6 Things to Do In the Next Two Hours to Reduce Your Debt

Debt.  Many of us have it, and most of us hate it.  A few others just accept debt because, after all, everyone has debt, right?  While many, many people have debt, you don’t have to.  You can be debt free.

In fact, there are a few simple things you can do today to free up more money to pay down your debt faster.   Consider taking these steps (and finding more in a financial help guide) in just a few hours to potentially “find” hundreds of dollars to go to your debt repayment plan:

  1. Call your credit card company and negotiate your rate. Simply point out that you’re a good customer (assuming you are), and that you’d like to have a lower APR.  Ask what can the company do for you?  If the first person can’t do anything for you, ask to speak to her manager and try again.  If you are nice but persistent, you should have a 50% success rate.  Do this with all of your credit cards.
  2. Call your cable company and ask for a deal. Many cable companies expect customers to call and ask for a lower rate.  Again, ask what they can do for you.  If the person you’re speaking to can’t help, ask for the retentions department and threaten to cancel your cable entirely.  They will likely lower your rate at least temporarily to keep you as a happy customer.
  3. Consider switching to VOIP phone service. If you still have a landline, consider switching to a system like MagicJack or Ooma Telo.  While the Ooma system costs a little less than $200, you’ll make up that money in just a few months because your phone bill can be as low as $5 a month with Ooma.  It may be even less with Magic Jack.
  4. Look through your pantry before grocery shopping. If you’re like most people, you wander through the aisles of the grocery store and put items in the cart without much thought.  Make your grocery dollars stretch further by making a menu plan at home that revolves around the food you already have in the house.  Then, make a grocery list for the things you still need.  Don’t deviate from the list at the grocery store.
  5. Have an energy audit done on your home. Your local utility company can find places where your home is using too much energy such as an old refrigerator, which is neither sustainable nor energy efficient.  Spending the money to make your home more energy efficient will save you hundreds of dollars or more each year.
  6. Consolidate your debt. If you’re making multiple minimum payments each month, see if you can consolidate your debt.  You’ll likely pay a lower monthly payment, freeing up more money for debt repayment, and you’ll likely pay a lower interest rate.

Whether you realize it yet or not, you’re wasting money by paying APRs, interest rates, cable bills, and energy bills that are higher than they have to be.  Rein in these costs, and you’ll find quite a bit of extra money monthly that you can use to pay down your debt.