Steps to Help You Pay Off Debt Before Your 30s

We all want to live in a world where debt doesn’t prevent us from reaching our goals, having fun, and enjoying our lives.

Unfortunately, debt is something many of us will need to deal with at some point in our lives. Whether it’s a common form of debt like a student loan or mortgage, or a credit card bill you just can’t seem to pay off, we all encounter financial issues at some point.

While eliminating debt from your life entirely can take time, having the right strategy for paying back what you owe can help you to improve your financial health faster, and minimize stress. Today, we’re going to look at some of the top tips you can use to start reducing your debt, before your 30s. 

Steps to Help You Pay Off Debt Before Your 30s

Create and Use a Budget

Budgeting can be challenging for beginners. Many see it as a restrictive process, one that gives them less control over their spending.

However, the reality is a good budget can actually give you more freedom, teach you how to save money, and reduce your stress levels when it comes to handling money.

A successful budget helps you to understand where your finances are going each month, so you can make changes to your strategy based on your specific needs.

You can spot areas where you’re overspending and create strategies to retain more of your cash. You can also use your budget to ensure you’re more likely to reach specific goals, setting extra money aside for paying off debts, building an emergency cash resource, and more.

The more you use your budget to reduce and manage your spending, the more free cash you’ll have left over. 

Look for Ways to Reduce Repayments

Sometimes, even if you take the time to consider all your loan and borrowing options carefully, there’s still a chance that you’ll end up with a product that isn’t ideal for you in the long-term.

Once you’re in debt, interest rates can quickly increase for credit cards and other products. The more debts you have, the more difficult it can be to get on top of everything.

When this happens, it’s worth looking into ways you can update and improve your situation. You might be able to take out a personal loan to pay off credit card debt and address other fees.

This could be a good option if it means you can access lower interest rates, better terms, and more flexibility than your current creditors can offer.

You might even be able to consolidate multiple forms of debt into a single loan, which makes managing your finances less complex. 

money in a jar

Find Ways to Cut Expenses

Ultimately, the more money you have left in your bank account at the end of each month, the more you can put towards paying off your debt.

If you’ve already worked on building a budget, with an insight into your regular incoming and outgoing cash, you should be able to spot a few ways you can potentially reduce your monthly expenses.

You might consider cancelling certain subscriptions that you no longer use, or switching to a different provider for your insurance, utilities, and other services.

You could also think about minimizing expenses by being more cautious with your spending.

Creating a shopping list every time you go to the supermarket, and taking the time to consider all of your options before making a big purchase can help reduce the number of impulse purchases you make that you may regret later. 

Increase Your Income Potential

If you’ve sorted through your budget carefully, but you still can’t find any opportunities to significantly reduce your spending, you might need to look for ways to increase your income instead.

As the cost of essential purchases continues to ramp up, many are looking for second jobs and alternative income they can use to improve their financial health.

The good news is it’s much easier to increase your earning potential today than it was only a few years ago.

Thanks to the digital world, people can now find temporary and part-time employment opportunities in a range of industries with minimal effort. You can sign up for freelance websites and gig economy sites, start your own side business online, or even sell services and expertise to other companies.

The more money you earn, the more disposable income you’ll have to dedicate to paying off your debts. 

Find a Repayment Method that Works for You

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for paying off debt. Some invest in their savings for long periods of time and try to pay off debt in chunks. Others consistently look for ways to pay back more than the minimum on what they owe, to reduce their exposure to high interest rates. 

The key to success is finding something that works for you. You might decide to go for the snowball method, which involves paying off the smallest debt you have first.

This gives you the momentum to start paying off more debt over time. Other people find it’s helpful to pay off their biggest, and most expensive debt first, with the highest interest rates.

This can be a good way to avoid spending as much of your available money on fees as you work towards becoming debt free. You might even start working on one strategy, and decide to change tactics in the future, if you feel your current plan isn’t working as well as you’d hoped. 

cash in a jar

Stay Motivated to Reach Your Goals

Paying off debt is a complex, time-consuming, and stressful process. Some need to dedicate years of their life to finding the right strategy and gradually tackling one debt at a time.

However, the earlier you start developing a plan, the faster you’ll reach your goals.

Commit to constantly working on your debt situation, and even the small wins you achieve along the way will make a huge difference to your quality of life.

Remember, if you’re struggling, you can always seek financial help from objective experts too. Sometimes, talking through your strategy with an experienced professional can help you to achieve your goals much faster than you’d think.

About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.