16 Creative Out of the Box Things I Did To Pay $10,000 In Credit Card Debt

16 CREATIVE Things I Did To Pay $10,000 In Credit Card Debt

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Credit cards are awesome, right? You can buy anything you want without having any cash on hand – until the bills roll in, and boy do they roll in. Like many people, if you’ve been a little too free with your credit and now you’re facing thousands in debt, you probably feel the pressure to get the bills paid. The good news is, you’re not alone. And just like you, I faced insurmountable debt on several credit cards, $10,000 in fact! With a little research and some perseverance, I found all kinds of ways to pay off my debt without taking out a loan or working nights and weekends. If you’ve managed to rack up considerable credit card debt and you’re looking for a way out, here are sixteen foolproof ways I paid my bills and banished credit card debt for good.

No. 1: I shared my opinion. Honestly, this was almost too easy. I happen to be pretty opinionated, and I found a way to make money by sharing my thoughts. FocusGroup.com offers some pretty easy cash earning opportunities like watching a new show, testing products and taking surveys. Marketing research is nothing new, and innovative companies are more than willing to pay consumers for their thoughts. With Internet access, you can sit at home and make a few dollars to shred the debt. I had to take a screening survey to meet eligibility requirements, and go through a confirmation process, but once it was done, I was placed in a focus group the next day.

Share Your Opinion and Earn!  This is my Favorite 

No. 2: I traded books for cash. Do you have old textbooks lying around? I went through the bookcases in my living room and pulled out over $250 dollars worth of schoolbooks that I certainly didn’t need any more. If you don’t have textbooks, but you do have an impressive collection of non-fiction and fiction books, that will work too! You’d be surprised at how much those Steven King novels are worth, and how fast the dollars add up when you get them all together. If you want to check the prices ahead of time, check out bookfinder.com for an easy way to get buyback prices for individual books.

No. 3: I took online surveys. Not quite as lucrative as the focus group, online surveys are a decent way to make some extra cash for not a lot of effort. For me, Saturday in the cold weather meant plenty of television, and that’s where online surveys pay off. Each survey rate is different and I’ll be honest, many of them paid less than $5, but money is money right? Besides, there’s nothing more exhilarating than spending an afternoon making chili and watching a few horror flicks while earning $15. Save the money earned in the online account you set up and cash out $50-75 at the end of the month. A word to the wise, though, be weary of scams. There are a lot of legitimate online survey opportunities, but some are iffy. I found that Harris Poll worked for me.

1.  MySurvey 2. Harris Poll 

No. 4: I made coffee at home. I found $60 each month to throw on my credit card debt just by making one simple, but significant lifestyle change. For me, that meant making coffee at home instead of stopping for a latte on the way to work every morning. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the $3.18 a day adds up to more than $60 a month! If you think hard, there are probably 3, maybe 4, similar habit changes you can make each month that can keep money in your pocket. Do you buy lunch out often? Consider brown-bagging it. How about the kids? School hot lunch plans can add up too.

No. 5. I stopped laundering shirts. The local dry-cleaner may not be happy about this one, but it worked miracles for me. Do you have dress shirts laundered and pressed? I did. It’s a little more work to wash and iron at home, but the $40 a month I saved went straight toward the credit cards and those balances were dropping! Grab an iron, put on a great movie and save yourself a weekly fee for washing and pressing your own clothes.

No. 6: I attacked my cards with the lowest balance first. Credit card debt is overwhelming for sure, and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of paying minimum payments and nothing more. The interest rate alone means you get nowhere fast without any real improvement in the balance owed. I chose the credit card with lowest balance and attacked it with everything I had. I didn’t neglect the others, but I made my lowest balance the number one priority. It took a few months to pay in full, but then I moved to the next one. And, I used the money I had allotted in my monthly budget to make payments on the last one to pay down the next one faster. The gratification of seeing my debt actually diminish incentivized me to follow through.

Always Check your Credit First – Do It Free Here 

No. 7: I transferred some debt to a new card with 0% interest. Some of my cards had astronomical interest rates. I’m actually embarrassed to share. However, these were cards I opened several years ago; I never questioned the interest because I was just happy to have a credit card. Years later, I realized I could save money – and pay the debt off faster if I moved the balances to a new card. The new card offered a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 21 months. Bingo.

No. 8: I walked a few dogs. Okay, professional dog walking is kind of a job. I know I said I paid off my debt without working nights or weekends, but dog walking is fun! And it’s available in any town, U.S.A. The site I used to find clients is called caregiver.com. Log in, make a profile and search for opportunities. I walked two dogs from the same home when the owner was away and made an extra $50 to throw on my debt. While you won’t likely earn $50 for one walk, if you build a relationship with the dog and the owner, you can secure a long-term gig for fifteen minutes a few times a week, which adds up.

No. 9: I sold my skills at home. Working from home is everyone’s dream, but I actually made money and it was quick and easy! Of course, I held down a full time job during the day, so I didn’t have a lot of extra time. But instead of channel surfing at night, I found a few quick, cash paying jobs on Upwork.com. The website is sort of like a bid-for-services job finder. Many of the jobs are an hour or two tops, and they range from writing to light research to transcription. If you have a computer, it’s worth a look.

No. 10: I started paying more than the minimum balance every month. I realize this sounds less than creative, but it’s worth mentioning. I was caught in a vicious cycle where I would max out my cards and cover the minimum payment each month to open up a little more credit. It’s easy to justify because you trick yourself into thinking you’re paying off what you spend every month. However, in reality, there’s interest to consider. If you’re like me, you’re paying far more than $30 for that $30 dinner out. Easy fix. I stopped using the cards each month and paid a little over the minimum due. In just a few months, the balance owed began to decrease. Credit card companies are required by law to detail on your statement exactly how long it will take to pay off debt by paying just the minimum and paying more than the minimum. The difference is incredible!

No. 11: I sold clothing online. Believe it or not, it’s possible to make cash for clothes you don’t wear. Remember that designer dress you had to have that’s collecting dust in your closet? How about the suit that you bought for a job interview that’s still under the protective liner? I found a fantastic online clothing retailer that pays up to 70 percent of sale price for women’s and men’s luxury fashion brands such as Chanel, Christian Louboutin and more. Why let handbags, jewelry and clothes sit around when you can get top dollar to pay off your debt? I registered for free, described my pieces and was issued a packing slip. It’s that simple. When the items sold, I got paid! Visit therealreal.com to learn more.

No. 12: I rented parking space in my yard. This may not work for everyone, but if you live in a small town that hosts local events it may be worth looking into. I was able to charge for parking – $5 per car for a total of $40 per month for providing parking within walking distance to the farmers market in town. I put my car in the garage and offered premium parking for 2 cars every Saturday through July and August.

No. 13: I became a mystery shopper. Another opportunity that helped me earn some quick cash, mystery shopping is kind of fun. However, here’s the skinny: it’s work. I was able to get a few free meals and some useful products, which saved me money, but I also needed to provide a full narrative of my experience, which was time consuming. If you’re out and about throughout the day and you don’t mind acting peculiar in some of your local fast food or telephone stores (like returning items you just purchased, for example) mystery shopping is a convenient way to make money to pay your credit card debts. Volition.com is a good place to start with legitimate mystery shopping companies looking for help.

No. 14: I listed items for sale on eBay. Ah, eBay. Where would the modern consumer be without it? eBay is one of the perfect places to showcase your unwanted merchandise to the world. Interestingly enough, there always seems to be someone out there who wants what you have for sale. I made a few dollars on eBay, but the trick to being successful with this selling platform is to be consistent, and keep your prices moderate. It’s amazing how many people have mastered the art of selling on eBay. There are countless books to show you how to become an eBay master!

No. 15: I created a budget. Do you spend more money in a day than you realize? I did. And only until I actually started keeping track of my day-to-day spending did I learn just how much money I could save. Creating a budget and putting it on paper was probably the most eye-opening part of learning to manage my credit card debt. I had no idea where $50-$100 each month was going. Once I created a budget, I knew exactly where it was going; it was paying off my credit card debt!

No. 16: I became a coupon ninja. Finally, the last creative thing I did to pay down my credit card debt was to stack coupons. Couponing isn’t like it was in your mom’s day, and the savings are quite real. What I did was look in the Sunday paper for manufacturer coupons, and then I went to store websites for store coupons. You’d be surprised at how many stores allow you to stack coupons (using a manufacturer coupon at the same time as a store coupon). Here’s the unbelievable part – in some cases, I actually got the product for free! Yes, it’s true, I do have 15 tubes of toothpaste and 20 containers of dental floss in my bathroom, but all that money I saved on teeth maintenance went straight to my credit card debt!

Why let credit card debt ruin your life when all it takes is a little creativity and some effort? Take steps now to get control of your debt and lift that burden off your shoulders for good. Whether you choose to follow my creative ideas, or find some of your own, stay positive, stay consistent and you’ll find a debt free you in no time!

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