Credit card debt has become a pervasive problem in our society. The economy runs on credit, so it is important to remember that credit is certainly not a bad thing. However, irresponsible practices by banks and retailers, who encourage people to use credit even if it will get them into a vicious cycle of debt, have plunged many into a pit they struggle to get out of. What seemed like a good solution at the time becomes one of your biggest regrets.
That said, the situation does not have to be dire. There are ways to break out of the cycle of debt so that you can start with a blank slate. Some provide instant relief, while others are more long term.
If you want to dig yourself out of credit card debt, try these solutions.
Transfer your balance
Most people do not understand that it is in a bank’s best interests to own your debt. Up to a certain point, having you in the red is beneficial to their bottom line. They make money off it. Which is why many banks offer the opportunity to transfer your balance to one of their accounts. They charge no interest for the first six months or so. This is one of those cases where, if you know what you’re doing, everyone wins.
There are many ways on how to beat the banks at the balance transfer game. Ultimately, you can end up with a more manageable interest rate, and a good amount of time to dig yourself out of credit. Of course, transferring your balance is only leaving the problem for later if you don’t make changes to the way you spend. Here’s what you need to do.
Implement a strict budget
Budgeting is not anyone’s idea of fun. It can feel like you’re sucking the life out of, well, life. Instead of being spontaneous, every cent you spend is planned. You may be more financially secure, but life can feel cramped.
It does not have to be this way. Budgeting, when done properly, opens up possibilities rather than shutting them down. But you have to be smart with how you budget and strict with how you implement it.
Use a budgeting app to get a clear view of where you’re spending your money, then decide what you absolutely need. Your month-to-month payments will come first – these are the payments that are non-negotiable.
Once these are out of the way, you can see how much you’re spending on food, entertainment, and so on. Take these amounts and start strategizing as to how to spend less. For example, you can use meal kits to make eating in easier and reduce waste. You can find more effective ways to keep fit, which you’ll enjoy instead of avoiding.
When you’re budgeting, your focus should be on improving your life, rather than making it harder for yourself. You don’t need to live a half-life in order to save money. On the contrary, good strategies help you live better while digging yourself out of debt.