Save Your Money Monday: You Can Pay Off That Credit Card Debt!

CICELY MITCHELL
(Photo Credit: DAMIEN MEYER/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: DAMIEN MEYER/Getty Images)

Many of us use credit cards for emergencies, impulse purchases and for other reasons. Through no fault of our own, those charges and bills mount and soon many of us find ourselves way over our heads.

So how in the world can you pay off that credit card debt and sleep at night? Check out a few ways I paid off my credit card debt successfully! Please know that you are not alone with credit card debt and paying it off can be done, so smile as you read on!

1. Get organized. OK. Grab a cup of hot tea, relax and open that wallet and sit on the floor and look at all of the credit cards that you have. How many do you have? What are you using them for? For many of us, (and the same was true for me), it’s those “little purchases” that really add up. For example, do you charge that daily run to the coffee shop? You take $5 you spend on that daily mocha, multiply it by five days and that is $25 a week. That really adds up on a credit card! Little purchases like that add up and can “kill us” in our quest to keep our credit card debt down. So take inventory of what you have and talk to yourself and ask yourself what are you using your cards for? Take an honest look at your debt, your cards and talk to yourself honestly and openly.

2. Choose what you want to pay off first. When I was beginning to pay off my credit card debt, I always made at least theĀ  total minimum monthly payment on both of my cards. Sometimes with extra money, I would give more. Remember this: credit cards sometimes get a “bad rap”. You only accrue interest when your payment has not been made in the window of time you were given. Now for those of you with more than one credit card, review your statements to find the range of interest rates you are being charged. Is that interest rate high? Is that interest rate reasonable? What can you “overpay”?
Now for those of you with more than one credit card, look at those cards and either pay more to the creditor with the highest interest rate, or put your “eagle eye” on those cards with the smallest debts first. Once one debt from one card is paid off, take the money you were paying and put it towards the balance with the next highest interest rate. Personally, I like taking charge of the smaller debt cards. It gave me confidence to pay off those cards and I felt like a “credit card debt conquering queen”!

(Photo Credit: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

3. “Overpay”. I am sure you have heard of this word when it comes to credit cards, but it is one that has real strength and can really help you. If you are serious about getting out of credit card debt, then perhaps you may want to consider paying more than what is due. For example, if your statement comes in and you are required to pay $100, then perhaps consider paying $120 or even $150 if you have it. “Overpaying” your debt may require some “belt-tightening”. I, for example, had to curb that “buy a new dress every week” habit and put that money towards paying on my cards.

4. Consolidating your debt. If those high interest rates are preventing you from paying more than the total minimum, you may want to think about debt consolidation. A lower interest rate allows you to pay off your balance faster without increasing your payments.

5. Keep record of expenses. Sometimes, I will get my paycheck and go to a restaurant, go to a grocery store, stop at the drug store and then make a payment on a bill. Then I will scratch my head and wonder where half of my pay went! Sit down and record where you are spending your money as well as what you are spending. Are you buying necessities? If you are not, then consider altering your spending. Paying off debt requires that “belt-tightening” and you have to… *gulp* live within your means, yes I said it. If you cannot afford a daily trip to the coffee shop, then perhaps it’s time to buy a box of mocha packets and make coffee from home. You are in a “financial reconstruction” phase of life and we all know that with reconstruction there are some pains that go along with it and some uncomfortable spots that we have to endure. With discipline, a little sacrifice, supportive and loving self talk and positive thoughts, you can get out of credit card debt and you will. Stay strong!

Do you have additional ways you conquer credit card debt? Share them as you enjoy related video below:

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