A lot of people are facing a great deal of financial debt and they are doing so because of an excessive amount of credit card debt that they have accumulated. Some people will continue to make their monthly payments but they tend to not see their mountain of debt disappearing any time in the near future.
This is because they are used to buying certain things and living in a certain manner. Therefore, they end up charging more to their credit cards and then the massive cycle simply continues on.
Face The Music
The first thing you are going to want to do is to take a good look at your credit card debt. Just how much of it do you have? How many credit cards do you have? If you have ten cards, then you are paying ten different interest payments. This is a lot of money and it is not doing you any good. All that money is doing is making someone else rich. You will want to try to stop such a terrible cycle.
If possible, you want to see if any of your credit cards have room for balance transfers. If they don’t, you might want to check into getting another card that might be able to take a few balance transfers from your current cards. Then, you will want to shut down the old cards.
Even if you can only transfer one large credit balance to the new account, if you are getting a better interest rate and maybe even a 0 interest period, you are going to want to take advantage of it. The more you put down on your credit balance, the easier things will be for you.
Pay It Down
Start making more than your minimum monthly payments. These minimum payments are only hurting you. Even if all you can do is to send in an additional forty dollars a month, which is going to do a great deal for you. Now, for some people, forty dollars a month per card is simply more money than they have.
Try ten dollars a month per card. Better yet, find take your lowest interest rate card and start sending in as much on that card as possible. The reason for this is because these are going to be the cards that are going to be easier for you to pay off. Once you have paid off a couple of your cards and completely eliminated some payments, you will be able to start chopping down the rest of your debt.
Now here comes the real problem. While you are working on lowering the amount of money you owe, you have to make sure that you are not piling up any more debt. This might sound like a no-brainer but it is actually a lot harder than a lot of people give credit to. You are probably used to buying all of the brand name foods, clothes and accessories. You might even be used to going out to eat every once in a while. All of that has to change.
You want to make sure that you are first watching your grocery budget. This is the area where a lot of people over spend. While there is nothing wrong with eating all of the best foods, when you are on a tight budget and you are trying to slowly climb your way out of debt, you are going to have to make sure that you are making all of the needed changes.
Start by staying in to eat. Do not go out anymore to the restaurants, even the so called “affordable” ones. You can’t afford to do anything other than make food at home. You will also want to go through the week in advance and write out all of your meals. Plan ahead. This way, you will be able to get just what you need at the store and you will not find yourself purchasing a lot of extras that are really going to take away from your budget.
Another thing to watch out for is the amount of money you spend in gasoline. Even if you plan on keeping more than one car, try only using one for the time being. This will cut down on the amount of maintenance that has to be done to the additional car. Also, when you are on the highway or Interstate, you are going to want to make sure that you are using the cruise control. Stay within the speed limit to keep your gas mileage down. You will also want to plan your trips to the store. Plan all of your running for errands so that you are saving on trips.
If you celebrate Christmas and you have kids, you are going to really want to start planning ahead. If your income has taken a recent nose dive and you qualify, you might want to look into signing up for local church or charity organizations that can help you with gifts for your kids. Also, plan ahead by putting aside ten dollars a month if that is all you can do.
At the end of twelve months, you will have a little over a hundred dollars and while it might not be much it will at least buy a couple of gifts or give you a good head start on your shopping. Tell your adult friends and family that Christmas presents are only being bought for the children this year.
Another thing you can do is to go ahead and accept an invitation to attend someone else’s Christmas dinner. This way, the bulk of the holiday dinner expense is not put on your shoulders. Sure, you might need to bring a dish or a pie, but that is nothing compared to the expense that you would have if you decided to host the dinner on your own.
As you can see, there are a lot of things that you can do in order to live life well, but to cut back on expenses while you deal with the debt you allowed to pile up. It is going to take some getting used to and some extra effort, but the end result will be well worth it. Remember, this is only a temporary thing and once you get your debt under control, you can start to expand your budget just a little more.