(Closed) NWR but money related… Tips to paying off credit cards?

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

For credit cards, I think it’s helpful to 1) pay off more than the minimum, of course and 2) start from lowest to highest (assuming all interest rates are about the same). That way, it keeps you motivated. For example, it will take you less time to pay off like $200 vs $1000, so if you complete the $200 first, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and be like, “YAH! I did it! Now x number to go!” So you would do HUGE payments to the lowest card first and continue doing the smaller (preferably still higher than the minimum) payments to the higher cards.

I would also put away all of your cards (or have your SO hide them – assuming he doesn’t forget where he put them) so you can still get them for emergencies but you don’t automatically reach for them regularly.

Of course, cooking your own food is always cheaper than eating out. I find eating whole foods is cheaper and more satisfying than processed (e.g. a fresh vegetable stirfry vs a large TV dinner). Pasta, rice and beans (dried, not canned) are quite inexpensive. Drink water, not alcohol, sodas, or juice.

I also write down my budget for the month and schedule all my payments and my paydays. That way, you see the full running total of what NEEDS to be paid and what you have leftover. If you have leftover money, you can add more to a card payment. Regardless, this keeps you honest in terms of general spending, versus “I think I have this amount…”

Post # 4
Member
233 posts
Helper bee

Would you apply for a new credit card that offers zero interest on balance transfers on a fixed period? Then you could try and pay it off in the allotted time,usually about 12 to 15 months depending on the deal offered.

You must be strict with yourself though and not use the new card to accumulate any more debt.Ive done this and arranged for a set amount to come out of my bank account towards it every month.

Theres a credit expert in the UK called Martyn Lewis and this is his method. It’s popular here in the UK. He has a website called the moneysavingexpert which has great advice.

Post # 5
Member
540 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

start with the highest interest card and pay more than the minimum with that one card, pay the minimum on the others. Once you  pay one off close it, work on the next highest interest one.

 

I would also look at your spending and try to put away an extra $50 a month towards the cards if you can… do you drink coffee? Go out with friends? Cutting something like a night at the movies or coffee once a week will make that money add up really quick!

 

Good luck!

Post # 6
Member
5668 posts
Bee Keeper

Call your credit card companies and ask very nicely for interest reductions. You can call their backdoor numbers and might have more success (Google backdoor customer service number for X company). Then snowball. Pick the card with the highest interest and throw any extra money you have at it until it’s done, paying minimums on the rest. Once that’s paid off, move on to the card with the second highest interest, so now you’re paying everything you were paying to the first card to the second, plus what you were paying when paying the minimum on it. Continue this until you’re done and periodically call the companies and ask for lowered interest along the way.

Do you have an emergency fund? If not, put the snowballing on hold (Still call about the interest rates) and pay minimums until you have sacked away $1000 for an emergency, then jump into paying your cards.

Post # 7
Member
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Budget budget budget! I use mint.com and got to really see how much we were spending on unnecessary things. It seems like your schedule is pretty full so if you can’t make extra money, this helps cut from places you don’t realize. 

On groceries, we plan out our meals in advanced so we can use the leftovers from the night before in the next day’s meals. I HATE when something goes bad and we have to throw it out so this has really helped that. Also, on some fresh stuff that I don’t think I will use up right away, I split it with friends so I dont have anything go bad. Depending on the type of food, I package freezeable meals so that we never have to order out if we are in a bind or don’t feel like cooking. 

Post # 8
Member
2137 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

freeE your crrdit cards n put them in the fridge lol anyone seen confessions of a shopaholic lol. 

Post # 9
Member
11752 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Sign up for a new card with 0% interest on balance transfers if you can! Otherwise, focus on the one with the highest interest rate and put in as much to it as you can – even an extra $10.00/month will help!  

 

Post # 10
Member
2254 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Boil down your life to the necessities or at least find cheaper alternative to the things you feel you can’t live without. Make your coffee at home instead of going to Starbucks, if you or a friend have a Costco or Sam’s card, buy things in bulk, coupon or at least see what your local grocery stores are having a sale on and plan your meals around that; collect loose change in a bucket and empty it out at the end of the month; if you have clothes you barely wear collecting dust in your closet, take it to a Palto’s closet or consignment store and get some extra cash; pick up a side job like babysitting or tutoring. There are so many options. The important thing is to make a plan and stick to it!

Post # 11
Member
6124 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Paiger8:  Do you know what you are left with each month after income minus expenses?  What is that amount?

Post # 13
Member
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

If having more than one credit card will be too tempting, you could always get a low-interest loan from a credit union, use that loan to pay off the credit card, and then pay off the loan.  I did that, and since the loan is only like 36 months, I have to pay larger amounts than I was paying on my credit card.  

But ugh, I hate credit card debt as well!

Post # 14
Member
5984 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

@Paiger8:  Well, first, congrats on realizing that credit card debt is a problem and you want to fix it 😀

1. Cut up all your credit cards except one for emergencies. make sure to cancel all accounts that require yearly fees, etc.

2. paying the minimum payment is awful. Always at least pay $10 over the minimum each month. Idealy pay double the minimum. 

3. take a hard look at what you are spending your money on. WRITE it down or fill out an excel spreadsheet, once you do that it will be obvious where you can cut corners (eating out, etc)

4. cheap recipes! great idea and thinking! I suggest crockpot meals. A great and healthy one is chicken and salsa con queso. Cook it on low for 4 hours and then shreed the chicken with two forks. You can use this chicken for tacos, on lettuce with tortilla chips or by itself with just some instant rice. Another great cheap meal is tuna salad. Soups are good too. Especially those boxed soups that have multiple servings. Those are only a few dollars and give you several meals. Just add a grilled cheese sandwich or some carrots and hummus and you have a balanced meal.  pay attention to where you buy your foods. if you have an aldi available to you, I highly recommend getting foods there. If you dont have a good discount store, sign up for your stores coupons online. But watch out printing coupons, ink is expensive!!! usually you can sign up for mail coupons so you dont hvae to print. also, buy frozen fruits and vegetables. that way, you dont waste any food and always have healthy foods available.

5. eat at home as much as possible. Have your coffee, tea, soda and alcohol at home. Dont order these things at resturants. Adding a drink that is not water to your meal costs an extra 2-6 dollars to your bill!!! Drink water when you eat out!! If you really want or need a soda, carry them with you or stop by McDonalds and get a $1 dollar drink or coffee (just dont do this often). 

6. keep a journal of all the money you spend. if you stop by McDonalds and get a $1 coffee, write it down. If you take a bus to school write down your fare. if you pay $.10 for a copy at school, write it down. This will realy show you how much money you are spending on a daily basis and show you opportunities to save money. you will probably be surprised how quickly and easily you “waste” money. we all do it…

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