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10 Tips for Athletes to Get Out of Debt

Being in debt is such a common situation today that 73% of americans are literally dying in it. If the prospect of carrying your debt for the remainder of your life doesn’t sound like something you want to do, you have come to the right place.

These 10 tips will help you get a handle on your debt and start making progress towards being free of creditors and monthly payments. With some dedication and smart financial choices, you’ll be surprised at how much progress you can make.

1. Increase your income.

Yeah, I know, this one is obvious, but have you given thought to exactly how you might increase your income? Depending on your situation, increasing your income could look a lot different for you than it does for other people.

Picking up a part-time or seasonal job will be the option that most people gravitate towards. If this sounds like something you could do, check with your local businesses to see if they need help first.

A good place to start for some people will be restaurants that deliver. It’s not hard to find a place that needs a delivery driver, and depending on the area and the type of restaurant, you could make a considerable amount of extra money working a couple nights a week.

Alternatively, you could consider offering freelance services to businesses to make some extra money from home. If you have a relevant skillset, this could prove to be a great way to increase your income. It will tend to take longer to pick up jobs this way, but the payoff is likely to be better than what working for someone else can bring you.

2. Reduce your expenses.

Another obvious one, but still very important to the process of paying off debt. Take a look at what you’re spending money on each month. There are a ton of overlooked costs you might not know of.

Do you need that gym membership, or could you workout at home temporarily? Do you need to be going out to eat every month? How many services are chipping away at your monthly income?

Sit down and really consider each expense and reduce or eliminate each one that isn’t necessary. You’ll be sure to free up some additional money to help pay down your debt.

3. List your debts by their interest rates.

Not all debt is created equal. It makes mathematical sense to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first. Review the interest rates of all your debts and be sure to account for any changes that might occur when introductory rates are no longer in effect.

Once you have them organized according to how much they cost you per month, start paying more than the minimum payment on the most expensive one, and move down the list accordingly.

4. Transfer your balances.

If the interest rates on your debt are high, consider transferring your balances to save while you pay the debt down.

Getting another card or a personal loan with a lower interest rate and using it to pay your balances on other, higher interest, debt can be be one of the best ways to tackle your debt payments. Just make sure to read the fine print on the balance transfer card so you’re not stuck with another high interest debt after an introductory period.

5. Sell unnecessary items.

You’d be surprised at how much money you have sitting around in the form of unnecessary belongings. If you’re in a tight spot or simply want to make as big of a dent as possible in your debt, look around your house for items that you might not need and list them for sale online.

This can be difficult to do if you’re not too keen on giving up your stuff, but remember that the sooner you’re out of debt is the sooner you’ll be able to guiltlessly afford the extra things.

6. Drop expensive habits.

If you’re working to get out of debt, one of the first places you should look for extra money is the habits that you might have. Smoking, drinking, and fast food are three of the most common habits that I’ve seen people quit when they’re motivated to be debt free.

Expensive habits can be difficult to break, but with a lot of self-control and determination, you’ll be able to use that money to pay down debt and you’ll likely be healthier as well.

7. Use any unexpected income to pay down debt.

Throughout the course of a year you’re likely to come across some extra money at one time or another. Weather it’s a bonus from work, a winning lottery ticket, or a gift from grandma for your birthday, use this money to pay down your debt.

It can be easy to make an excuse like “it’s not enough to matter” or “I’ll use this for something else just this once” but try to keep your priorities straight and realize that every little bit you pay is one step closer to your goal.

8. Use the snowball method to gain momentum.

When you have multiple debts to pay down it can be a struggle to make headway with each one. Without seeing results you’re more likely to lose your determination.

To help combat this struggle, consider attacking the debt with the lowest balance first. You’ll see results much faster this way and you’ll likely feel accomplished enough to keep that momentum going.

9. Use your tax refund to pay down debt.

If you’re one of the lucky ones that doesn’t end up owning Uncle Sam any money during tax time, use your refund check to make a considerable dent in your debt with the highest interest rate.

The snowball method shouldn’t apply when it comes to tax refund payoffs, especially when you have a significant amount coming back to you. The smart move here is to pay down the most expensive debt with this, and keep making progress with the others like you have been.

10. Reward yourself.

You’re going to be accomplishing some really wonderful things as you pay down your debt. It’s important to recognize that for yourself when you reach specific milestones. Psychologically, you’re setting yourself up for success when you reward yourself.

If you have multiple credit cards, maybe that means you treat yourself each time you pay one off, or if you have one large balance, you might set some goals for getting that balance down and reward yourself when you hit specific numbers. Whatever your specific goals may be, set up rewards ahead of time so you’re motivated to keep working towards them.

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