13 Money Saving Tricks to Pay Off Debt Quickly So you\u2019re ready to charge full steam ahead at paying off your debt, doing everything you can to throw extra cash at your lenders until you\u2019re officially debt-free. The average Canadian\u2019s non-mortgage debt is $29,312, including an average credit card balance of $4,154, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion. You could be paying off credit card debt, lines of credit, or tackling a debt consolidation loan or credit card balance transfer. Either way, if you stay focused and plan strategically what you\u2019re doing with your income, you can pay off debt faster. Here\u2019s our list of key money saving tricks to deploy if you\u2019re eager to attack your debts until your outstanding balance is $0. 1. Budget Our Credit Counsellors persistently stand by budgeting as the core component to understanding your finances and paying off your debt. Carve out a budget so that you know where every dollar of your income is going, from your rent to your bills, groceries, entertainment and, of course, your debt repayments. Creating a budget is half of the battle, you then need to stick to this budget every month to make sure you aren\u2019t overspending. If your budget is realistic, it\u2019s easy to get used to living on a budget. 2. Factor a No Spend Day Into Your Weekly Routine A great way to get into the habit of keeping costs down is to enforce a weekly No Spend Day. Some people even enforce No Spend Weeks. A No Spend Day means you can\u2019t touch your cash, debit or credit cards \u2013 you simply rely on everything you already have around the home to get through the day. Sure, you may need to pay for your bus fare to get to work but you can use what\u2019s in your pantry and fridge for the day\u2019s meals, you have your closet to shop in for your outfit of the day, and you have your TV and your family\u2019s company for entertainment. No Spend Days are rewarding and a great reminder that you have everything you need; you don\u2019t need to accumulate more. How to Save Up to $70 Each Week 3. Apply Cash Windfalls to Your Debts People committed to working towards being debt-free funnel every bit of extra cash they have at their debts, from their tax refunds to bonuses and even monetary birthday gifts. While it\u2019s tempting to use this extra cash for a shopping spree or a weekend getaway, when your priority is to wipe out your debts first, this extra windfall could accelerate your debt repayment progress by a month or more. If you get a raise, you can use this bump in your salary towards boosting your debt repayment too \u2013 every little bit counts and will make a difference. When you\u2019re out of the red, you\u2019ll thank yourself later for your responsible decision-making. 4. Pay Yourself First on Payday Once you\u2019ve decided on how much of your income you can dedicate to your debt repayments, siphon off these funds on payday so they\u2019re directly applied to your debt repayment plan. When these funds are out of sight, they\u2019re out of mind. You won\u2019t miss the money and it\u2019s going to work for you, paying off your debt. You can even automate these payments through your online banking. Then you don\u2019t have to manually move your money around and payments are shipped over to your various credit card accounts, lines of credit, or your debt repayment plan. Do You Think of Savings as An Important Expense? 5. Go On a Shopping Ban Go through your closets, your drawers, and your storage boxes \u2013 you\u2019ll quickly realize you own more than you need when it comes to clothes, shoes, toiletries, gadgets, and household items. Go on a monthly-, quarterly- or even year-long shopping ban, committing to not buying certain things unless they\u2019re essentials like food, household staples, and healthcare related. Some people take inventory of their closets and decide to go on a full-blown year-long shopping ban, opting instead to make use of everything they own already. Others start small and promise to stay away from the mall or online shopping for a month at a time or vow to buy only five wants for the year. When you remove the option to shop from the equation, your savings will see a significant boost. 6. Unsubscribe from Deals If a shopping ban is too stringent, declutter your inbox and unsubscribe from emails from your favourite stores, tempting you with sales and new season stock. These advertisements pull you in when you didn\u2019t need to buy anything at all. If you do buy anything, most of the time they\u2019re impulse buys. Another important step is to remove your payment details from your favourite stores. Sometimes online shopping is too easy \u2013 literally, a click away \u2013 and you don\u2019t feel the sticker shock until your bank statement comes in. Instead, be mindful with your purchases: buy items that are needs and not wants, and factor them into your budget so you\u2019re spending consciously. Tips to Avoid Impulsive Spending 7. Cook at Home If you\u2019re guilty of splashing out on restaurant dinners, ordering delivery, and buying lunch during the workweek, it\u2019s likely a sizeable chunk of your income is going towards meals. Gradually transition from eating out to cooking at home \u2013 you\u2019ll find that a grocery store-bought frozen pizza is just as tasty as ordering in and it\u2019s about one-fifth of the price. Forgoing a Starbucks coffee every morning will save you about $20 a week or $80 a month. You could buy a week\u2019s worth of groceries for the same price as a single dinner out. Slashing your budget for meals will mean you can attribute much more income towards your debt. 25 Tips to Save on Grocery Shopping 8. Track Your Spending Paired with budgeting, tracking your spending is a cornerstone to great personal finance management, whether you\u2019re not in debt or not. Whether it\u2019s pen and paper, an Excel spreadsheet, or a smartphone app, document each time you spend money and what you\u2019re spending it on. The only way you\u2019ll know if you\u2019re sticking to your budget is to track your expenses. Through this exercise, you\u2019ll gain invaluable insight on your spending habits too. At the end of the week or at the end of the month, you could be shocked to learn you\u2019re throwing away $50 on eating lunch out at work and that your gas bill is $100 a week and you\u2019re better off taking the bus. 9. Earn Extra Income Despite all of your efforts towards saving your income to put towards debt, you may want to bump up your monthly payments by earning an extra income. Get a part-time job, put your skills to use with tutoring, or offer up babysitting, dog-walking or other services around the neighbourhood. You can also consider selling electronics, gadgets, and clothes that are used but in great condition on Craigslist, Kijiji, or eBay. Another option? Rent out your spare room or basement suite for a steady secondary income stream. Any extra cash you earn will bring you closer to your debt-free dream. 10. Put Away the Credit Cards and Go On a Cash Diet While you\u2019re paving your way to being debt-free, give up spending with plastic and stash the credit cards away. This step will bar you from adding to your balance and undoing your progress. Instead, go on a cash-only diet \u2013 place cash into separate envelopes according to how much you\u2019ve budgeted for each category of spending, such as entertainment, groceries, and bills. When you head to the supermarket, for example, you\u2019ll bring cash from that envelope with you. The money comes out in the transaction and it\u2019s replaced with a receipt in the designated envelope to account for your purchases. Once the money in the envelope is gone for the week or the month, you\u2019ve tapped out. However, you may use leftover cash in other envelopes if it\u2019s available. 11. Downgrade Your Monthly Plans and Memberships As you\u2019re reining in the spending, good place to examine are your subscriptions and memberships. Do you have a gym membership that isn\u2019t worth the $60 bill each month or do you use Amazon Prime so infrequently you can ask to borrow your sister\u2019s when you need to make a purchase? Save on your fixed expenses by scaling back on your fixed bills. You could shave $100 off your monthly bills by cutting cable and sticking to Netflix, getting a bundle pack for your Internet and phone bill, and forgoing the faster speed or extra minutes on your monthly packages. Another option is to call your providers to ask for any promotions. 75 Ways to Save Money on Household Expenses \u2013 Free Webinar 12. Pay Off Debts With the Highest Interest Rates First A money saving tactic when it comes to debt repayment is to knock out your debts with the highest interest rate. This is known as the avalanche method. As you pay down your debt, you\u2019re dealing with less interest so more of your money is being applied to the principle debt. After that, you can apply the snowball method, which is when you address your smallest debts first. As you eliminate, and close the account, you gain more momentum to keep pushing forward. Snowball vs Avalanche, Which Works Better? 13. Look for Free \u2013 and Fun \u2013 Entertainment Your life before might have included going to concerts, buying movie tickets and planning date activities that led to expensive nights out. Now that you\u2019re prioritizing paying off debt, you can think outside of the box when it comes to entertainment. Turn your world into your playground with outdoor hikes, exploring new neighbourhoods around your city, and taking advantage of free resources like libraries to borrow movies, books, and magazines. Set a budget for entertainment and get creative \u2013 you\u2019ll find there are plenty of things to do that don\u2019t require emptying out your wallet. Don\u2019t Let the Rising Cost of Living Stress You Out as You Work to Pay Off Debt When you\u2019re trying to pay debt off quickly, the rising cost of living can stress you out as you start watching where all your money goes. If after trying your best to achieve your dream of debt freedom, only to fall short, you might need more than a DIY \u2013 do it yourself debt repayment plan. It might be time to get professional help with your debts. One of our Credit Counsellors would be happy to review your situation with you \u2013 contact us to arrange your free, confidential appointment. There are no strings attached, just honest feedback, guidance, and information. Your dream might not be as far fetched as it feels right now.