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Are You Bold Enough? How to Erase Personal Debt Quickly

What if you could eliminate 20 per cent of your personal debt this year?

What if you could eliminate even more than that? Would you be willing to make some significant changes to your lifestyle?

Not everyone is in a position to drastically change their day-to-day lifestyle to eradicate debt quickly. Family obligations, limited income and other factors matter.

But, if you happen to be able to make a few (or more!) big moves to reduce your debt drastically, this list of resources might be for you.

What can you have? What are you willing to give up?

Patti Lovett-Reid’s article is the perfect place to start. Lovett-Reid sees the potential danger many consumers are facing with raising interest rates and high debt.

But she suggests first looking at the previous year and deciding what you want to do the same, even before deciding what you want to change.

Think of this as the carrot before the stick in managing your own personal finances. Like a diet or any significant change to your regular routine that will involve eliminating something you are comfortable with or enjoy, it’s good to make a list of what you can have.

But it’s not just about creature comforts.

Sure, not everyone wants to live without a vehicle. But for many Canadian families who commute, live rurally or have mobility or other transportation considerations, having one or two vehicles is necessary.

In that case, selling off your car isn’t going to be the magic bullet that eviscerates your debt. But, there has to be something (or many little things) you can give up.

Cut out the small things

Non-essentials are becoming, well, more non-essential as interest rates rise. If you want to reduce debt and avoid consumer debt, start making your list of things you’re willing to cut so you can keep the things on your must-have list.

This list of 30 little ways to save money from YMC is a good brainstorming exercise.

It’ll help you think outside the box a little.

Review your insurance, warranties, check your deductibles, and adjusting your consumption habits can get your debt load reduced more quickly.

Make minimalism part of your debt solution

If you’re really ready to cut the fat in your finances and stop taking on consumer debt, thinking small is a great way to support your efforts.

But it’s no small feat, that’s for sure.

Check out the Minimalist Mom for her experience with eliminating clutter and debt from her family’s life. She documents the struggles and successes, including getting all three of her boys in one bedroom and eliminating unnecessary toys, cutting her wardrobe drastically, paying off their debt quickly by making serious cuts and living without a vehicle.

Becoming Minimalist also takes a look at the (ironically) many benefits of decluttering, including spending less and saving more.

Make it a lifestyle

Drastically reducing your spending and eliminating your debt doesn’t have to reduce the pleasure you find in life, or how you participate in it.

Check out the Wallet Diet.

Christine paid off $35,000 in student debt and found a lifestyle that suits her along the way.

She chronicles her experience with minimizing her spending and increasing her savings while reaching her various goals — like traveling a lot more, paying for a wedding and investing in meaningful items that increase the joy or functionality of her life.

There are ways to reduce your personal debt quickly. This year, think about changing your mindset about money, and choosing ways to live your best life while putting consumerism behind you.

What are you willing to change to beat debt? Tell us on Twitter. #LeaveDebtBehind #DebtSolutions

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