Getting Into Debt is Easy
Getting into debt can be extremely easy and you don’t always realize it is happening. Maybe you lent a family member or friend money and never got paid back or maybe you simply missed a few payments on your credit card. Whatever the reason is, debt accrues quickly.
When I got turned down for apartment after apartment it made me want to look into my credit score and what items I had in collections, what credit card bills and loan payments I have. The breakdown looked something like this:
- $22,000 (student loans)
- $6,300 (ex-fiancee’s car loan that was repossessed)
- $1,400 (apartment fees from previous complex)
- $800 (various medical bills)
- $650 (Discover credit card)
- $310 (unpaid electric bill)
Now, obviously there are items that are going to take longer than others to pay off, however, I have vowed that I will pay off the smaller items within the first few months of 2017.
Why I Want to Get Out of Debt Quickly
My main reason for wanting to draw up an action plan and make it quick is it has directly affected my living situation.
After being turned down for two apartments and paying application fees and admin fees for those places, I’d taken a hit. Now I am living in a weekly rate hotel. Each room is furnished with a small dining table, two chairs, an armchair, a queen bed, television, dresser and two night stands. I also have a kitchenette, WiFi and laundry facilities on site. I get all of this for about $230 a week. To get in I had to pay a $50 refundable security despot.
Not too shabby considering I don’t have to pay extra for electricity, etc. I decided to go with this option because it was less expensive than a private renter and it will give me the opportunity to remain independent while I pay off my debt and I intend to do it quickly.
My Debt Payoff Plan
Two items specifically are keeping me from getting an apartment (the apartment fees and the electric bill). These two items I am anticipating to have paid off by the end of January. The apartment fees (because they are from two years ago) may be able to be negotiated down to half of the original amount charged.
I won’t be rushing out of the hotel immediately after getting these items paid off though. The next item I will be paying off are medical bills. Each of the medical bills adds up to about $800 which I hope to pay in February.
Once I’ve done that I intend to pay off my credit card in March and all that is left are the two larger items. In March I’ll likely be looking to get into an apartment but aim to start paying the two larger items off once I get settled in a new place.
How to Get Out of Debt Quickly
Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Amanda, how are you going to pay off close to $3,000 of debt in three months?” Well, the answer is simple. I am going to live beneath my means. Once the items greatly holding me back are paid off then I will begin saving and be on track to starting the new year out right.
Here’s what I plan to do to cut costs and get out of debt quickly:
- Eat low-cost meals at home
- Only drink coffee at home (no Starbucks)
- Limit outings to once a month
- Any extra cash (gifts, bonuses, etc) will go towards paying debts
- I’ve sold my lemon of a car so I will only use free or low-cost public transit (this also eliminates my need for car insurance, cutting a bill)
- I am canceling my gym memberships and will be walking places nearby (the grocery store and many other things are less than a mile away)
It won’t be an easy few months but I am determined to get this debt paid off. I will be updating you all on Budget and the Bees about my progress with paying off my debt. You can also follow my Pinterest account for helpful pins about how to get out of debt.
I made the decision to get out of debt quickly. Will you?
Amanda Blankenship is the Director of Social Media for District Media. In addition to her duties handling everything social media, she frequently writes for a handful of blogs and loves to share her own personal finance story with others. When she isn’t typing away at her desk, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, and dog. During her free time, you’re likely to find her with her nose in a book, hiking, or playing RPG video games.
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