7 Ways to Redirect Money to Pay Off Your Debt

Origami Birds made of money flying from purse
••• Jan Stromme/Stone/Getty Images

Tired of owing people money? Paying off your debt can be easier and quicker than you think, especially if you adopt a few healthy habits that will help control and manage your money.

Debt can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to take over your life. The best thing you can do to get out of debt quickly is to know what you owe to whom and figure out ways to redirect the money you make to pay off those accounts. With a little time, patience and diligence you can be debt-free, worry less and learn good habits to avoid the same troubles in the future.​

Put Yourself on a Bare-Bones Budget

Make a list of all your monthly expenses. Eliminate anything that isn't essential and redirect the money to your debt pay off.

Earn More Money

Put in some overtime; get a part-time job; sell some of your belongings – do whatever it takes to bring in more cash now. Apply all of these extra earnings towards your debt.

Shop Smarter

Challenge yourself to get the best price possible on everything that you buy. Look for sales, clip coupons, mail-in rebates and do whatever it takes to get a deal. Make a game of it and see just how little you can spend on necessities! Apply the savings you score toward paying off your debt.

Delay Purchases

Make due with what you have or do without until after your debt is paid off. This may mean that you need to buy fewer clothes or learn how to repair things around the house to make them last longer. It is all worth it and you may even learn a new skill at the same time.

Take Advantage of Any Windfalls

Did you get a raise or a bonus at work? How about a tax refund or birthday money? Make a habit out of putting any unexpected money you receive toward your debt.

Automate Your Payments

Decide how much you can afford to pay your debt each month. Then, schedule automatic payments to ensure that you follow through with your plan. Make additional payments anytime you have extra cash.

Update Your Outstanding Debt Total Often to Stay Motivated

Knowing that you are one step closer to being debt-free can be very motivating and good for your stress level. Rather than look at all the money you owe, look at how much you've paid off! An optimistic attitude can keep you on the right track.

  • Keep a log for each individual debt you owe. Write down the date and amount of each payment and keep a running total of the remaining balance. Paperclip this with all of the bills and receipts you receive so you stay organized.
  • When you pay off an account, move that pile of paperwork to a "Debt Free!" folder. Watching this folder grow over time is a reward in itself!
  • By staying organized with good records, you can also double check that your payments are being applied properly. After pay off, keep your records for a few years just in case they're needed.