The maxim that “credit cards are evil” may not be true per se, but anyone who has experienced being in the quicksand called credit card debt will know just how awful it can be. When used responsibly, credit cards can be very useful. However, once you start accumulating credit card debt, you might be surprised at how easily things can get out of control.
If you are already facing serious issues with your credit card debt, then it is time to take drastic measures. You may not go to jail because of your credit card debt, but do you really want to keep paying for that debt for the rest of your life? In serious cases, paying the minimum – or a little over the minimum – just will not cut it. So what should you do? What are those drastic – or maybe not-so-drastic – measures?
Cut back on housing costs
You might say “What? That’s ridiculous!” It may seem like it’s going overboard, but you should seriously consider it. I have been in this boat before, and guess what one of my moves was? I gave up the expensive condo unit that I was renting and found cheaper – but comfortable – accommodations. You don’t even have to move, really. You can consider getting a roommate – at least until you get your finances back in shape.
Use your savings account
Okay, you’re probably hearing warning bells and seeing red flags waving like nothing else. Most of the time, this piece of advice will NOT work. Your savings account should NOT be touched, but if you think about it, you might be better off using that money in your account to pay off your high interest credit card debt. The chances are that your savings account does not have a high interest rate associated with it anyway! If you keep that money in your savings account with the idea that it is earning money, remember that you are losing money because of the high interest rates applied to credit card debt. If you want to get rid of that debt, you should consider using your savings account to do so. At the end of the day, you will be saving money, and you can start replenishing your savings account as soon as your credit card debt is ZERO.
Drop vices and other “un-necessaries”
This is an oft-dished out piece of advice. Get rid of what you can, drop what you can. It really is a simple concept, and one that could end up saving you money. Let’s say you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. Why not stop smoking and put the money towards paying off your credit card debt? Or perhaps you spend $$$ on a night out every week. Why not consider NOT going out for a while and putting those $$$ towards your “get rid of credit card debt” fund?
- Don’t snack on those chocolate or candy bars every day
- Drink water instead of soda
- Brew your own coffee
Find another job
It does not have to be a full time job – you don’t want to overwork yourself and end up getting sick or dying. The idea is to increase your income if you can. The good news is that there are a lot of options for part-time work these days. Check out freelance gigs on various web sites – they have part-time jobs for all sorts of fields these days! Most of the time, you can even do those jobs from your home. This is a very good option for someone who needs an infusion of cash to pay credit card debt.
What you have to remember is that while these tips will definitely help you pay off your credit card debt, you will need to sacrifice some things. Depending on the size of your debt, your sacrifice might be small or big. You just need to make sure that you are willing to do what it takes to get your finances out of the red.