These 4 Simple Moves Can Make You Debt-Free. But You Won’t Do Them

TPH photographer, Tina Russell, in various scenes showing credit card debt, consolidation and bankruptcy on August 14, 2018.
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder
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We all want to be debt-free, right?

But why stop there? It’d be nice to have a little savings stash, too. Maybe some spending money for, I don’t know, a vacation? A splurge? A treat-yourself day?

Listen: Becoming debt-free — and even having some savings — doesn’t have to be The Most Difficult Thing Ever™.

In fact, we have a few tips that will make it easier than you might think.

Wait. Wait. We all know how it goes. You make ambitious plans. You know you could accomplish these things if you just rip the Band-aid off and stick with them. But you won’t. The task seems so daunting that you just procrastinate. Forever.

Let’s make it different this time. These four tips can help set you on the path to be debt-free. If you actually stick with them…

1. Finally Seek Help in Paying Down Those Credit Cards

TPH photographer, Tina Russell, in various scenes showing credit card debt, consolidation and bankruptcy on August 14, 2018
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

Listen. We all need a little help from time to time. Even if you’ve been putting this off, it’s OK to ask for help. It’s time to finally tackle this problem.

That’s where a company like Fiona can be helpful. It can help you find personalized lending options to refinance or consolidate your debt to potentially save thousands dollars in interest.

Fiona will show you all the lenders willing to help you pay off your credit card and eliminate the headache of paying bills by allowing you to make one payment each month.

You can borrow up to $100,000 (no collateral needed) and compare interest rates, which start at 4.99%. The idea is to secure a loan at a lower interest rate, potentially helping you save thousands. Repayment plans range from 24 to 84 months.

Take, for example, Katherine, who faced $12,000 in credit-card debt. Holding her back? The 15.24% interest rate. By refinancing with a 5%-interest, seven-year personal loan, she saved $12,000 in interest.

If she’d kept on the same road, she would have paid something like $14,000 in interest alone over 25 years. Yikes.

So even if you’re simply curious about what’s out there, know that checking rates on Fiona won’t hurt your credit score — and can probably save you in interest.

2. Actually Take a Few Minutes to Compare Prices and Save $720/Year

woman driving a new car
Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

You’ve said you were going to do this. You know you could probably save money on your car insurance, if only you shopped around. But you haven’t. You’re probably overpaying. But how would you know, really?

Have you compared rates from the 20 largest auto insurers that do business in your area? That sounds kind of difficult and time-consuming, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, a service called Gabi will do it for you, and you don’t even have to fill out any forms. Simply link your insurance account and provide your driver’s license number, and Gabi will go to work.

Once you link your insurance account to Gabi, it will:

  • Scan your existing insurance plan.
  • Analyze what coverage you have.
  • Compare the major insurers’ rates for that same coverage.
  • Help you switch on the spot if it finds you a better rate.

Gabi says it finds an average savings of $720 per year for its customers.

It is a true apples-to-apples comparison at the same coverage levels and deductibles you currently have. Once you sign up, you never have to shop again. Gabi’s software has your policy on file and keeps on monitoring for savings as your life changes.

3. Go on a Treasure Hunt to Find Hidden Cash (Without Digging Your Heels in)

The Penny Hoarder photo editor Alexa Vincent picks up money found on the street in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Thursday, April 12, 2018
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Actually, in this case, you literally won’t have to go on a treasure hunt, which is all the more reason to go ahead and check this simple task off your to-do list. It’s super easy to dig up hidden cash when you just take a few minutes to find out where you’re losing money.

First, download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and refund your bank fees. On average, Truebill says it helps customers save more than $700 a year.

Second, try digging up some extra cash with Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases.It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.

Finally, one of our favorite ways to save on everything is with Ebates, a cash-back site that rewards you nearly every time you buy something online. For example, Ebates gives you 10% cash-back on online purchases at Walmart. Plus, you’ll get a free $10 gift card to Walmart for giving the site a try.

Disclosure: Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.

4. Start Paying Your Bills on Time (Because This Company Will Reward You)

A close look at a woman handling her bills. Saturday Aug. 24, 2018, in Cleveland, Ohio.
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

OK, so maybe you just need a little bit of an incentive to get your finances in order. Well, remember how your parents gave you an allowance for washing the dishes and sweeping the floor?

Now that you’re a grown-up, you no longer get rewarded for just doing the things that are expected of you — like, for instance, paying bills on time.

Not until now, anyway. MoneyLion, a free app for managing your personal finances, will reward you for things like paying your bills and monitoring your credit — even just setting up an account in the app.

Much like that childhood allowance, it’s basically bribing you to be good.

You’ll earn points in the app’s rewards program, and you can redeem them for gift cards to more than 15,000 retailers, including places like Walmart, Applebee’s and Amazon.

If you want to take it a step further and work on paying down debts, for example, MoneyLion can help with a loan to consolidate your debt and potentially reduce your interest rates. And it’ll reward you for that, too!