5 Easy Ways to Wipe Out Credit Card Debt

The Loneliness of Debt and How to Combat It

Credit card debt is easy to get into and difficult to get out of. 

Prior to heading off to college, my mother told me that credit cards could be my best friend or worst enemy. She continued by saying that keeping the balances low and making timely payments was the sound thing to do.

Unfortunately, I ignored the warnings and found myself in more credit card debt than I wish to admit only a few years later. Even worse, I figured that only paying what was required each month couldn’t possibly do any harm.

Boy, was I sadly mistaken. And when I decided to dig into the “underworld” of the credit card industry, I discovered the minimum payment trap was one of the primary revenue drivers for credit card issuers.

Desperately searching for a way out, I decided to these simple tactics that you should also consider if you’re drowning in credit card debt.

1. Freeze the Cards

While this technically isn’t a way to get out of the hole, it’s the first step towards eliminating credit card debt. Reasoning: if you continue to swipe away, any payments made will offset the balance increases.

You may be thinking freezing all your cards is a stretch, especially if you don’t have an emergency fund intact. If you’re in this boat, keep the card with the lowest credit line at your disposal and commit to only using it if it’s absolute emergency.

2. Financial Windfalls

Tax season is right around the corner and you know what that means. Hefty bills for some and refunds for others. If you’re fortunate enough to fall into the latter category, consider allocating a large portion, if not all, all of your tax refund to credit card debt. It may be a bit painful to kiss thousands of dollars goodbye, but your wallet will thank you.

The same rule applies for work bonuses, financial gifts from family and friends or any other windfalls.

3. Create a Spending Plan

Want to automate your debt-repayment efforts? Create a realistic budget and stick to it. That way, every dollar will have a name on it before the month starts and your credit card debt balances will have no other choice than to increase. And while you’re at it, tackle the most costly debts, in terms of APR, first.

4. Sell Some Stuff

We all have unwanted items lying around the house collecting dust. So why not place an advertisement on Craigslist or host a garage sale to make a little money? It will take some effort, but you’ll rid your home of clutter while axing debt.

5. Use Your Talents to Boost the Debt-Reduction Fund

Do you enjoy walking dogs or babysitting? Maybe you’re a great event planner or artist? Whatever your talent is, use it to boost your debt-reduction fund.

Before transitioning to the world of entrepreneurship, I took writing gigs on the side to help pay down credit cards. Can’t think of anything? A part-time job is always an option.

Excessive credit card debt isn’t the end of the world. By acknowledging the problem and taking aggressive action, you will be on your way to financial freedom in no time.
What tactics have you taken to wipe out credit card debt? Please share in the comments below.

The post 5 Easy Ways to Wipe Out Credit Card Debt appeared first on ReadyForZero Blog.

4 Overlooked Ways to Pay Off Debt [Especially #3]

4 Overlooked Ways to Pay Off Debt

I know what it’s like to pay off debt. It requires discipline. It requires making sacrifices. It requires creativity. It also requires hopefulness. That’s why a recent survey showing that 18 percent of individuals expect to die in debt caught my attention. It reminded me of the importance of hope in achieving any goal, but especially in paying off debt.

No one has to accept monthly debt payments as a part of life. You can pay off debt. The Internet is full of stories of individuals who have paid off massive amounts of debt. I’ve not done any research on it, but I’d venture to guess many of those stories have one common theme – not overlooking anything.

Yes, we all know you can cut spending. Cutting spending, or frugality, will only take you so far in paying off debt. In many instances, it’s going to require creativity. If you’re currently paying off debt, make sure you’re not overlooking any of the following ways to kill your debt.

Earning Extra Money

Making extra money is one of the best ways to pay off debt. Why is that? There is one simple reason – all of that money can be thrown at your debt. The extra money from your cutbacks will help, but will only go so far. Think of the extra money as a way to put your debt repayment on hyper speed. That being said, nearly every time I speak with someone who is paying off debt they’re not seeking ways to make extra money. It doesn’t make sense.

There are many ways you can earn extra money, from simply asking for a raise to having a side hustle or getting a part-time job. If you want to pay off your debt quicker this is one of the best ways to do so.

Consolidating Debt

How many loans or credit cards are you paying each month? It’s likely if you have 2-3, or more, you would benefit from looking at a loan consolidation. In fact, even if it’s one loan a consolidation could make sense if it lowers the interest you have to pay.

I’ve found this to be overlooked as many I speak with are just going through the motions of making multiple monthly payments. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you want to pay off your debt quicker, take a look at some of the best debt consolidation companies to see how they can help.

Prioritization

Prioritization was one of the best tools I used to pay off my credit card debt. However, I didn’t seek it out at first. It took someone walking me through the process of prioritizing my spending to see the power it could have.

You may be thinking this sounds a lot like budgeting. It is, to a certain extent. Simply put, you need to look at what you’re spending money on and the value it provides. That’s not to say you have to cut everything as you do need to have balance, but you do need to see if the extra spending on a certain item would be better spent on debt repayment.

Minding the Groceries

Watching your grocery spending sounds a bit too far off to help with debt repayment. It really isn’t. The average food waste, per person, is $520 each year. Take that amount by how many people you have in your family and you’ll see the extra money being wasted.

That doesn’t mean you can instantly consume everything you buy. What it does mean is you can add some mindfulness to your grocery shopping. If you’re throwing away the same thing or same amount of some food item on a regular basis, start viewing that as money you’re throwing away that could be thrown at debt instead. That can be a powerful visual lesson of how a shift in spending can benefit you.

 

There are many ways to pay off debt. Your situation is going to look different from others. Make sure not to overlook opportunities where you can kill your debt instead of dying with it.

The post 4 Overlooked Ways to Pay Off Debt [Especially #3] appeared first on ReadyForZero Blog.