I know what you are thinking right now. Should I transfer my credit card balance to another card at zero percent interest? If you really want to get out of credit card debt then you need to stop playing the balance transfer game. Instead, do what I advise my financial coaching clients to do, pay off your credit card debt by going cash-only.
If you are a frequent user of credit cards, this will sound counter-intuitive. After all, you have worked so hard to earn points and miles. You also believe that your credit cards are helping you build a better credit score. But unless you are paying off the balance every single month, it will end up costing you thousands of dollars in interest and fees to maintain.
If you are sick and tired of making minimum payments on your cards and seeing no progress, then it is time to take a drastic measure. So, pull a pair of scissors and gather all your credit cards, because you need to start doing some clipping around here. And if you need some inspiration, check out how this couple paid off $5,000 in credit card debt by going cash-only.
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How They Paid off $5,000 in Credit Card Debt
The only way to get out of credit card debt is by committing to never using cards to finance your lifestyle. You need to get to the root of your spending problem and realize that credit cards enable you to overspend. Going forward you need to embrace the fact that if you cannot pay for things in cash, then you can’t buy them. That’s why it is essential to stop using them at all.
Let’s look at Leslie and Sam’s situation. This young couple had $5,000 in credit card debt when I started working with them. They had been using credit cards for years and didn’t use to live on a budget. After working with me, they decided to embrace a cash-only lifestyle and started using the envelope system.
At first, they were hesitant to cut the cards because they used to put every single purchase on plastic to earn points and miles. But they realized that for years, they had gotten on the credit card rat wheel of paying them off and racking up debt all over again.
Within three months of cutting the cards, living on a budget, and using the envelope system, they had paid off $1,000 in one card, $3,000 in the second, and $1,000 in the third card. They made it possible by cutting down expenses, sticking to the budget, and using some extra income they received to put towards their debt.
In Conclusion: Ready to Go Cash-Only?
I encourage my coaching clients to cut their credit cards if they really want to see traction in their finances. Some times they do it with determination, other times with hesitation. But I have never received a complaint from anybody who has cut the cards and regrets it. In fact, once they embrace the idea of not using credit cards, the results they see in their journey to get out of debt and build wealth are amazing.
If you are struggling to pay off your credit card debt, realize that by moving the balance to another card, even at zero percent, is doing NOTHING to pay down the balance. What you need to do is follow the debt snowball method to pay off your debt. Cut the cards, get on a strict budget, reduce cost, make extra money, and put all that cash towards paying down your debt. That is the only way to get out of the hole.
Related Articles to Paying Off Debt
- How to Save Money and Stop Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck
- The Debt Snowball Method
- How to Keep a Good Credit Score Without Being in Debt
- Five Habits to Change to Get Out of Debt
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