If I had a dollar for every "debt erasing" offer I get from credit card companies I could pay all my bills and have money left over. I hate these deceptive credit card come ons because they create the illusion that the credit card company is helping you pay off debt when in reality you are just shuffling your debt from one credit card to another. If you want to pay off debt without the hassle of shuffling it from one place to another try these tips.
- If you have multiple credit card debts, pay them off one at a time starting with the smallest one. When I was hit with a series of unexpected expenses that left me with debt on multiple credit cards I paid off one card at a time. I made payments on all of my credit cards, but I made the biggest payments to the credit card with the smallest balance. After that credit card was paid off I started making larger payments to the another credit card until it was paid off and repeated this process until everything was completely paid off.
- Stop paying for things with a credit card when you could pay with cash. Once I started paying with cash I noticed that I started paying more attention to my money. It was easy to lose track of my spending when paying with a credit card, but when I pay with cash I know exactly how much I am spending a month and I don't get sticker shock when the credit card bill arrives.
- Always pay more than the minimum required by your credit card company. The credit card companies love it when you pay the minimum balance because at that rate you will be in debt forever.
- Have realistic goals. If paying an extra $100.00 on a card every month isn't realistic, consider paying an extra $25.00 a month on that high interest card. That extra $25.00 a month adds up to $300.00 a year, dramatically reducing your debt and the amount of interest you are paying.
- The best way to get rid of that nagging feeling that you will always be in debt is to create deadlines for paying off credit card debts completely and know exactly how much you have to pay on a credit card every month to reach that deadline. Knowing that you can pay off at least one credit card within a certain number of months gives you the feeling that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you are making progress towards your financial goals of being debt free.
- Free up some money by cutting down on monthly expenses. Look at your monthly health insurance or phone/internet/cable bill to see if you could get a better deal by changing the type of service or changing your service provider.
- Have fun! Giving up cute clothes, entertainment or other indulgences while you pay off your cards is like going on an extreme diet. Eventually the deprivation gets to you and you suddenly find yourself stuffing your face with scoops of double chocolate ice cream. Find creative ways to have the fun things you want like selling items at a consignment stores to raise cash for stuff you want, asking for gift cards for your favorite places to shop when your birthday or a gift giving holiday rolls around, or using the cash back rewards from the credit cards you have completely paid off towards your fun and fabulous purchases.