Household debt in American households hit 13.21 trillion in 2018. If you are among this static, it’s natural that you feel trapped and desperate to get out of debt. It’s easy to get caught in the minimum repayment plan, but if you want to get this over and done within the shorted time possible, you will have to do better than that. These tips will give you practical ways you can use to minimize and eventually get out of debt.

1. Work with a budget

Most people don’t have a clear picture of how their finances look like. You may not know how much you spend on bills, fun, and other expenses around the house. First, get a clear picture of this by monitoring how you spend your money, then create a budget that caters for everything you need to pay, including debt. You can eventually adjust some of the unnecessary expenses and channel that money to paying your debt. With a budget, however, consistency is vital if you want to see tangible results.

2. Earn extra money

Getting a second job will increase your income and thus the amount you channel to paying off debt. However, if you can’t get a second job, Money Monarch has tons of legitimate ideas and money tips you can try, including selling items online, freelancing, affiliate marketing, and joining companies like UberEATS. Take caution, though. When money increases, human beings naturally tend to increase their expenses and buy more luxurious brands than what they were used to. You have to self-discipline yourself and use all will power you can master to maintain your living standards until your debt is entirely or nearly paid off. However, find a way to spare some of this extra cash for fun, so you don’t become miserable working two jobs.

3. Pay off the debt with the highest interest

This method is known as debt avalanche. It can save you time and money. Once you pay off that debt, you can channel the extra income to other debt obligations and even start investing. Look into debt consolidation that will offer you a lower interest rate and make your debt payment plan more manageable. You must have a good credit score to qualify for either a 0% interest, balance-transfer loan, or a fixed-rate debt consolidation loan.

4. Change your tax withholding status

If you are eligible for a tax refund every year, you are giving the government money at no interest. Refunds can be a great way to pay off debt, but waiting till the end of the year means you are carrying a balance longer than you should. Instead, ask to change your withholding status so you have more money in your paycheck that you can utilize to pay your debts. This will increase your payments each month and reduce your principal and interest.

Paying debt is liberating, and although most Americans are still stuck, it’s possible to be debt-free. Start be, consistent and deliberate about it, and within a few years, you will attain your goal.