If you are looking to pay off debt, the first place you’ll probably look is at your monthly expenses. That’s what my wife and I did when we wanted to pay off our mortgage early. We wanted to squeeze some extra money out of our budget. To do that we needed to cut expenses.
We looked long and hard at our budget and made some adjustments. While we were paying off our mortgage we disconnected our cable TV, ate out less, spent very little on things around the house (like landscaping and home furnishings) and pretty much stopped going to movies just to name a few things. The extra money we saved by cutting our expenses and changing our lifestyle we put towards the mortgage.
For us that was enough to speed up the process. We were overspending in some areas in the worst way. Believe me when the sacrifice was worth it to not have any debt following us around.
But for many others simply cutting expenses in the budget will not be enough to pay off debt at the pace the want. The reason is that you can only cut expenses so far. You’ll still need money to pay for food, housing, utilities, transportation and clothing. All those things cost money and you can’t eliminate them entirely from your budget.
That leaves many who want to pay off debt frustrated. They’d like to pay off their debt faster but they just can’t. There is too little money to go around and nowhere else they can cut expenses.
What they are missing is that there is actually a two-step process to find the money to pay off debt. Cutting expenses is only half the equation.
Pay Off Debt by Making More Money
Cutting expenses will help you pay off debt. But if you want to do it faster, it won’t be enough. You’ll have to make more money.
This is the second part of the equation many people miss. They are already locked into a 9-5 job. Their brain doesn’t go to or can’t conceive of the idea of bettering themselves in order to receive a promotion at their 9-5 or taking on a part-time job for a time to make more money.
If their brain does go to that thought, it often shuts down – and quickly. Who could possibly do the aforementioned things with their current responsibilities at work or with their family or with whatever else is going on in their life? They can’t see how it would be possible to go back to school or work a little bit more or get a part-time job to earn more money. It’s seems too big a reach to engage with that idea as a possibility.
However, that’s exactly what has to happen if you want to pay off debt faster.
But how do you get started with this? What do you need to look out for and what’s the best route to take?
Well, now there is a new resource that can help answer those questions and help you pay off debt faster than you thought was possible.
Hustle Away Debt – Book Review
There is a new book out by my blogging friend David Carlson, founder and writer at the personal finance blog Young Adult Money, that addresses this topic. Hustle Away Debt is specifically geared to those drowning in debt. Whether it’s because of school loan debt, excessive credit card debt or even mortgage debt, this book can help those struggling to pay off debt in a timely fashion. And its specific emphasis is on this whole idea of making more money.
David and his wife graduated from college with over 100k of student loan debt to their name. It quickly became apparent their student loan debt was standing in the way of achieving their dreams. They were not looking forward to spending the better part of a decade paying off their loans.
While cutting expenses helped a bit, David realized they needed to do more. So he started looking at ways to make more money on the side – a concept known in the personal finance world as having a side hustle.
The term “side hustle” simply means having a source of income that doesn’t come from your 9-5 job. It is income that comes in on whatever side activity you can do. It could be an official part-time job but it wouldn’t have to be. Either way, the goal from the side hustle is to bump up the inflows of money into your monthly budget.
David has spent a decade engaging in all kinds of side hustles and now is sharing what he’s learned. His book will help you know what to look out for and think about as you get started with your side hustle. But the meat of the book is how he will give you ideas to earn extra money that really work.
Having an idea as to what fits you and your schedule is part of the most difficult part to the side hustle process. What’s going to work and what won’t? Answering that question usually holds people back because they can’t think of anything.
In the book, David lists side hustles that can generate quick cash, ones that you can do online, ones that you can do locally and even ones that could turn into your own small business. That last one is a long shot but you never know. Many people have seen a side hustle grow into a large annual income and a new career they never would have expected.
What’s great about this book is that David is speaking from his own experience. It’s not just theory…he has lived it. It’s definitely worth the read if you want to pay off debt faster and think earning extra income is the way to go.
For my money getting rid of debt is a must if you want to live the life you want. And the faster you can do it the better.
Questions: What helped you pay off debt? Did you simply cut expenses from the budget or did you earn income on the side? How long did you do your side hustle? What other ways have you found to pay off debt quickly?