Pay Off Credit Card Debt Fast & Do It Yourself
Beating Credit Card Debt With These 7 Easy Steps
What I’m Doing To Beat My Credit Card Debt
Before I can make any significant ground in my journey to reach financial independence I must first wipe out all of the bad debt I have. I’ll never make any real traction with my savings and investments because I’ll have my credit cards continuing to be a drain with their interest charges.
If you don’t have credit card debt because you don’t use them, or you pay your balances off each month you are way ahead of the game and I encourage you to stay there. If you’re like me and maxed out your credit cards and have only been paying the minimum payments then you’ve got to do something and do it quickly. You can end up paying on credit cards for decades if you just make the smallest amounts you’re allowed. Image the cash you’d have blown by letting it go that far. I literally have to watch money evaporate each month because I made poor choices with my credit cards.
To be quite honest, the fact that I’ve already wasted thousands of dollars of interest by allowing my balances to roll over while just making the minimum payments absolutely sickens me.
I could have always paid more, and I suspect many people can, but I chose to spend rampantly and just send the minimum payments.
Follow These 7 Steps and Crush Your Credit Card Debt
Know everything about what you owe. You must know all of the details such as what your interest rates are, are you being charged any additional fees? Do you have any recurring charges or subscriptions you need to cancel? How much of your payments are going towards the balance?
Check your spending, find extra money. Stop spending unnecessarily. Check all of the spending categories closely. Can you trim on your food budget, or on what you spend on entertainment? The more aggressively you want to pay your credit cards down, the more you’ll need to shave from your regular spending. You could find items that you no longer need or use to sell for a lump sum payment to give you a good head start but getting out of credit card debt fast is all about making drastic changes to your spending habits.
Pay more than the minimum payments. If you are only making the minimum payments you could find yourself paying on a card for literally decades depending on the balance, interest rate and other items such as annual fees. It has to stop. There is an excellent chance that you can find additional money to go towards your credit cards when you give yourself an honest spending check as described in step two. One solid method is to take all of that extra money and pay it towards the lowest balanced credit card first. That way, when that account is paid in full, if you have additional cards, you can use that money to pay more towards them.
Stop using credit cards. I know, this sounds obvious, however, you will never get out of credit card debt if you continue to use credit cards. Since you’re looking to pay your credit cards off quickly, it’s likely you accrued high balances, which means you’re likely at risk to charge your cards up again, even if you do get them paid down. You’re basically spending money that costs money to spend. If you want to live financially independent you’ve got to make your money make you money. Opposite ends of the spectrum. You’ll get to the latter by squashing bad habits now. As cliche as it sounds, I encourage you to cut them up and delete your Google Pay or any other payment apps that store your credit card info.
Always be planning. Goals are a wonderful tool to keep the motivation strong. The best part is that goals can be adjusted over time. The key point here is that by taking an active role in beating your credit card debt, your more likely to stay engaged and keep your eye on the prize. My advice is this, get rid of your credit card debt first, before anything else. Don’t let other obligations go, but formulate a plan to wipe out the bad debt. If the debt costs you money for money you’ve already spent there is virtually no intrinsic value you can attach to it, basically, it’s a losing situation no matter how you slice it.
Get support or encouragement. There are thousands upon thousands of people that are in similar positions as you are. Check out social media for ideas, hear other peoples stories and strategies, and give yourself a chance to actively voice your support and ideas for others. It’ll help keep you focused, on track and accountable to your original goal of paying off your credit card debt as fast as you can. Reddit, Twitter, YouTube are all good social media networks to find and develop a like-minded social group.
Always be tracking. Similar to planning, but very number specific. Track your progress. Update it each time you receive a new balance. Put it where you can see it once a day. If you’re making progress because you’re following the steps above, you will have no reason to fret or worry about your situation. Instead, you’ll find that being active in kicking your debt to the curb will become empowered as you regain control. Try putting your total credit card debt amount on a dry erase board or chalkboard that you can update as you make progress. Each time you wipe away one number and replace it with a lower number you’ll feel great!
I’ve been researching the advantages of the envelope budgeting system and may be giving this a try soon. For more information on the envelope budgeting system check out the information provided by Money Fit, a nonprofit credit counseling organization.
Good luck on your journey to financial freedom. I’m currently working on all of these steps simultaneously and I can verify that my mindset is indeed changing and I am certain that I will come out on top of this battle with my credit cards. At the end of the day my credit cards aren’t the reason I’m in this mess. My poor spending decisions are what got me here. If I can offer one more piece of advice it would be to suggest that you are 100% honest with yourself, don’t be afraid to admit failure because that failure was only temporary anyway. If you are upfront with yourself about why you got into debt in the first place you’ll be much more likely to overcome it and prevent it from happening again!