WOW, what ever happened to our economy? It seems like all of a sudden things went right down the tubes. Suddenly we are all swimming, and drowning, in debt. Now what? How do we fix our financial mess? How do we beat credit card debt once and for all? Easy, I’ll show you…
Unlike our parents generation when using credit was considered embarrassing and a sign of poverty, our society today encourages debt. No one thinks it’s wrong to use credit as a way to live way beyond our means. It’s even become something of a status symbol to have a lot of credit cards.
Unfortunately, that financial philosophy is proving to not be such a great idea after all. So many of us were living at the very brink of our financial limits and one tiny little push was all it took to send us teetering over the cliff.
We can’t go back and change the decisions we made yesterday but we can change what we do today so that we can be more secure tomorrow.
There are several things you can start doing today that can help you find a much more stable financial footing and can keep you on balance for the rest of your life, no matter what the economy decides it’s going to do.
To tame your credit card debt use these simple tips:
1) Consolidate your debt. This means that instead of paying $50 a month on 10 credit cards ($500/month) you combine all your debt into one loan and pay one smaller fee ($300/ month, for example) Most consolidation loans accrue interest differently than a credit card so you will be paying more in principle with every payment.
If you are only paying the minimum fee on your credit card bill you are paying only interest. You are not even touching the principle. You will have a very hard time ever paying your card down that way. There are many debt consolidation services available today. Start by asking your local bank who they recommend.
2) Do it yourself. Even if you can’t increase your income you can still pay off your debt yourself. It will take time and discipline but it has worked for thousands of people.
This method simply requires you to pay the minimum payments on all of your credit cards every month, focusing on the smallest debt and adding any extra money to that card every month. Remember that adding even a few extra dollars a month to your minimum payment will go directly to the principle.
After a while you will have the smallest debt paid off. When you reach that point you will take the money you were using to pay on that card and apply it to the next smallest debt. And so on, and so on, until all your credit card debt is paid off.
Getting yourself out of debt isn’t going to be easy. It’s always tough to change habits. But if you beat credit card debt once and for all you will have a much more secure financial future and it doesn’t matter what the economy does, you’ll be set!
Books on getting out of dept and dept management:
–Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
–Suze Orman, The Money Class: How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net