The looming pressure of debt can feel debilitating. Did you know most Americans feel this, too? According to NerdWallet, the average U.S. household has nearly $17,000 in credit card debt. Are you tired of being a slave to your debt? Here are 8 tips to help get rid of that obnoxious debt.
Make a budget
And follow it! Your credit card debt isn’t going to go away if you don’t change your habits. Make your own spreadsheet of detailed expenses and income. See where you can cut costs and stick to it. You can only make it work if you work it!
Pay more than the minimum balance on your statement
Most credit cards have a minimum balance due every month. It can be anywhere from $25-$300 depending on your balance. If you want to make a dent in your debt, you need to be paying more than the minimum balance. Try doubling up on your payment next month. If you commit yourself to doing this, you’ll see that number shrink a lot faster.
Stop using credit cards
Stop swiping your plastic – it’s too tempting! Give yourself a weekly spending amount and take that out in cash. This will ensure that you’re only spending what you have. When you solely use credit cards, it’s hard to understand just how much your spending, because it’s so easy to overspend.
Next time you go out, try leaving your credit cards at home, that way you’re not tempted. This will ensure you’re only spending money that you actually have. Until you’ve paid off your credit cards, ditch them. The more you spend on them, the longer it will take to pay off.
Put any bonuses or extra cash toward your balance
That nice work bonus will probably make a good dent in your debt. Don’t think too hard about that new tv you want to spend your bonus on – put it immediately toward your balance. It’s more important to get control of your finances before you make any big luxury purchases.
Pay off the most expensive debt first
Figure out which credit card has the highest interest rate and get that one paid off first. If you don’t, you’ll end up paying a ridiculous amount in interest before you’re able to even make a dent in your actual debt. “By paying off the balance with the highest interest first, you increase your payment on the credit card with the highest annual percentage rate while continuing to make the minimum payment on the rest of your credit cards,” writes former My Money contributor Hitha Herzog.
Sell unwanted stuff
Let’s be real, we own stuff that we don’t use or need. Why not get some cash for it? Take an inventory of your assets and see which ones aren’t getting used or valued by you anymore. This can be a great addition for someone who will put it to good use – and you can get money for it. Facebook Marketplace, Let It Go, Craigslist, Ebay and many others offer a space to sell your stuff. Once you get the money for it, put it right towards your balance!
If you make paying off your credit card debt a priority, you can get it done with some serious willpower. These steps will help you in your journey.