5 Steps to Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Very rarely do people use cash to make everyday purchases. I’ll be the first to admit the only time I use cash is when my family and I go yard selling. Otherwise, it’s wonderfully convenient to use cards. Sometimes, too convenient.

Credit card debt can become overwhelming. These 5 steps to eliminate credit card debt are easy to apply and see results. Once you regain control of your debt, you can regain control of your financial health. #4 is something you can start doing TODAY. Click to read.

It’s always easy to swipe your card and think: “I have the money” or “I can pay for this with my next paycheck.” If you’re like the majority of us, like me, you’ve had these thoughts before. And sometimes you find yourself swimming up to your eyeballs in debt wondering how you let this happen.

I understand debt is different for everyone. One person might be thousands of dollars in debt where others might be hundreds of dollars. No matter the amount, it’s still debt and debt must be addressed for your financial health.

Today, we will discuss 5 steps to eliminate credit card debt from your life. Granted, this won’t be an instantaneous event. But over time you can regain control of your spending, your debt, and your life.

5 Steps to Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Step 1: Eliminate Cards – Only One

Gather all of your credit cards in one central location and decide which ONE you want to keep. Yes, only one. I know you might say, “but I need these three credit cards for this and my fourth credit card for that.” I understand this is probably the hardest step, but you want to eliminate credit card debt not create more debt.

You can do this, but you must pick one and cut up the rest. If you don’t feel comfortable cutting up your credit cards, you can consider putting them in a bowl with water and freezing them. They will still be in your possession, but you won’t be able to access them as easily.

Eventually, you’ll fall out of the habit of using the extra credit cards. And as you build your financial confidence in yourself, you’ll be able to dispose of them. So: pick one credit card that would be the best for you for necessary purchases and eliminate the rest.

Step 2: Focus Spending – Where

Gather all of your credit card statements and tally up the totals. Be honest with yourself. Write them down in a notebook or somewhere you will see daily. Once the totals have been established, study your statements and decide where your money is going.

Are you primarily using your credit cards to make clothing purchases, eating out, traveling, online purchases? Ask yourself and find: what are the biggest culprits? Once this has been established you can begin to remove yourself from those places and the temptation to swipe your credit card or click for online purchases.

Step 3: Set Daily $ Budget

Do not abuse nor misunderstand this third step. I do not mean to set a daily spending budget that you have to use. Rather, this is a daily amount you can use should a real emergency arrive (your car breaks down, you run out of toilet paper) that you have confidence in yourself (and in your finances) where you know you can pay off the amount by the next one to two pay periods*.

* (Disclaimer): Anything regarding medical help: take care of your health. There are medical financial counselors that can help with monthly payments. Your health and well-being are most important and worth any cost.

Step 4: Returning & Selling

If you find the majority of your credit card spending is from purchasing clothing or other items: return them! Help yourself by lowering your debt and monthly payments by returning items that are still properly labeled and marked.

If you’re not able to return the items due to no return policy/losing the receipt, then consider selling your items on eBay, Craigslist, Facebook or other avenues. Then, use this money to pay down your credit card debt. DON’T SPEND IT ANYWHERE ELSE.

The temptation will be great and justification will come when you and others will try to talk yourself into “just this once.” Remember: this is how credit card debt begins. You can do this but you will need to harness your self-control

Step 5: Pay Down & Pay Off

This will be another difficult step. Live as minimally as humanly possible. Cook your meals instead of eating out, use the clothes you have instead of purchasing new outfits, consider getting rid of cable television for a time. Do everything you can to eliminate outside costs and use that money to pay off your credit cards.

Another thought is to get a second job. Use this extra income to help eliminate your debt and use this income ONLY as credit card payments.

As you apply these five steps to chose only one “spending” credit card, study where your money is going, setting a small daily emergency budget, returning and selling items, and living as minimally as possible to apply as much income to your credit cards you will find yourself financially confident.

You can do this. It might seem overwhelming right now, especially with seeing the totals you have to face and pay off. As you pay off your credit card debt and eliminate this from your life you will have the financial confidence in yourself to face the rest of your tomorrows.

What have you done to pay off your credit card debt? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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