Debt reduction does not have to be stressful. With the right strategy, you can put your plans for a debt-free life on autopilot, so that you can still enjoy yourself and reduce stress while paying down your debts.

Here are some tips for stress-free, easy debt reduction.

Make minimum payments automatically

The worst thing that you could do when trying to reduce debt is to miss a credit card or loan payment. This will result in higher interest rates and (sometimes excessive) late fees. The way to avoid this is to set up an automatic payment for the minimum amount due on each account each month. Yes, you will want to pay more than the minimum amount on your accounts. You can make additional payments when you have extra money available. However, with the automatic payments set up, you will not have to worry about ever missing a due date.

Plan for emergencies

The biggest roadblock to a debt-free life is usually unexpected financial emergencies. These will happen to almost everyone at some point. While it is impossible to totally protect yourself from these expenses, you can take steps to prepare for them ahead of time. For example, you can start a small emergency fund that can help with these costs when they arise. And you can research online personal loans, which can help cover extra costs until you get your next paycheck.

Pay yourself

Businesses pay their employees, cover expenses and pay debt. Why not run your own budget like a business? Create a budget that allows you to pay your debts and bills and then pay yourself a “salary.” This “salary” is money that you can use for day-to-day basics and for anything extra that you would like to buy. This will allow you to move forward with debt reduction while also giving you some money to enjoy your life.

Find small ways to reduce spending

One way to find money for extra, non-minimum payments each month is to reduce spending in other areas and put the money saved towards your debt. Perhaps you can buy generic brands instead of name brands when shopping for food, shampoo, toothpaste, and so on. At the end of the month, take the remaining money in the shopping portion of your budget and put it towards an extra debt payment.