Absolute freedom from debt is one of the things that likely interest every credit card holder but this doesn’t seem easy to maintain.
Ranging from sudden unavoidable expenses to the regular valuable ones, lots of expenses are certain to tempt many credit card holders to bring debt upon themselves.
If personal discipline alone isn’t sufficient to free you from the pit of credit card debt or prevent you from incurring such, chances are that you’ll like to find out some of the best tactics for avoiding this financial menace and have the cause to be happy about your financial life.
Set Your Spending Goals and Stay Focused on Them
Discipline is one of the core requirements for avoiding credit card debt. It’s very difficult to avoid spending money but you can safely ensure you don’t overspend by setting your personal spending goals and glancing at them regularly each time you’re tempted to spend. Sticking with the spending goals you’ve set should be a top priority as this will draw away your attention from needless and avoidable expenses that often cause your credit card debt to accumulate.
Figure Out Your Debt
Figuring out your debt is likely the first important step you should take in order to avoid credit card debt or get yourself out of it. According to some financial experts, you first have to know your financial standing before you can start cutting down your credit card debt. Meanwhile, this requires being absolutely honest with yourself: you shouldn’t conclude that your debt is $11,000 whereas it’s actually $14,000.
In addition to identifying the type of debt, be sure to understand the repayment details. How much do you owe today, and what is the annual percentage rate (APR)?
Practically, you can keep track of your debt by stating down the interest rate and the exact amount on each of your credit cards.
Keep Good Track of Your Expenses
Your expenses –both regular and irregular –need to be well recorded if you really wish to keep yourself out of credit card debt. Simply keep a written record of all your expenses (including cable subscriptions, phone calls, car repairs, insurance, utilities, mortgage and so on). Doing this will enable you to figure out how much you’ve been spending monthly and easily decide setting up a reasonable budget. Meanwhile, you can have financial software or a notebook for keeping accurate records of these expenses as they may also include travels, entertainment, restaurant meals, hotel charges, and other valuable expenses.
Check the Progress of Your Reduction Plan
If you must be very conscious of your spending pattern and the need to avoid over-spending, you really have to check the progress of the spending reduction plan you’ve started so far. The check may be carried out every week with the use of reminders and clear-cut details that compare your starting balances with the subsequent ones.
In addition, some experts recommend that you keep a safe distance away from your credit cards especially when you’re on outings with colleagues that might persuade you to spend excessively.
Set up a Reasonable Budget
One of the most effective ways to avoid credit card debt or greatly reduce it is to have a reasonable budget. However, it doesn’t seem easy for some people to maintain affordable budgets probably because they’re always faced with unexpected expenses which likely gulp down chunks of bucks. It’s not advisable that you restrict yourself to a miserly lifestyle but it’s expected of you to make some sacrifices if you really want to save your face from credit card debt. First of all, you may have to cut out some of the needless desserts you add to your daily dinner or switch from your drastically expensive cable TV to a much more affordable alternative that offers your favorite channels.
Importantly, still ensure your budget has provisions for certain unavoidable expenses that turn up expectedly. And above all, endeavor to have a weekly plan showing how you have been keeping your budget at a reasonable limit.
Request for Reduction in Interest Rates
Some financial experts often believe bargaining for relatively lower interest rates is the fastest way to cut back on credit card debt. As a budget-minded character, you shouldn’t feel shy to request for a reduction in interest rates. If you have a couple of credit cards, you can do well to speak with the call rep of each of your credit card companies and let them know you’re in dire need of an affordable interest rate. Doing this effectively requires you to be polite, straightforward and frank. While striving to pay off all your credit card debt, getting a percentage reduction in interest rate would be a great boost in freeing you from the pit of debt.
Decide on the Payoff Strategy That Works Best
If you’re a strategic character, chances are that you’ll like to adopt the payoff strategy that works best in erasing your credit card debt. Basically, there are two strategies you can try out in paying off your credit card debt. One of the two strategies requires you to first concentrate well on the credit card with the least balance by paying it off and paying the minimum on each of your other credit cards. Although this payoff strategy is likely the best to remove all the debt on a single card, it doesn’t seem to be the best way to settle your debt in a cost-effective manner.
Regarding the second payoff strategy, you’ll have to pay the minimum on every other credit card while all of your additional cash will be carried into the credit card with the highest interest rate. In other words, this strategy enables you to have additional cash for paying off the next credit card with the highest interest rate once the first one has been paid off. Of course, this strategy helps to incorporate a ”snowball effect” into the payoff of your debt and as such, it’s the quickest way for reducing your debt.
Above all, you should decide the best payoff strategy for yourself and endeavor to arrange your credit cards in the order you can afford to settle the debt on each of them.