First Things First – Know Your Enemy
- Know your enemy – for some of us, the enemy is impulsive buying and it can hurt our checking account for many months and possibly years.
- Emotional purchases – are great for business, but not great for your checking account or credit card.
- Is it a need or a want- If you don’t need it and you just “want it” then you can wait until you can pay for it.
- Beware of Tricks – The most enticing phrase I have heard is” it’s on sale!” That’s nice. But do you need it, can you afford it and why now?
Tips and Tricks
- Establish a budget – identify your highest interest account with the lowest balance.
- Make a debt pay off plan using either the debt snowball method or the debt avalanche method.
- The debt snowball method is to pay off the smallest bill first and attack that one first. This is the point of least resistance and it will give you a quick win while building your confidence. You can do it!
- Debt avalanche method is a little different because you will pick the account with the highest interest and pay that one first. This helps you to save money.
- Start paying more than the minimum, this will help to pay the bills faster and you will pay less interest and in turn save you money.
- The struggle to break free from the bondage of credit debt is real. It is a noose around your neck, just like a chokehold that gets tighter everyday.
- There are forces working against you, against us. It’s easy to get a credit card, you go online, submit an application and within 5 minutes you could be approved and have a confirmation that you have a credit maximum of say $2,000.00 with an introductory interest rate of 13.65%. The good news is that you can break free from your debt. You deserve to have peace of mind!
How much Interest Costs You
- For every $100.00 you put on the card, you will pay back $113.65.
- Credit cards are the only type of unsecured loan where the interest rate can go up without your consent.
- My military friends would say “ Embrace the Suck!” Yes, being in credit card debt sucks! How do you fight this battle and win the war against debt? One day at a time. Sticking to your plan and staying focused and intentional about paying it off.
- This is exactly what I want to identify, describe and provide strategies that work. Are you ready? Let’s go!
- What is the purpose of credit cards and how do you fight and win the war against credit card debt?
- Let’s start with a little background information.
- Using credit cards can be good and bad. It all depends on you. No one forces you to use credit cards.
- So it’s up to you to be disciplined and in control of your financial situation.
- Yes or no? Say this in front of the mirror “If it’s to be it’s up to me! This is our war cry!
Credit Card Business
Credit card companies have had the opportunity to develop practices which can sort of trap someone who isn’t uninformed.
- When you pay off the full amount when the bill comes in and you can avoid being charged and have to pay interest on the credit card.that’s a win isn’t it?
- Paying more than one payment per month on a credit card, lowers the principal amount owed quicker.
- When you charge more than you can pay back, then you have a challenge don’t you?
- If you charge what you can’t pay back then you are buying or charging things you can’t afford.
- Find a way or make a way to stop going further into debt!
- Either make more money or stop spending money immediately. You won’t win the war if you are digging yourself into a hole. No!
- Stop buying fast food. Stop driving so much to save gasoline money. Stop going out to eat.
- Get organized with either your cell phone or in writing. How much money is coming in “ your income.” How much money is going out “ Bills and expenses”
- As interest rates increase, borrowing money or using credit cards is becoming increasingly painful.
- If you have a checking account or savings account, check out your own bank or credit union’s interest rate they are charging. I went to the bank rate website and I discovered my own bank is now charging a new credit card 13.65% – 29.65%.
- If you have children living with you at home, can you tell me in 10 seconds how much the cost of food, clothing and everything else has increased in the last 2 years? Something simple like Bread, milk or cheese, not to even speak about ground beef. Ah, let’s see…$8.00 a pound is about right. Isn’t it?
- Now let’s get down to real business, have you applied for a car loan lately?
Economic Downturn and Job Layoff
Layoffs are happening all around us, it won’t hurt to evaluate your financial situation. Can you afford to live on unemployment if it happens to you?
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Have your Emergency Fund fully funded 3 – months of expenses.
Old School Knowledge
Only live on half of what you make and save and invest the rest.
The best way to save money is to live in less than what you earn.
If you can’t pay it twice you can’t afford it.
You win the war one day at a time. Keep track of your expenses. Have your Emergency Fund be your credit card slush fund. Don’t fall prey to using the credit card so that you end up paying the balance plus a high interest rate. Declare war on your debt and fight until you win!