Ben Settle

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist

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Last week I posted about my uncensored (and, frankly, unsolicited, but that doesn’t stop me from blabbing about it) opinion of the economy.

And, one tip I gave was:

“Don’t get into any more debt, pay off whatever debt you have”

To which I got a question asking if I knew some ways to do it quickly rather than slowly, over several years and having to give up some of their luxuries, etc (ironically, last week there was an article on Drudge with the headline “Low-income families spend 40% of their money on luxuries” — I’m shocked, *shocked!* I tell you…)

Anyway, back on the ranch:

I do have some experience climbing out of debt quickly.

Reason why is, I hate debt.

I want nothing to do with it.

And, I was obsessed with how to climb out of a pile of debt when I first started in this whole copywriting-marketing bid’niz thingy 15 years ago.

But climb out of it I did.

And, it didn’t take all that long.

In fact, I was recently talking to an “Email Players” subscriber who is in a pile of debt (to the tune of well over $100k, the majority of it can’t be got out of via bankruptcy, etc).

My advice to this debt-ridden citizen?

Before I tell you, some context about him:

  • He has approximately $15k in credit card debt (over a dozen of so cards — paying about $500 per month in minimum payments, not paying anything down).
  • He owes approximately $120k in other loans (college, car, what have you) — paying about $700 per month on the minimum.
  • He is a copywriter and works from home (so has time)
  • He estimates he has $15k worth of stuff he doesn’t need (clothes, electronics, useless furniture, luxury items, basically status items people waste money on in the good ol US of Debt).

Following is what I said to do:

1. Sell the $15k worth of crap ASAP. On eBay, Craigslist, and other sites (depending on the item) wherever it makes sense.

2. Put the first $3k of it in the bank as peace-of-mind money (not the same as screw-you money, or to spend, in fact, if he never uses it, that dough has fulfilled its purpose)

3. Take the $12k left over and pay off *all* the credit cards in one shot (freeing up the $500 per month he pays in mininum payments now).

4. Take a roommate on (freeing up about $800 per month).

5. Take the $700/month paid on the student and car loans currently, and combine with the $500/month he was paying towards the credit cards and the $800/month he was paying towards rent and pay towards student loans each month (combined $2,000/month).

6. Spend one day per week (Sundays?) looking for things to buy and re-sell like they did with all the other crap before (big ticket stuff only — since he lives in a big city this is not that hard to do) and immediately pay any profits made towards student loan debt.

7. Take on at least one extra copywriting client per month and put the entire fee towards the debt.

8. Take any extra money made each month and put towards the loans.

9. Build a list and email it offers (duh) daily.

Anyway, even with all his debt, I estimate he could pay it all off in 1-2 years.

We’ll see.

But, that is more or less what I did.

Maybe it’ll work for you, too, if paying off debt is your bag right now.

Since we’re talking about saving and finances:

If you haven’t checked out my “bargain basement” of books on Amazon, go ye here:

Ben Settle

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist

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