Your credit card bills are piling up and with all of life’s expenses to go with it. Getting out of debt seems like a long journey that will never end. If you take the right steps, you can stop the accumulation of debt and begin chipping away at the debt that you currently have. Staying motivated throughout this process is the key. Millions of families across the nation are dealing with credit card debt. According to the Federal Reserve, about 56% of Americans have credit card debt. So you’re definitely not alone. The amount of credit card debt will determine how long it takes for you to become debt free. The average per household in America is $16,000.
Start with the Lowest Balance
If you decide to try and tackle your credit card debt on your own, it’s a good idea to start with the smallest balance first. Take a look at all of your credit card bills and see which of them have the lowest balances. You should be able to pay these off fairly quickly. Then once you have paid off the lowest, move on to the second lowest and so on. For the remaining credit card balances, continue making the minimum payments on them until you get around to paying them off. Doing things this way will make everything less overwhelming and you will see your progress taking effect each month.
Involve Your Family and Friends
Having a bit of help from your family and friends is a good idea during your time of becoming debt free. Just like having someone motivate you to stick to your diet or exercise routine, you can do the same for your debts. Have someone you know be designated as your follow up person. He or she will make sure that you are making payments on time each month. You should try to choose someone who doesn’t have poor financial habits themselves. Find someone who is financially stable and responsible.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
It can seem like a never-ending quest to debt freedom, but as long as you stick to your debt-free plan, you should get there one day. You should try visualizing the end result of all your hard work, so that you will stay motivated. You can eve post up a picture of something you want to buy or do after this is all over, to act as a reminder.
Don’t Punish Yourself
Being in a budget doesn’t have to mean going without. It just means having less. When you deprive yourself too much, it’s going to make you want to cheat on your budget. To avoid this, you can treat yourself every now and then. For instance, every time you reach a certain milestone, you can go out to a movie with the family or out to eat. Just don’t overdo the spending while you’re out. And make sure to use cash versus credit.
Like with the last tip suggests, give yourself treats every now and then. For instance, your first milestone can be to get a manicure or buy a pair of shoes after reaching $1,000 of paid off debt. The milestones shouldn’t be too close together, so maybe the next milestone could be $2,500 or $3,000. Keep the rewards small, so that it doesn’t eat up too much of your budget, putting you back into the predicament that you’re trying to get out of.
Set an Example for Your Children
If you have kids, then you can use this time as a way to set an example for them. This can be a lesson in finances and financial responsibility. Sometimes, seeing our parents go through a tough time will show us what not to do when we become adults.
One way to help keep you out of debt is to shop for coupons online. You can go to Groupon to find deals from brands like Clarks, Puma and American Eagle.