The average American household carries $9,205 in credit card debt, according to CardWeb, an online industry tracker. Not managed properly, this debt can come to eat up all of your disposable income leaving little or nothing for bare necessities. Some people in this situation respond by charging more but that will only get you further in trouble.
Fail to plan and you plan to fail
There is this cliché that states that if you fail to plan you plan to fail. The first thing you need to do is evaluate where you want to be. Do you want freedom from your credit card burden? If so, you need to develop a different action plan to the one you are currently following. Makes sense doesn’t it?
Start by listing all of the debt you currently owe along with a list of what your monthly obligations are for each debt. At the top of the page, list the amount of income available to pay these debts after essentials like food, hydro, etc… are taken out. When listing essentials, it’s important to include a certain amount for clothes, medical and entertainment because no matter how good your intentions, you will spend some money in these areas. If you budget ahead for them, you are less likely to just waste it
Start paying one credit card first
Don’t try to pay off all of your credit cards at once. Doing this will take too long and end up discouraging you. You’re better off concentrating on getting one card paid off, then putting the money you’ve freed up from that one card and applying it to the next one and so forth.
Which credit card charges you the highest rate of interest? Start with that one. Pay the minimum due on all of your credit cards expect for the one you have chosen to focus on first. On that card, put as much money as your budget allows onto the card after all of your expenses and debts have been factored in. Keep doing this month after month until the credit card balance goes to zero.
Loose all credit cards except one
Plan to keep one major credit card for unexpected expenses, car rentals and emergencies. Get rid of all your other cards as you pay them off. Most people can’t resist the temptation to spend money on a clean card. If this describes you, you’re better off without many credit cards than you are to get right back into deep credit card debt.
Follow this plan, and depending on how much you owe, in a year or so, you should have pretty much achieved credit card debt freedom!