Want to pay off debt faster? Start by letting your friends in on your plan.
If you’re serious about getting out of debt, it’s time to come out of the debt closet to your friends. Even if you’re embarrassed, ashamed or anxious because you’re buried in debt, telling your friends you’re trying to pay off debt can help you meet that financial goal faster.
That way, they can stop tempting you with invitations to dine at fancy restaurants, attend expensive events or jet away on exotic vacations. You may even find that many of your friends are also carrying thousands of dollars in credit card, student loan, and other debt.
So why go it alone? Find out six ways enlisting your friends can help you pay off debt.
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1. Be upfront about spending limits
Just because you’re working to pay off debt doesn’t mean you can never indulge yourself. For example, you can save hundreds of dollars each month if you prepare meals at home, but when the kitchen walls close in, dinner with a friend may be just what you need. That’s where making your spending boundaries known comes in.
Let your friends know that you love dining out with them, but you must keep the tab under $10 or $20 or whatever your limit may be. Suggest restaurants that offer lunch or dinner specials, discount coupons or buy-one-get-one-free deals. Let people know you prefer movie matinees instead of full-price shows. Most will be happy to save money right along with you.
2. Designate a debt buddy
Once you come clean about trying to crawl out from a big pile of debt, you’ll probably learn you have at least one friend who’s ready to join you by paying off his or her own debt, too. By sharing debt payoff struggles along with progress, you can motivate each other to stick to the plan.
Schedule a bi-weekly or monthly phone call with your debt buddy (or buddies) to check in and keep each other on track. When you’re accountable to someone, you’re not as likely to veer off course. And if you fall, your fellow debt-ridden friend can help you pick yourself back up.
3. Tap into your friends’ knowledge
You’re not the first person to get carried away with credit cards, fall behind on student loans or experience buyer’s remorse. When you let your friends know what’s going on, they may share tips from their own experiences paying off debt.
For example, if someone you know paid off $10,000 in credit card debt in a year and a half, you’ll want to find out how they did it. Their experience will motivate you and make what may seem an impossible goal a possibility.
4. Know who can talk you off the ledge
It’s a good idea to have at least one practical friend you can count on to talk you out of buying a new car, going on a shopping spree or booking a cruise you can’t afford. Who’s your most practical “just to play devil’s advocate” friend? That’s the one you want.
Ask your friend if you can call for moral support and common sense when you get the urge to buy because you’re sick of being frugal and spending most of your paycheck on paying off debt.
5. Be accountable to someone
Designate one person you can call weekly or monthly to report your progress. Let that person know how much your debt decreased this month or how you scrounged up extra money to pay off a credit card.
Being accountable motivates you to stick to your budget and maybe even work harder to pay off debt so you have an accomplishment to brag about to someone who wants you to achieve your debt payoff goal as much as you do.
6. Reject all loan offers
When you think about friends helping you pay off debt, borrowing money from them may come to mind. Don’t do it. Few things ruin a friendship faster than a resentful friend who feels taken advantage of when you don’t pay back money loaned fast enough – or at all.
Here’s a better idea. Get a second job and pay all those earnings toward debt. Sell stuff you don’t need through an online marketplace. Pay off your debts one by one. Soon, you’ll be out of debt and still have friends to help you celebrate.
Published by Debt.com, LLC