Do you have debt that’s hanging over your head stressing you out?
Between credit card debt, student loan debt, car loans, and mortgages there’s a whole lot of debt a person can rack up!
The good news is there are easy things you can do to get yourself out of debt. Really it’s true, you don’t have to feel like a slave to your payments.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a time in your life when you bought something that was a bit out of your reach? Maybe it was too expensive or you really didn’t “need” the item.
If you raised your hand, guess what? You aren’t the only one. I did this too! I made a really bad decision and purchased a brand new car. Yes, you heard me a BAD decision.
You may be wondering why I say it’s a bad decision. No, it wasn’t because the car was a “lemon” or anything like that. It’s because the purchase wasn’t well thought out, I made this purchase on a whim and it left me with a large payment I wasn’t ready for.
Table of Contents
How do you overcome bad decisions and pay off debt so you aren’t on the never ending cycle of payments? You do everything it takes. Yes you heard me you make sacrifices to get to where you want to be.
If it takes you longer than 12 months because your situation is different than mine, don’t worry!
Keep pushing you will get there!
Need more inspiration to get you in the groove to start paying off your debt? Checkout this article about a 32 year old female who paid off $68,600 of debt in 3 years!
4 Financial Decisions We Made To Pay $14,359 in 12 months
1. A Plan
In order to stay focused and pay off our debt I knew we needed a plan. So I started with my budget worksheet and a list of all income and expenses to guarantee every dollar was accounted for.
Want a FREE budget worksheet to keep track of your money CLICK HERE
To create big things in your life you have to be willing to make some tough choices. By minimizing your expenses you will notice exponential growth.
3. Made loan payments every two weeks
Instead of paying once a month, take your existing car payment and split it in half. Paying every two weeks means your loan balance is continually decreasing, which means you will be paying less interest over the life of the loan.
4. Round Up With Acorns
You could even go a step further and bump up your payments by an extra $50 or $100 per month. Over time that adds up to a significant amount, which will save you money on interest and shorten the term of your loan.
If you find it difficult to save money or you don’t have enough cash for a whole extra payment, consider rounding up with Acorns.
Acorns is a money saving app that rounds up purchases and puts that rounded up money into an investment account to grow. Rounding up your payments is an effortless way to pay extra without even missing the funds.
For example if you buy a coffee for $3.75 the app will round up the charge to $4.00 and $0.25 will go into a savings account. You never know you could have an extra $50 in a couple months by using an app like Acorns.
5. Refinance Your Loan
This can be one of the easiest ways to lower your payment, save interest and pay off your loan in half the time. When I got home with my new car I had a loan from the dealership that I wasn’t exactly happy with.
I called up my local credit union and they were able to refinance me at 2.59%. By refinancing I was able to go from 5 ish% down to 2.59% saving me hundreds of dollars a year.
This is one of the easiest ways to lower your payment, save interest, and pay off your loan in half the time (if you have semi-good credit, of course).
Many local banks and credit unions are offering super-low interest rates on mortgage loans and car loans. I started off paying an interest of 5.75 percent but was able to refinance to 3.16 percent.
Recently I’ve seen auto-loan interest rates as low as 2.25 percent, which is crazy good. So if you haven’t refinanced your loan (or taken advantage of 0-percent interest), now is the the perfect time to do it.
11 FRUGAL HACKS FOR PAYING OF CAR LOAN FAST
1. CUT YOUR GROCERY BILL WITHOUT HAVING TO STARVE
For most people, groceries are their most expensive monthly bill. No, you don’t have to live on ramen noodles or a mac and cheese diet to save money on food.
If you find groceries are costing you the most each month cutting these expenses is a great place to start.
I’ve never been a big fan of clipping coupons but heck when you are trying to save money you gotta do what you gotta do. My favorite money saving grocery app is Ibotta.
If you aren’t using Ibotta you need to sign up here. This app is totally FREE and is a great way to get cash back on your groceries.
Once you are done shopping, take a picture of your receipt with the Ibotta App and they will deposit cash into your account.
If you sign up using my link today you’ll get a free $10 welcome bonus.
2. SKIP THE COFFEE SHOPS
Don’t get me wrong I love me so good coffee. But unfortunately when you are doing everything you can to cut out frivolous purchases things like coffee shop coffees have to go!
3. GET A GROCERY SALE FLYER APP
Ok, I know I mentioned above I’m not a huge fan of couponing but when I need to save money my go to is the Flipp App. Flipp delivers digital ads from more than 1000 retailers so you can find the best deals … Print the list or load it on your Flipp app and have it available on the go!
4. START MEAL PLANNING
No questions asked meal planning will save you a ton of money. I know I’m sounding so Martha Stewart like, but by meal planning you’ll save time which is ultimately money!
When I meal plan we experience less food waste. Less food waste paired with using Ibotta and bam you have the ultimate ticket for saving money on food.
I tend to meal plan around what we already have in the freezer or pantry and then make small runs to the grocery store to fill in the gaps.
Since I started meal planning, I have saved so much money because I no longer just grab random things at the store.
Need some help meal planning? I highly recommend you check out $5 meals! $5 Meals is is a fantastic service that emails you a weeks worth of preplanned recipes to your email inbox.
It’ll also makes it easier for you to only grocery shop once per week. The less you go, the less money you’ll spend. Simple and obvious, but true.
The best part is most meals costs less than $2 a person. Signup here to checkout $5 meals today
5. USE CASH BACK APPS
This particular money saving app is a newer addition to my grocery store arsenal but to be honest, it’s pretty awesome.
It’s so easy to use
- Download the app and create an account
- Flip through the week’s offers and do your regular shopping
- When you get home, take a photo of your receipt, upload it to the app and select the items you bought
- Collect cash back on your eligible purchases!
The great thing about this app is you can do everything once you get home. I got back over $55 in my first 3 months using Checkout 51! You can even combine the cash back with coupons and price matching for big money savings rewards.
The other great thing is that you can use the same receipt on more than one app to multiply your savings.
6. SAVE MONEY AT TARGET
Target has tons of percentage-off offers right inside their app. I’ve had good luck on beauty products like shampoo, conditioner, and new products that Target has added to their inventory.
All you have to do is “add” the Cartwheel offer by tapping it and then scan your phone at checkout.
Here are just a couple of examples of Cartwheel grocery offers:
- 40% off spaghetti sauce
- 25% off salad dressing
- 20% off coffee
- $4 off claritin
- 25% off vitamins
- 25% off Nexxus dram shampoo
- $3 off disposable venus razors
- 20% off KIND bars
7. FIND WHICH ITEMS ARE IN SEASON AND STICK WITH THEM
Always always buy produce that’s in season. If you make the mistake of purchasing strawberries in the winter not only will the flavor be lacking but you’ll end up paying a whole lot of money.
Here’s your key to knowing which items are on sale during any given month sign up below
8. SAVE MONEY WITH TRAVEL REWARDS PROGRAMS
I’m a huge advocate for saving money and cutting costs where I can. Rewards credit cards allow you to redeem your points for cash, gift certificates or travel.
I’ve never had a difficult time with credit card debt. I’ve always been able to pay my cards off in full each and every month. By paying my cards off in full I’m able to take advantage of racking up airlines miles for free flights.
If you aren’t a fan of traveling there are many other ways you can use rewards programs like cash back or gift cards to your favorite stores like Home Depot, Target or Amazon.
We typically use our credit card for all of our purchases. However we are dedicated to paying it in FULL every month.
9. MAKE MONEY WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE
When we were doing our bathroom remodel it’s like we were best friends, he was delivering daily.
Why would I pay full price for anything when I can use Ebates online portal and actually make money from shopping?
After you sign up for Ebates (which is 100% free) you simply search the store you want to shop at, click “Shop Now”, fill up your cart, check out like normal, and THEN GET FREE CASH BACK!
Depending on the store, you can earn anywhere from 2% – 40% cash back on everything you purchase!
If you’re shopping online, why not get paid for it?
Sign up for Ebates with my link to get a $10 welcome bonus after you make your first $25 purchase!
10. AMAZON SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE- SAVE 15%
As mentioned above I’m a huge fan of using Amazon to shop online. Have you ever heard of their subscribe and save program?
If not hold on… because this is another fabulous way to save you money. It’s a great way to keep cash in your bank account while keeping your pantry stocked at a discounted price.
Subscribe & Save is a store on Amazon’s website full of items you need to replace on a regular basis.
They have everything from coffee, coconut milk, laundry detergent. (The things you need on a regular basis).
When you subscribe to a product, you get to choose what frequency you want it shipped (once a month, every 3 months, etc.), the best part is every time the purchase goes through you receive 15% off that item!
Check out the Amazon Subscribe and Save store here and start saving money on the products you need most.
There is one little caveat to this whole Amazon savings program. You have to be an Amazon Prime member.
If you aren’t a prime member I highly suggest you look into. Not only can you save money with the subscribe and save store but you’ll receive free shipping on items ordered through your Amazon Prime membership.
If you aren’t an Amazon Prime member yet, you can sign up for a FREE 30-day trial with the link below:
11. NO SPEND WEEKENDS
These are probably my favorite way to save money because they simplify life. I find that no spend weekends are a great way to save money and check in with spending habits.
We did a couple no spend weekends throughout the year to help save money. When we do these it means we don’t eat out, get coffee, or do anything that costs money. Instead we find free ways to have fun.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON PAYING OFF A CAR LOAN FAST
I hope these tips have been helpful for you on your journey to paying off debt. These are just some of the ways I’ve been able to make my money work for me.
If you are thinking of purchasing a brand new car please take a moment and really think about the purchase. Ultimately the choice is yours I just want you to do whats right for you!