Did you recently look at your credit card bill and come to terms with reality? You’re in debt — and you really don’t know how you are going to pay it off. You’re on a limited income, and your big promotion isn’t coming anytime soon. Did you know there are still things you can do — even without making any additional money — to pay down your credit card debt bit by bit until it is completely gone? If you’re ready to say “Goodbye” to credit card debt, then follow our quick debt guide of four frugal habits to start adopting now. In time, these four habits will become a way of life that bolsters happiness and health in your life long after you have eradicated your credit card debt!
Tip #1: Analyze Your Budget
If you don’t know where your money is going in and out of your bank account, then you are on the losing end of reducing your debt. Analyze the last three month’s credit card statements using different colored highlighters. This will give you a quick, color-coded view of where you are spending the money you don’t have. Repeat this with your bank account. You may not realize how much you are spending on extras you really can’t afford.
Tip #2: Cook More, Go Out Less
With knowledge about how you are spending your money, you can start to take action. Finance Globe said, “One of the big ways you can save money is by going out less.” Cook more if you are a regular restaurant-goer. Try on new combinations of little-worn outfits in the back of your closet, if you are a mall rat. Save going out for special occasions, and pay for those outings with cash only. It’s a nice way of treating yourself for your frugal habits without over-spending.
Tip #3: Transfer Balances
If you have high-interest, high-balance credit cards, start trying to pay them down first. If your credit rating is high enough, transfer the high balances to no-interest promotional cards that will not charge your extras as long as you pay off the balance within the promotional period. That means you may need to transfer a balance again before the promotional period is up. Call the credit card company to see if they will waive the transfer fee if you do a balance transfer. Many companies will work with if you are transferring a large amount of debt to a new card.
Tip #4: Get a Roommate
Community living is not only a trend in today’s world, but it can be a very warm and deep way to live. If you cannot increase your income in order to pay off your debt, consider getting a roommate so that person can share your expenses. It could be the difference between paying off your debt a year earlier or more. It’s a little inconvenience to experience the freedom of living debt-free in a shorter amount of time — and you may find that you enjoy having another person with you and your family. It’s something to consider with thought, but it is one of the instant ways you can bring extra income into your household immediately. The best part is that if it doesn’t work with your lifestyle, you can always go back to living alone or without someone in your family’s home. You can test it out at first for a six-month period.
Ready to Live Debt-Free?
It feels so overwhelming right now, but the truth is that you are on a journey to ending credit card debt and beginning a new life of spending and saving habits that will push you forward in life. Getting into debt is a good and hard lesson at the same time. Getting out of it is a discipline that teaches self-control and endurance. By following our guide of four frugal habits to adopt now to pay off your debt, you will experience freedom, energy, happiness and ultimately you will feel empowered knowing getting out of debt was all in your hands. Start today, and keep going strong!