Debt can feel like you’re connected to a ball and chain. You may have goals of financial freedom, but your debt is holding you back. According to NerdWallet’s yearly analysis of U.S. household debt, credit card balances reached $420.22 billion in 2018. However, debt doesn’t just include credit card balances. They can also include student loans, mortgages, car loans and personal loans. Raising a family can be particularly challenging for moms to pay off debt, because of the expensive costs associated with raising children. However, there are practical ways for moms to pay off debt, while raising a family. Read through these tips and start paying off your debt today.
8 Practical Ways Moms Can Pay Off Debt
Become a nanny if you’re a stay-at-home mom
I got this idea from a stay-at-home mom I met last week. She takes care of her infant full-time, but she mentioned needing to bring in additional income to her household. She has a friend who is going back to work soon after finishing maternity leave. This friend needed to find a nanny, and she agreed to become the baby’s nanny. Sometimes finding a nanny isn’t easy, because you want to find someone who has childcare experience and most importantly, somebody you can trust with your precious baby. In this case, it was a win-win for the stay-at-home mom. She got to stay at home with her baby, while making extra money taking care of another baby.
Use cash/debit cards for purchases
If you are in debt, I highly recommend using only cash and debit cards for making purchases. When you use credit cards, it’s too easy to get carried away with spending much more than you can afford. However, when you only use cash or debit cards to buy things, you are only using money you have.
Establish a budget to pay off debt
Creating and sticking to your budget is key when trying to pay off debt. If you already have a budget, go through your expenses and only keep what’s necessary. You also want to include a line for emergency spending. Too many people I know don’t have emergency funds and once an unexpected emergency comes up, they end up charging their purchases on credit cards.
I did some pet-sitting gigs in the past and they were some of the best ways to make extra money on the side to pay off debt I had. If you and your family members don’t have pet allergies, I highly recommend doing some pet-sitting gigs. There are several ways to find pet sitting gigs including going through your network of family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. You can also try putting up posters in your neighborhood, putting up a listing on Craigslist, and signing up for Rover.
Use your talents to pay off debt
Do you have talents that you could use to teach others? Maybe you have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Perhaps, you are fluent in a second language. When I was younger, I acquired enough knowledge and skill to play the piano. A few of my parent’s friends were willing to pay me to teach their kids to play the piano. My child’s school has different after-school activities, but they are always looking for instructors who can teach different activities. Think about what you are good at and try to sell lessons to help you pay off debt. There are several places you can market your lessons including Craigslist, your social media network (such as Facebook), and word of mouth.
Remove non-essentials from your budget
Go through your budget and take out non-essentials from the list. Essentials include housing, utilities, and food. Non-essentials would include gym fees, daily coffee purchases at the nearby coffee shop, and cable. I know taking out non-essentials from your budget is hard, especially if you already developed the spending habit. However, it’s essential to remove them from your budget to help pay off debt. If you find it too difficult to give up all your non-essentials, try removing at least one from your budget. It may be easier and more realistic to take one out at a time. Once you pay off your debt, you can re-evaluate putting back some of your desired non-essentials back into the budget (if your income allows it). Never spend more than you make!
Sell your stuff
When you have a family, there is never a shortage of “stuff” at your home. Clothes and toys are popular items you can sell to make extra cash to pay off debt. There are several places you can sell items including garage sales, consignment shops, and Craigslist. Recently, I also found out about the LetGo, where you can buy and sell used items. We were able to successfully sell one of our old game consoles on LetGo.
Create an online course
This idea requires more time to invest, but it can be worth it at the end. Try creating an online course to make extra money to help you pay off debt. You can use Udemy, which is an online learning platform to create and sell your course. Think about all the great things you can teach. Moms are extremely talented women who have a ton of knowledge and expertise they can share with the world. You can teach a foreign language if you speak and write another language fluently. Perhaps, you are good at teaching kids how to cook. Regardless of your talent, consider teaching it through an online course to make extra money and help pay off debt.
Paying off debt can feel like an uphill battle for moms who already spend a ton of money raising their precious children. However, with time, patience, and discipline, you can do this. Use some of these tips in this article to start paying off debt today.
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