I hope these tips I have shared will help you as much as they helped us get out of debt. There’s more to is but these steps DO HELP.
We are now going on Year 5 of living debt free and it’s the best feeling in the world! Well aside from a mortgage! I would love to pay that off!
UPDATE AS OF June 2017 – We carry Business American Express and charge all of our business expenses on this to help build our credit score but we pay the balance off in full every month.
I also have a Kohl’s card I use for the 30% off and pay that in full at the end of the month as well. 🙂
Right now we are both more than financially stable and if we needed to use the credit cards for rewards or frequent flyer points we could and we still do NOT use them! Never again! For us, it’s just not worth it to use them and just knowing that every time we pay for something it’s PAID for and we owe nothing. I can move on and not look back. My stress level has gone down by over 80%! Now I just find new things to worry about LOL
Whether you implement one of these tips or all of them, they will help you and make paying off your debt a little easier!
1. Make a Budget
Create a Budget for yourself. Start a spreadsheet or notebook and write down your income and expenses. Look over those expenses VERY carefully and see if there is anywhere you can cut back. If you haven’t tried this already…this may help. Try tracking EVERYTHING you spend for 2 weeks. I can guarantee what you actually spend will be much more than you thought. (See post here)
2. Pay off the card with the highest interest rate first.
One of the MAIN things we all avoid when it comes to wanting to pay off our debt is actually facing what we owe. Sitting down and actually writing what the balance is on each card and the interest rates..then seeing this final balance in front of you is scary.
However, once you get past that part..the next step is getting ready to tackle the balance on each of them!
Sort your credit card interest rates from highest to lowest, then tackle the card with the highest rate first. Pay the minimum on each of the cards with the lower interest rates first. Then pay as much as you can towards the one with the highest interest rate.
3. Pay more than the minimum balance.
If you have multiple cards , like mentioned above..you need to pay more than the minimum in order to make a dent in your debt. If the minimum balance on your higher interest rate card is $100, try doubling the payment and making it $200. Or instead of paying it monthly. Make a payment on the card every 2 weeks when you get paid.
4. Take advantage of balance transfers.
If you have a card with a high interest rate and know you can look into transferring the balance to a card with a 0% interest rate and balance transfer. Just make sure you are able to pay off the balance before the 0% promotion expires or you may wind up paying even more than you were before.
5. Cut All cards up Except for one!
OK…if you think this is a bit extreme, do you want to pay off your cards or not? If you think you have enough self control and can just pull them from your wallet and place them in a drawer then go right ahead. However, this usually doesn’t work. If you’re really serious about paying off your cards. Cut all of them up and maybe leave one for emergency use.
6. Holiday Bonus’ , Bottle Deposits, Cash Back Apps
If you receive a holiday bonus, take this and use towards your bills. I know it would be nice to use towards a nice designer bag but that bag isn’t going to look so great just sitting on your couch when you can’t afford to go out anywhere.
If you recycle of use any Cash Back apps, this money adds up. Set it aside and use that towards the smaller credit card bills.
(Top Money Saving Mobile apps I use here )
7. Delete Credit Card Info from Online Stores.
Nice try…you thought I would forget about this one because #5 tells you to toss the cards. Now you throw them away but a month later your’re regretting that decision and then remember you still have that card number saved at the Gap online. NO GOOD. Been there, done that. Make sure you remove all payment info from any sites you may have ordered from where you have the payments saved.
9. Ebay & Craigs List
Sell any unwanted junk you may have lying around the house and use what cash you make to pay off your cards. It costs NOTHING to list on Craigs List so if the item doesn’t sell you’re not losing anything; And Ebay will only charge you a Final value fee if the item sells.
I made over $3000 this way selling clothes my kids grew out of, old CD’s , movies, shoes, blankets and stuff I never would have imagined people would have bought! But you know what they say..” One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!”
9.Change your spending habits.
Despite the fact that we used credit cards because I had to stop working and remain on bed rest. 90% of the debt came from us using it on bills and necessities.We had no choice. However, I hate to admit, when it’s not cash..and you’re just swiping a card, it’s much easier to grab those extra items you may not need. “But who cares..I don’t have to pay for it right now is the way we think when using a card”I see this now that is absolutely has to do with the way we think so we need to change the way we spend if we want to get ourselves out of debt.
Set milestones and then reward yourself when you reach them. If you owe $20,000. Treat yourself to something when you pay off the first $5,000. Of course don’t use the credit card or book a week long cruise. Maybe a weekend getaway? Paying off your debt should not feel like a prison sentence. This is the one thing I made sure we still did when paying down our debt. I tried to make room for us to enjoy ourselves and give ourselves things we couldn’t before.
Once we reached over 75% debt..I booked trip to Disney! OK.. a little more than week long vacation I just told you not to do but I placed the deposit down with cash and I was couponing at the time like a madwoman and I KNEW by the time we left for Disney..I would have all of our cards payed off and the trip paid in full. And I did! 🙂
You can also start by checking out your credit score for FREE here. This is the one I used and they don’t even ask for payment info 🙂
Here’s a Way to Pay your monthly Bills and keep everything organized with our Free Printables – Go Here