Tired of being on the debt merry-go-round? Adopt these changes and you could be debt-free sooner than you think. YBI reports.

Don’t just mooch around the house binge-watching Netflix. Get creative with your free time

Sometimes you need to make sacrifices today in order to build for a better tomorrow. When you’re struggling with debt, making some tough choices now could set you up for a better financial future. So why wouldn’t you take the plunge? They say ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’ and when you trying to climb out of debt simply chopping out expenses may not cut it. Forget incremental change! It’s time to leap out of your comfort zone and make some lifestyle changes that will allow you to pay off your debt faster.

Ditch your car

Many Australian homes are a two or even three-car household these days. If you’re one of them, you have the potential to save a tonne of money. While you may initially baulk at the idea of giving up your second vehicle, you will be surprised by how drastically it can reduce your transport costs. Even if you have paid off your car, getting rid of it removes all the ongoing maintenance and on-road costs, potentially saving you $1000s. If getting rid of your second car sounds too drastic a measure, what about downsizing to a smaller vehicle that is more fuel-efficient or trading to a less expensive make or model?

Monetise your spare room

Do you have a spare room in your house that could be used for living or as a home office? Why not consider renting it out. Taking on a housemate can free up cash that you can use to pay off your debt. But remember to check out any potential flatmates thoroughly before they move in.  You want to ensure they have the financial ability to share your home. Think of a housemate interview as not too dissimilar to a job interview. Even if you get along well with the person, it’s best to follow up with reference checks, and by verifying their employment or even reviewing their credit history.

Downsize your home

Perhaps you are now an empty nester, bouncing around in a four-bedroom home now the kids have left home. Do you and your partner really need all that space? Moving to a smaller home could significantly reduce your mortgage rates (or rental payments if you don’t own your home) and you can then put these funds to good use paying off your debt. A smaller home will also have lower maintenance costs and will attract fewer property taxes such as council fees and rates.

Cut back on your social activities

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy – but all play can be very expensive indeed. Why not consider ditching some of your social activities. Scale back the number of nights you go out a week. Trim your takeaway budget and aim to eat homecooked meals more often, limit your restaurant going to once a week. Make going out and socialising more of an occasion. Something to be looked forward to rather than an everyday event.

Use your free time to make extra cash

Now you’ve cut back on your socialising you will also find yourself with more free time on your hands. Don’t just mooch around the house binge-watching Netflix. Get creative with your free time and consider kicking off a side hustle as a way to make extra cash. Jump on your bike and deliver food, pick up some extra shifts at work or start that business you’ve always dreamed of.

Making lifestyle changes takes courage, determination and stamina. However, if a little sacrifice now means you will be financially free in the future, why wouldn’t you make the change?