10 Tips to Pay Down Your Credit Cards
Credit card debt is a financial cancer that eats away bank accounts and leads to financial distress. Large amounts of it can lower your credit score and impair your plans to buy a car, home, or just about anything else for that matter. There is no easy way to make it disappear, but here are 10 tips I came across to help pay it down and eventually get rid of it.
1. Spend Less on groceries. If possible, try shopping at discount supermarkets such as Trader Joes, Aldi, and Walmart. Stay away from the National Chains that charge high prices for popular brand names. By switching to these stores, families will save up to 40% over the “Name Brand” supermarkets. Trader Joes seven offers all natural and organic foods too, so eating cheaper no longer means eating un-healthier.
2. Conserve as Much as Possible. Use less water, turn off lights when not in the room. Make sure your computers are set to energy saving mode. Set your thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter.
3. Increase your income. I know this may seem obvious, but if your really want to increase your income you can by doing several different things. Become an EBAY expert by selling old electronics, rare collections and artwork. And even in this tough economy there are many part time jobs that hire for night work too.
4. Cut or eliminate your telephone bill. Do you still actually have a land-line? Ditch it immediately. Use an E-Fax for faxing, and switch to a low cost cell phone provider. In the Atlanta area we have Metro PCS which offer unlimited talk for $40 per month.
5. Stop using your credit cards. Another obvious step that has to be done. How are you going to rid yourself of credit card debt when you are adding more? Go cash only. Try it, I promise you it works!
6. Stay busy. Many people shop and spend money when they are bored. Join a gym, pick up some new hobbies, or do some charity work. The busier you are, the less money you will spend!
7. Don’t spend money on things you don’t really need. Do you really need new clothes every month? Or new CD’s every few weeks? Stop buying toys until your debt is completely paid off.
8. Use Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball Method. Instead of paying off the highest rate cards first, pay down the lowest card/loan balance first, then move on to the next lowest amount. That will help you mentally build up steam to accomplish your goals. Every paid off card is like winning a battle and that will keep you motivated!
9. No eating out. Eating out can get very expensive. Stay home and cook more often. Not only will you save money, but it also can be much healthier.
10. Save Money on Entertainment. Instead of going out to the movies, try Netflix instead. Check out some state and local parks that are nearby as a low cost alternative to expensive types of entertainment.