Credit card debt can be hard to get out of. With the interest that you will be charged each month that you don’t pay off your debt in its entirety, it can feel like you are only treading water, or maybe sinking further into debt. I’m going to give you some simple tips in today’s article that you can use while paying off your credit card debt.
Pay off The Smallest Debt First
People often feel like there is no way out of debt if they have multiple credit cards, each with a debt of its own pointing back to you. It can feel good and motivate you to try to get rid of one card debt at a time. This is often easiest if you tackle the smallest debt first. Get it paid off and move on to the next smallest debt. Pretty soon it should feel way better than it did when you were buying things. You will slowly get control as your motivation to get them all paid off grows.
Make a Budget and Stick To It
Write down how much money you have coming in and exactly where it needs to go on its way out. Write down categories such as utilities, mortgage/rent, discretionary spending, etc. Budget out where your money needs to go each month. Make sure to have a section for your credit card debt. Plan on that section being gone someday, but until it is, don’t add unnecessary categories like entertainment.
Try to live a simpler life. Think about what you really need. We all need shelter, food, and clothing. If you are in debt, then it may not be easy, but make some cuts. Maybe cut that gym membership and start working out at home. Or how about stopping the eating out, or minimize it down to once a month. When you start making it a practice to live frugally, you will notice that you will be spending much less money. That extra money can be applied to your credit card debt.
Stop Using Your Cards
It is a simple fact that the more that you use your cards, the harder it will be to pay the credit cards off. Try using cash for purchases. Cash is what you really have in your hands as opposed to what you will have down the road (credit). If you never used a credit card, you would be living up to your means. Don’t knock your head against the wall in punishment of the past, but try to stop digging yourself into a deeper hole. If you need to take drastic steps like cutting up your cards, then do it.
Learn to say no. Say no to a coworker that asks if you’d like them to pick you up your favorite coffee drink from the local coffee shop. Say no to going out on Friday nights. Say no to shopping at the mall, when you really don’t need anything. It may not be easy, and it will require a lot of discipline to say no, especially at first. But you will get good at it as time goes on. Remind yourself that you are in debt and how each time you say no, you are climbing out of debt. Small unnecessary expenses will add up to large amounts of money that you can apply to your debt.
Pay More Than The Minimum Amount Due
It may be easy to just pay the minimum amount due on your card each month and feel like you are paid up. But paying just the minimum amount isn’t going to get you out of debt. If you are still putting purchases on your card, then each month that minimum amount will go up. Your hard earned money will be evaporating into the interest that you are paying to keep your debt intact. Always pay more than the minimum amount due.
Pay Your Monthly Credit Card On Time
Paying a late fee is one of the biggest wastes of your money. It can happen to all of us on occasion where we may forget about a bill until it’s a day late but try not to let this happen too often. It is like throwing money into the wind, to pay late fees. Do whatever it takes to get that bill paid on time.
Make A Plan and Set Goals
It helps to write down a plan along with goals. I personally like having a big dry erase board in my house where I can write down income and expense goals each month. I like to see it in front of my face every single day where I can’t miss it. You may want to write your goals down in the notes section of your mobile phone. Wherever you decide to write down your plans with a goal, make sure that it is in a place where you will visit it daily.
Take On A Second Job
If climbing out of debt were easy, no one would be in debt. But it can be hard, like climbing a steep mountain with the wind in your face. Instead of just trying to eliminate expenses, try to generate more income from a second job and then apply your earnings right to your debt. Remind yourself that a second job doesn’t have to be a permanent way of life, but try to keep the job and extra income coming in until your credit card debt is paid off.
Paying off credit card debt is not impossible even though it may seem that way. By following some or all of the tips that I gave in this article, you can be debt free. Pay off your smallest debt first so that you feel some sense of accomplishment. Make a budget and try to live frugally until the debt has vanished. Stop using your cards and discipline yourself only to spend money where you need to so you can get by. When paying your credit card bill, always pay more than the minimum due and make sure to pay it on time so that you don’t accrue late fees. Make a plan and set goals. Do whatever it takes, even if this means getting a second job. Get control of your money without letting it control you. You got this, and you can do it.
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