to unleash your creativity and find solutions that work.

In addition to using creativity to your advantage, the most important thing to remember about debt elimination is you always want to have a backup plan. For example, even though you may be making a point of spending as little as possible, there’s always the possibility that a significant unexpected expense may come up.

If that occurs, one approach to having a backup plan is getting an auto title loan from TitleMax.com. There are several benefits to taking this approach. Not only can you get a loan for up to $10,000 without a credit check, but you’ll be able to continue driving your car while making payments that work within your debt elimination budget.

Want to start chipping away at your debt? Then the best thing you can do is take action. Even if you don’t have a perfect plan, doing something is going to be much more productive than not taking any action at all!

Here’s What’s So Good About Being Debt Free

Why should you aim to be free of debt? Having debt alters the way that you spend your money. Instead of spending money on the things you want, you have to spend money paying your creditors back. Not only can it be disheartening to see your hard earned money going out the window, but you can fall even further in debt if you are not able to make the payments on time. Aiming to be free of your debt has many benefits.

Keep Your Money In Your Pocket

You work hard for that paycheck that you get every week. Why should some credit card company get a slice of that money? While it might seem easier to purchase something and pay back later, the consequences of making payments with credit aren’t always apparent at the time. Before making any purchase with a credit card, you should think about the interest rate that you are paying to spend your money. Unless you can pay back that balance in the next 30 days, you are just paying someone to tempt you into spending more than you can afford.

Stress Out Less About Your Finances

What would you do if you ever lost your job? If you have no debt, you can ride out a job loss for a longer period of time. Making a large cash purchase won’t be as much of a strain on your finances if you are working just to replenish your bank account. Creditors will not be calling your house all day if there is no debt to collect. Living a life that is free from debt allows you to worry less about your cash flow.

More Freedom To Live Your Life

Most people have a job in order to make money. If you have no debts, you have more of a say in where you work. If you don’t like your job, you can quit because you don’t need the money right away. Sleeping in every morning is viable if you don’t need to work so many hours to stay ahead financially. You can take a vacation on a whim if you have enough money in your bank account. Without debt, you are free to live your life as you see fit.

Ensure A Secure Future

The ability to put your money directly into savings accounts comes in handy. There will be a time when you cannot work anymore, and you will need to rely on the money that you were able to save. Having a higher level of savings will enable you to have a more secure retirement. Having that safety net will also help you pay for health care and other necessities that seem to become more expensive over time. Your savings could also help your kids pay for college and ensure that they start their lives as free from debt as possible.

To Conclude…

A life that is free from debt offers so many advantages. You will stress over your finances a lot less while avoiding the other pitfalls of debt. Keeping your money in your pocket allows you to determine where and when you spend it. Having the ability to make choices in your life is liberating and allows you to enjoy your life that much more.

Andy co-founded Credit Card Compare, an Australian comparison website where consumers can review and rate the best credit cards from across the whole market. If you are in debt and want to live a debt free life, he recommends using a 0% balance transfer in conjunction with the debt snowball method, a proven strategy for getting out of debt.