Credit cards can make life easy but they can also make life hell... Sorry to be so blunt! I have to admit I have some experience on how easy it is to pile on credit card debt! I did it well in another life of mine. I lived on my own and I didn't make a lot of money. If I wanted anything extra that was how I paid for it. Fortunately, I learned some hard lessons and I was able to get out of the debt and move on to a healthier plan which includes freedom from the stress of the monthly credit card bills!
In Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast, Pete and I talk about some different strategies on how to deal with impulsive buying. Getting rid of your credit cards all together is one of those strategies. You certainly at the very least do not want to take them with you to the store. If you need one for emergencies, keep it at home or better yet... Give it to a friend! Then the temptation is really out of your hands.
But what about how to get out of debt... Well I did a little research and here are some ideas, I thought were worth sharing...
1) Take an Inventory of Your Debt - This can be heartbreaking but living in denial is not going to help you. Figure out how many credit cards you have, how much you owe, and what is the interest rate.
2) Ask for a Lower Rate - Interest rates seem harmless but that is not the case. They add up! Have you ever heard the saying, "You won't know until you ask?" Well you have nothing to lose here, call each of your credit cards and ask for a lower rate. Be nice. And see what they have to say, at the very worst they will say is no.
3) Target the Highest Rate Card First - By targeting one card at a time, you will be able to see faster progress rather than trying to pay a little on each one. Most experts recommend that you target the highest interest card first, putting all of your money on that card and making minimum payments on the other ones.
4) Transfer your debt? - I did this. I would look for cards that had lower interest rates and then transfer my debt over. However, in this article from Real Simple, they caution you to only do this if you plan on paying off the card prior to the introductory rate going away.. I never thought of that but it certainly makes sense!
Lastly, I suggest working with a Financial Planner or Accountant on setting up a plan for you. They will be able to give you the attention you need for your situation. Giving you additional tips and resources. There is no shame in asking for help. It also brings in some accountability, which will only help you!
Until Next Time...