Note From Kalen: When my wife and I first started our journey to become debt-free, we did everything we could to make it happen. It’s about commitment and dedication to the process. Today, Doug from peak Personal Finance is going to share 5 tips to help you get out of debt sooner rather than later. Enjoy!

In life, there are few things that are as uncomfortable and burdensome as having a significant amount of debt.

Though some people are able to balance repayment with their other expenses and work themselves out of the hole, it is not always so easy for others. The process can require some big changes to be made, and sometimes there seems to be no end in sight.

But as many people have found out, getting out of debt does not have to be as bad or difficult as believed.

There are a number of options to start working your way out of debt and they can be as easy as making and sticking to a few simple changes.

1. Cut Costs Around the House

One of the biggest places that we incur expenses is not out at the store but rather at home. From leaving the lights on to long showers or expensive premium cable options, the spending you do within your home not only forces you to pay more out of pocket, but also undermines the total saving that you could be doing.

The less you save, the harder it is to make repayments and the harder it is to get out of debt. In order to counteract this, you’ll want to start finding ways to save around the house.

Whether it is installing a programmable thermostat that can help you minimize temperature costs or avoiding peak times when doing machine based chores to reduce electrical expense, finding ways to conserve energy around the house will give you the savings you need to start paying off debt.

2. Use Grocery Lists

When it does come time to set your sites on spending outside of the house, sometimes the essentials end up costing us a bit more than we realize. The reason for this can be any number of things, but largely it stems from habits people have that cause them to spend more than necessary.

One of the most common involves going to the store without having written out a shopping list. When you maintain things top of mind instead of writing them down, you are likely to forget some of what you were trying to remember.

Even worse, without the direction that a list provides, the likelihood that you purchase things you had not intended to is high, especially on bigger shopping days. So before heading out to the grocery store, be sure to jot down what you need. Another great money saving tip is to make your list based on the sales you find advertised.

Many times, people will try and find deals on the things they have already listed, but when you do it the other way, you can take advantage of more deals and simply wait a week or two for the other things you need to go on sale, making all of your shopping discounted. Over time, this adds up and can play a sizable role in allowing for saving.

3. Don’t Eat Out

While eating out does remove the effort of having to stay in and prepare a meal, the cost of dining at a restaurant or fast food establishment even once a week can cause you to do more spending than you may need to.

Consider restaurants’ offerings of entrees, along with appetizers and desserts, then think about how much you indulge in with each visit. Even in the event you do just stick to an entrée, the cost of the meal and a tip will likely be felt.

And though fast food may be a bit cheaper, it is much easier to find yourself grabbing something to go multiple times in a week. Spending just $20 per week out on food comes out to a cost of over $1000 per year.

You can still treat yourself to a night out every now and again, but make sure you treat it is as a special occasion. It will make the experience that much better, while giving you more money to allocate to your debt.

4. Get Into Reading

Reading is a great habit to get into when it comes to finding ways to save.

This stems from a number of reasons, first and foremost being that reading incurs little to no cost to do. In the event you purchase the book, you will be paying something but once that is done, there are no further expenses.

Tablets and kindles aside, books require no electricity, monthly subscriptions, and you don’t have to go anywhere in particular to read. Books also save you money because public libraries all over provide you with free access to countless stories, magazines, and graphic novels.

In addition, library members can borrow from wide selections of DVDs and can even enjoy music at select library locations. That allows you to bypass some of the costs you’d typically pay to have a good time. Using libraries and reading as a source of entertainment, if only for a little while, will help to give you an opportunity to cut off some possible sources of unnecessary spending and help you get back on the right path financially.

5. Find A Side Hustle

In this day and age, the words saving and side hustles are almost synonymous.

With all of the internet’s offerings and the ever-expanding share economy, more and more opportunities to establish other sources of income are rapidly emerging.

There are a number of ways to start bringing in some cash today to help you out of debt, but the method for doing so varies from person to person. For those who have a particular skill or experts in a subject, tutoring is an easy way to profit off your abilities.

Shifting your focus online, you can turn passion for things like green living or do-it-yourself projects into a blog for people to engage with. Not only does it give you the chance to comment on or inform people about your interests, it can also be great for making some money from advertisers interested in posting on your site. And if that’s not your cup of tea, consider becoming an Airbnb host or an Uber/Lyft driver.

These side hustles will compensate you for things you already have and in taking them on you get to cater your job to your needs, including choosing when you work.

About the Author:
Douglas Keller has been a financial expert for 20 years, helping people reach financial stability. He now provides personal finance tips on his blog Peak Personal Finance, where he helps people save money on their bills every month.