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Paying down debt can be a long, hard road. Make it easier with some simple tricks.  You’ll be surprised what happens when you break up your paycheck!

You’re paying down debt, chugging along and happy that you got your balance down a bit.  Hooray!!

And then?

…you find a surprise bill in the mailbox.


You don’t have money to cover the bill, so… you pay it using your credit card.  Now the card balance is nearly as bad as it was before.

And you’re right back where you started…trying to get that balance down again.

It’s so frustrating!

Especially when you’ve been trying so hard.  You skipped happy hour with your buddies.  You cancelled your cable service.

Now it feels like all that sacrifice has gone to waste.

Paying Off Debt Is Frustrating

Most Americans are in the same boat as you.  We’ve all heard the stats.  The average American owes $15,000 just in credit card debt.

How to Get Out of Debt- Break Up Your Paycheck. Humans are lazy! Use that to your advantage, and you'll soon be paying off debt more quickly.

It’s a pretty common problem that lacks an easy solution.  Otherwise, everyone would be out of debt tomorrow.

Still, there are some steps you can take to simplify the process a bit.

Our own family has a big goal to pay off debt this year.  It’s our #yearofno.  But that hashtag motto isn’t the only tool we’re using to wage war against credit cards that have taken over too much of our lives.

I’m going to share another way we’re gaining ground in our debt battle with you today.

How to Get Out of Debt By Breaking Up Your Paycheck

Step One: How To Use Your Regular Checking Account

Here comes the b-word, and I hope you expected to see it here: budget.  You’ve got to start with one!  It’s the only way to get control over your money.

If making a budget never seems to work out, there’s a good chance that the problem is with the type of budget you’ve been using.

Trying to make a monthly budget work when you get paid every other week is like trying to use a squishy toy to fill in the blank spots on the puzzle you’ve been working on.

I mean, you might be able to make it work…but it ain’t gonna be pretty.

Instead, try this budget planner that’s built for real, messy lives.

Step Two: The Other Accounts

Your checking account covers your every day bills.

But here’s the trick… don’t deposit your entire paycheck into that account.  

You’ve got irregular bills and expenses, too.  So let’s pay those in the laziest way possible.

I’m serious.  Human beings are a lot like water. We’re basically on a mission to follow the path of least resistance.

The good news is that you can use that to your advantage.

Paying Down Debt Gets Easy When You Break Up Your Paycheck

How To Use Laziness to Your Advantage

Automate as much as possible. Set it up once and then let it go.

(Ok, don’t actually forget about it. Look at it occasionally to make sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to do.)

Automate Retirement

Yeah, yeah.  You’re supposed to save for retirement. In fact, you should have started years ago.

Well, don’t let that stop you from starting now.

The fact is that you’ll never have the money to save if you don’t make it the most important thing.

So unless you’ve already cut all your frivolous spending and still have no money left each month, you need to set this up now.  

Start by saving just 1% of your paycheck towards retirement if you’re nervous about it.

(Remember that this comes out of your paycheck before you pay any taxes.  So you won’t even be missing the entire 1%.)

And if your employee offers a match, you’re passing up free money!  Only a crazy person would do that.

Automate Healthcare

If you have a family, you probably have medical bills.

These days, lots of us have HSAs. Just make sure you have enough in there to cover all of those deductibles.

If you don’t have an HSA, set up a FSA to cover those unexpected expenses.

Believe me, you’ll thank yourself when you’re suddenly spending an evening in the ER.  You have enough on your mind without wondering how you’ll pay for it, too.

The Debt Destroying Account

If you’re ready to make debt payment a priority, here’s a secret tip that made a HUGE difference for us: open a separate checking account.

We use Chase bank for checking, and love how easy it is to do most of our banking online.

Once you have your new bank account, file direct deposit paperwork at work so part of every paycheck gets funneled right into your new account.

How much can you comfortably pay towards debt?  (For us, it was 15% of each paycheck.) Chose an amount and get started already!

Then, every pay period, pay your credit card bills (or whatever debt you’re tackling) from this new account.  

There’s something about keeping this money separated from all of your daily spending that helps you mentally keep it out of your budget.

Plus, let’s face it…if you make it difficult to get to that money, you’ll be much less likely to blow it on something stupid.

(Definitely do NOT get a debit card for this account! If you have to have one, freeze it in a huge block of ice or give it to your Mom to hold on to.)

Use your laziness to your advantage!

Other Accounts

That separate account for paying off debt worked miracles.

So I got to wondering how else we could use this idea.

You know, like covering the huge bill that always comes with filling our big propane tank. 

Even though it happens every winter, we never seem to be ready for it.

So we opened ANOTHER savings account that I called “Heat Bill”. I set up an automatic withdrawal from our checking account that will deposit into this account every month.

It’s lazy-proof.

This idea is actually called “sinking funds” and you can do a ton with them.  Get more ideas here.

“Extra” Paychecks

Hubby gets paid biweekly.  Twice a year we have a month with an “extra” paycheck.

But it always annoys me when people talk about this paycheck like it’s free and clear money.  Because that’s not entirely true.

The family still wants food, the gas tank still runs empty, and the expenses don’t stop coming just because it’s “extra paycheck time.”

(Want to know how I keep our grocery bill for 8 people under $800 per month?)

That said, you SHOULD still have some extra money from this “extra” paycheck.

Figure out how to put it to work for YOU. Maybe it can cover irregular bills like semi-annual insurance payments or even something FUN (like a vacation!).

If you’re paying down debt, break up your paychecks and take the lazy way out!

What a sigh of relief you’ll heave when a bill comes in and you have money at the ready to pay.  No more relying on credit cards for you!

The first step is grabbing your new budget planner that will start you on the right foot. Grab it now!

How to get out of debt on a low income. If you're feeling lazy about becoming debt free, you can still do it fast with these ideas and tips.