A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the average American worker makes approximately $4,148 each month, meaning it would take them almost four months to earn $15,000. If you owe this much to your credit card lenders or other unsecured creditors, you are probably tired of feeling trapped in a cycle of debt. Fortunately, it’s possible to pay off that debt without radically altering your lifestyle.
Before you begin your year-long quest to pay off $15,000 in credit card debt, take a moment to assess your situation. You must do several things at once to make your plan feasible, and as with any prudent investment, these actions will require a sizable commitment of time, energy and discipline.
People Also Read
Make a budget
For starters, you will need to trim your household budget, and this can be accomplished in various ways. The path of least resistance may involve reducing the amount you spend at the grocery store and controlling your utility costs.
To do the former, conduct your next weekly shopping trip as usual. When you get home, look at your receipt and determine exactly how much you spent on brand-name items that have perfectly adequate generic analogs. For instance, you may have spent an extra dollar per box of brand-name pasta. If you bought four boxes for the week, you would have unnecessarily deprived yourself of $4.
On subsequent shopping trips, take care to purchase generic pasta, bread, sauces and other staples. Chances are good that you will notice the savings right away.
When it comes to reducing your utility costs, common sense rules the day. Be sure to unplug unnecessary appliances that aren’t being used and turn off the lights in empty rooms. To save water, take shorter, cooler showers and run larger laundry loads. Depending on the size of your family, you could save several hundred of dollars per year by streamlining your home’s utility outlays.
Find additional sources of income
You may also need to find a steady stream of extra income if your full-time job is not enough to pay the bills. Consider taking on a part-time job during the weekends or evenings. A flexible position at a local department store or call center might net you an extra $150 or $200 per week.
Alternatively, consider tackling some remote freelance or consulting work you can do from home. As long as it does not conflict with your full-time job, this could turn into a permanent side gig. Eventually, this inflow could provide a sizable boost to your bottom line.
In addition to your new-found second-job income, you may need to find some novel ways to earn extra spending money. If you live near a college or university, sign up for a few research studies each month. These procedures typically aren’t too demanding or invasive and may require just an hour or two of your time. By participating in several studies, you can earn about $100 a month depending on the study and the institution.
Create a realistic pay-off plan
Finally, you will need to come up with a sensible method of paying down your existing credit card debts. This strategy could take many different forms. Many borrowers choose to follow Dave Ramsey’s “debt snowball” strategy and pay down their smallest bills before tackling their larger obligations. Others prefer to pay off their high-interest debts as soon as possible. If it’s employed correctly, this strategy could help you avoid paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest charges.
With faith and self-discipline, you can pay off $15,000 in credit card debt in just a single year. Using the strategies outlined above as well as your own well-placed ideas could turn the next 365 days into one of the most consequential years of your life.