Is crushing credit card debt preventing you from living the life you’ve always wanted? From starting your own business? From addressing other debts, like outstanding student loans? Excessive credit card debt can stifle lots of sincerely held dreams. Fortunately, it’s possible for anyone — no matter their circumstances — to address it. Start with these six straightforward tips.
1. Make One New Sacrifice Each Week
Think for a few minutes and you’ll no doubt identify at least one money-saving sacrifice you can make today. Perhaps it’s a bag lunch instead of a spin around the drive-through, or a thermos of black coffee instead of your morning latte. A few dollars here, a few dollars there: it adds up. Try adding a new sacrifice each week to keep things fresh and build momentum.
2. Get A Balance Transfer Credit Card
Trimming expenses alone won’t banish your credit card debt overnight. If you still have a strong credit score, you’ll want to apply for a balance transfer credit card with a low- or no-interest introductory period that temporarily reduces or eliminates the growth rate of your debt. Check out the latest best balance transfer credit cards roundup for ideas.
3. Try The Envelope Budgeting Method
Have you heard of the envelope budgeting method? It’s not rocket science, as personal finance guru Dave Ramsey attests. Basically, you assign all your recurring and discretionary expenses a category — “envelope” — and set aside a certain amount of money each month for each envelope. Once the envelope is empty, you’re done spending in that category for the month.
4. Cut the Cord Once And For All
If you still have a full-spectrum cable package, ask yourself a simple question: why? It’s sucking $100 or more out of your budget in exchange for content that you can readily find elsewhere: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube. Leave your home Internet package in place, of course, but do away with the fancy cable or satellite deal.
5. Become A Better Cook
If you’re eating out (or ordering in) every night, you’re doing it wrong. Even if your kitchen wouldn’t past the laugh test on your favorite cooking show, it can surely support light, healthful cooking for one or two (or the whole family). You’ll save a boatload on food costs and learn a valuable life skill in the process.
6. Pick Up A Side Gig
When you can’t cut your expenses deeply enough to make a real dent in your debt load, look to the other side of the ledger. Chances are high that you have the time, skill and inclination to pick up a few extra hours of work on something that excites you and pays well. Who knows? You might just find your next career-track job or business idea in the process.
Don’t Shun Debt
Don’t put too much stock in the foregoing. Yes, excessive debt is bad for a variety of reasons, but anti-debt purism isn’t ideal either. Debt has plenty of legitimate uses, from facilitating the purchase of a new home to supporting your startup business idea on a shoestring. Like so many other things, moderation is key.
If you are interested in even more debt-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.