The first thing to do is take inventory. List all of your credit cards first by balance (smallest to largest) and then by interest rate. There are 2 popular methods to paying off your debt. There is what’s called the Snow Ball Method. Simply stated, you pay off smallest to largest eliminating one debt at a time. The logic behind this is that you stay motivated throughout the process as you gain momentum with each card you pay off. The next method is paying off cards starting with the highest interest balance and working your way down. The advantage here is that you will save the money you pay in interest over the long haul. However, it all boils down to your personality. If you’re reward driven and need the phsychological boost of eliminating several cards within a short period of time then I would suggest the Snow Ball Method. If your patient and can remain focused on your overall savings then the 2nd method would probably suit you better.
After you have determined which method to use to eliminate your debt. Now you’re going to put an action plan in place. First determine how much extra you can apply towards your debt every month. Whether it’s $20 or $200 you must make every effort to apply an extra amount towards your debt even if it’s just a little bit. There are online calculators to help you determine the impact that extra amount will make.
At this point you should have a pretty good sense of what steps you need to take to become debt free.
You have listed your debts, decided on the course of action and have taken the first step towards becoming debt free. Credit cards are a real killer on the family budget and prevent a lot of people from realizing what it is to be financially secure. There are many sites that elaborate on comsumer debt and the negative impact it is had on the family unit. I have included a few links below to my favorite sites which will assist you in your efforts. Good luck and don’t give up.
The credit card industry makes billions of dollars off of interest every year. That’s on top of the numerous charges such as annual enrollment fees, late fees, over the limit fees and so forth. They count on those who make the minimum payment each month to survive. It’s up to each one of us to spend responsibly and not live above our means. Let’s start contributing to the needs of our families instead of supporting billion dollar corporations. You and your family will be much happier in the long run if you take action today.