Credit card debt sucks. It really does. It feels like being shackled - The money has long been spent and all you have left is a balance that is now a constant in your life. The good news is, now you know better...right?
The even better news is that if you commit to being debt-free and maintain the right mindset, you can totally get rid of those awful debt shackles! So where do you start? Below are 7 quick tips to help you get started on mastering your credit card debt:
1. Develop the right money mindset
Your mindset is your thought process and the way you think about things. Having a positive mindset when it comes to paying off your debt is really important because you are empowering yourself and telling yourself that you can get rid of it.
Tell yourself things like “I can do this”, "Being debt-free is worth it " and “Goodbye debt”. Not only should you tell yourself these things but you need to believe it as well.
"If you commit to being debt free and maintain the right mindset, you can totally get rid of those awful debt shackles."
2. Stop spending money on your credit card
It's time to end the revolving cycle of debt now and that means no more spending on credit. It's not possible to pay off debt or build wealth by racking up more bad debt. Cut up those cards or put them in the freezer. No more charges on them!
3. Tally it all up; Layout how much debt you owe
Determine how much you owe, to whom and the associated interest rates. I'm going, to be honest, and tell you that you can’t go over this part of the process and you can't go under it. You are just going to have to be a big girl and go through with it.
And if that means breaking out your favorite glass of wine or tea, playing some Beyonce or calling up your bestie, then that's just what you are going to have to do.
4. Get radical about paying off your debt
Create a plan of action to destroy it and part of this plan should include sticking to a strict budget. You can decide to snowball your debt by creating a plan to pay down your debt with the highest interest rates first to save you the most money or you can pay down the debt with the smallest balances first if you thrive on big wins.
The goal here is to pay off as much as you - more than the minimum required on the highest or smallest debt until it is completely paid off and then move on to the next card you need to pay off.
5. Create a $1000 emergency fund
Do this while you pay down your debt so if something happens you can use this cash instead of going back to your credit cards. Plan to contribute to your emergency fund a little bit at a time e.g. $100 a paycheck.
6. Create a financial plan, be patient and consistent
Get a financial plan in place to set goals, pay off debt, save, invest and create a good life for your future self. Stay focused and stay aggressive. Give yourself time to make progress and achieve the results you want. You might only be making small progress at the start, but it's all worth it.
7. Find accountability partners
Getting an accountability partner is one way to ensure you don't slack on your new responsibility of achieving your short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. Their job is to assist you along your journey, motivate you, keep you grounded and focused, and help you prioritize your goals.
Keep in mind that YOU have to decide how badly you want financial freedom and if you are willing to do what it takes to get there. Paying off debt is not easy, especially after the novelty of spending the money has worn off, but it is totally doable with dedication, discipline, focus and time.