Got Debt? Here are Seven Ways to Reduce Your Debt by $100 This Week

By Mike Peterson
In May 28, 2013

Looking for a way to put a serious dent in your credit card debt?  It would be nice to wipe that high-interest headache away in one payment – but if you’re carrying a large-ish balance, that may not be possible.  That said, there’s no reason to settle for just making the minimum payments, either. With a little creativity, you can start taking good-sized chunks out of your balance – even if you’re on a tight budget.

Need a few suggestions to get started?  Here are seven things you can do to come up with an extra $100 to pay toward your credit card debt this week:

1.  Review your budget.  Do you have any wiggle room in any non-essential categories, like “entertainment” or “miscellaneous”?  Can you pare down your weekly grocery allowance?  Play around with the numbers and see if you can squeeze a few extra bucks out of your budget.

2.  Sell stuff.  If you’re like most people, your home is probably full of stuff that you don’t want, don’t use, and don’t need.  If you want to come up with some easy cash this week, start by going through your closet.  And your attic, your basement, your garage – anywhere you might keep unwanted items.  Then, sell that stuff.  You can list your items on eBay, have a garage sale, or post them on a (real or virtual) community bulletin board. 

3.  Say “no” to restaurant food.  And fast food.  And vending machine food.  And Starbucks.  See a pattern here?  If you’re looking for an easy way to save money, food is a really great place to start.  For one week, stop spending extra money on food.  Eat at home every night, and brown-bag it to work (and make sure to pack a snack or two so you won’t be tempted to hit up the vending machine in the break room).  You’ll probably be surprised by how fast that extra money adds up! 

And speaking of food-related savings . . .

4.  Shop your pantry.  The grocery store gets expensive – even the most frugal shoppers often end up loading their baskets with expensive extras and impulse purchases that weren’t on the week’s shopping list.  If you want to free up some extra money this week, postpone that trip to the grocery store and try to make do with what’s already in your pantry.  Get creative, and have fun with it:  You might even stumble onto a new favorite recipe.  Of course, you’ll have to buy groceries eventually — but even a couple of days of raiding your pantry will help you save.

5.  Cancel or suspend a couple of subscriptions or memberships. Chances are, you pay a few bucks a month for some type of subscription-based service:  Maybe you get movies through Netflix, or maybe you pay a monthly fee to play an online video game.  Perhaps you subscribe to a few magazines.  Consider cutting one or two subscriptions and put the money towards your credit card instead.  You can always reinstate your subscription later if you find that you can’t live without them.

6.  Do some extra work.  Working overtime or picking up a couple of extra shifts at your job can help you earn some extra cash to put toward this month’s credit card payment. 

7.  Dig for loose change.  Search your couch cushions, your car, your pockets, your junk drawer – anywhere that loose change tends to accumulate.  Make a game of it and see how much spare change you can find scattered around your home.  Then, take it all to the bank and deposit it.  (Note: steer clear of those “cash-for-spare-change” machines at grocery and discount stores – they typically take a small percent of your money).

Mike is the author of “Reality Millionaire: Proven Tips to Retire Rich” and he has been published in a variety of local and national publications including Entrepreneur Magazine, Deseret Morning News, LDS Living Magazine, and Physicians Money Digest. He holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of Phoenix.

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