It’s no secret that paying off debt is hard. Many people struggle with reducing their overall balances for years, if not decades. After a while, it’s common to feel like you’ve tried everything under the sun but aren’t seeing meaningful results. If you are in that boat, then it may be time to attempt something a bit unconventional. If you’re looking for uncommon ways to pay off debt, here are six options worth considering.
1. Split Your Subscriptions
Many people have already cut cable, especially anyone who’s battling with debt. Usually, they turn to subscription services to fill in the entertainment gap. Services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime can give you access to a ton of television shows and movies, making the loss of cable feel like no big deal.
But, if you need extra cash to handle your debt, take it a step further. Get together with friends and family members, and split your subscriptions. Many of the services allow multiple simultaneous viewers, so this can be a great way for everyone to save a little money.
Just pay for one and have a family member or friend pay for another. Then, create unique profiles on each account and trade login details. Now, you’ll have two subscriptions for the price of one.
While saving an extra $10 to $15 doesn’t seem like much, it can help you tackle your debt. Remember, even small additional payments can make a difference, so it’s worth considering.
2. Bypass the Costco Membership
If you love Costco, you probably don’t think much about buying the annual membership. But did you know that it’s completely possible to shop there without one? It’s true.
First, certain items are accessible to anyone, regardless of their membership status. This applies to prescription medication, alcohol, and several Costco services.
Additionally, anyone can shop at Costo.com. However, non-members do have to pay a 5 percent fee, so that could reduce or eliminate any savings you’d otherwise receive.
However, if you want access to everything, you aren’t stuck paying the membership. If you know a member, have them buy you a Costco Shop Card. By using these Costco gift cards, you can hit the store without a membership card and get whatever you want. Then, you can take the money you would send to the Costco membership and put that toward a debt.
3. Put Coupon Savings Toward Debt
Shopping with coupons is a great way to reduce your costs. By using a few on every grocery trip, you might be able to knock a few bucks off of your total each time you shop.
But, if you want to use this to pay off debt, go a step further. Add up how much you saved and then send that amount to a creditor. Again, even small extra payments matter and this can be a way to make a few without feeling the pinch of the additional payments.
4. Get Rebates Through Apps
There are a ton of rebate apps that give you cashback when you shop. iBotta and Shopkick are two great examples, but there are many others as well.
If you buy a qualifying product, you earn credits that you can use for cashback. When you cash in, don’t just keep the money. Instead, send it to your debts.
This is another essentially painless repayment approach since it relies on cashback and not pulling income from your account. Plus, you can use several apps at once, even potentially letting you access multiple rebates on the same product, which makes it even more lucrative.
5. Automate Price Adjustments
Many retailers offer price adjustments if an item goes on sale close to when you made a purchase. But most people don’t have time to research these changes, let alone head to the store and ask for them.
Luckily, that’s a process you don’t have to do. With Paribus, that can happen automatically. Paribus monitors your purchases and then handles refund requests on your behalf, all without you having to take direct action. If you send those refunds to your debt, you can pay it off faster without feeling it one single bit.
6. Try a Round-Up Savings App
Round-up savings apps allow you to save a little bit at a time, making it essentially unnoticeable. For example, Chime lets users round-up every transaction and then shuttles that change to a high-yield savings account.
If you need to pay off debt, a round-up savings app could be a sneaky way to build up extra payments. Every month, you can send what you have in savings to a debt, creating an additional payment out of what feels like thin air.
Do you know of other sneaky ways to pay off debt? Tell us about them in the comments below.
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Tamila McDonald has worked as a Financial Advisor for the military for past 13 years. She has taught Personal Financial classes on every subject from credit, to life insurance, as well as all other aspects of financial management. Mrs. McDonald is an AFCPE Accredited Financial Counselor and has helped her clients to meet their short-term and long-term financial goals.