3 outside-the-box ways to pay off your credit card debt

Credit cards can be life-savers, a reliable fall back fund or a shopaholic’s best friend. However, sometimes the end of the month comes sooner than expected, and your bank account lacks the funds to pay off all the fun you’ve had this month.

Debt can be terribly stressful and a big strain on your finances. In fact, MoneySmart’s credit card debt clock currently shows about $32 billion owing nationwide.

So how do you get out of debt when you don’t have the funds? There are many ways you can save money or even make some extra cash with a little bit of creativity.

1. Smart spending

Trimming your expenses to free up some extra cash may sound like an obvious and straightforward solution, but there are many creative ways to maximise your savings. Sure, there are little things you can do like making your own cup of coffee in the morning instead of buying that delicious specialty drink and that could eventually save you a lot of money at the end of the year, but let’s think outside the box here for a minute.

The words “discounts” or “gift cards” often make people envision their nanas cutting up magazines, but times have changed drastically. These days, there are countless websites that offer deals, coupons and generous gift cards.

Of course, you probably shouldn’t buy a product you don’t need just because there’s a coupon for it, but chances are you’ll stumble upon one that offers a discount on exactly what you need.

You could also save money after you spend it instead of before. Rebates are a great way to get money back from all kinds of purchases. Some websites will give you cashback on different retailers, from clothing stores to groceries and even chemists.

2. Negotiating bills

Everyone’s had a cheeky haggle with the car salesman, but did you know you can negotiate pretty much anything? You could be paying too much for your power or phone bill right now, just because you didn’t know you could pay less.

According to Business Insider, the best time to negotiate your phone bill is near the end of your contract, when they’re desperate to keep you. It’s likely that new customers are getting a better deal than you are, so find out what they’re paying by doing some competitive research.

With this knowledge, call up your mobile provider and speak to a rep. If you’ve got all your ducks in a row, they will transfer you to the cancellation department. This is where the magic happens. The retention team will offer you a deal because they’re trained to keep you as a customer.

3. Extra income

If you want to do more than just save money, you can look into getting a new source of cash flow.

Services like Airbnb offer the chance to rent out your room or flat. This way, you can avoid losing money on an empty house or apartment if you’re away on holidays or for work. Depending on your situation, you could even spend a few nights somewhere else while you offer your own place to guests. It’s a cheeky but easy way to make some extra cash.

You could also make a few extra dollars online. You can actually watch YouTube videos for money. Sure, they’re not all videos of a cat being best friends with a duckling, but some companies need their advertisements watched and they’ll pay you some money to do it.

These creative ways to learn how to pay off a credit card are bound to help you get debt and stress-free in no time.