There are many ways I’m sure you’ve probably heard before on how to get out of debt. Thousands of books, blogs and podcasts are totally dedicated to this difficult process. But, what if I told you about some you hadn’t thought of? Well, welcome, my friends, to my top three surprising ways to eliminate debt:
1. Re-examine Your Insurance Policies
Maybe you can increase your deductibles which will decrease what you pay in premiums. Moving from a $500 to a $1000 deductible can save you up to 15%! Or perhaps there’s another insurance carrier that can provide the same coverage for less. My husband and I just did a re-exam and will save more than $500 per year by switching to another insurance carrier. Same coverages and everything! You also might not know that these companies can penalize their loyal customers. The longer you stay, the longer they can raise your rates because they think you won’t leave them. So, shop around and see what’s out there. One place to look is Gabi.com. They are insurance brokers, which means they can shop the entire marketplace. They aren’t connected to just one specific carrier. Another place to turn to find a broker is at Trustedchoice.com. Want a deep dive of what to ask and how to compare quotes? Then use this guide from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website.
2. Find Missing Money
What did I say? Yes, there is a ton of money floating around that is now in the government’s hands because you forgot about it. You may have moved and forgotten about those dividends from a stock. Perhaps you lost track of a paycheck from a company you once worked for when you were younger. There are a number of reasons why there could be missing money but whatever they are, you need to go get it. It’s yours for goodness sakes! Head to Unclaimed.org, which is a national government website that lets you check for missing money for free. I’ve found money for myself, family members, church and even local schools over the years. I recently found more than $200 from an old utility company. Score!
3. Change Your Wireless Plan
A little-known secret is that the big four in telecom, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, utilize “generic” discounters that sell cell phone plans using their network for incredibly less. Here are a few: Total Wireless and Visible for Verizon, Metro by T-Mobile (yup, you guessed it) for T-Mobile, Cricket for AT&T and Boost Mobile for Sprint. The savings by switching over can be significant. I know of a couple who was paying $130 per month for two lines. They switched to Total Wireless and now only pay $70 a month. That’s a savings of $720 a year! The possible drawback is that your data might slow down in times of congestion with a discounter. But, when you could pay just $10 a month, for instance, with Unreal Mobile (which uses both AT&T and Sprint) the savings might be worth it, in my humble opinion.
So I hope you can use some if not all of these strategies to help save money and pay off debt. And another option is to take a financial “boot camp” course locally. I am currently co-coordinating a Financial Peace University class by Dave Ramsey and can’t say enough about how much it has positively changed my family’s financial future.