When you are planning your next summer holiday, or thinking about a few luxury items that you would love to be able to afford, it is all too easy to look into applying for a credit card. After all, you will pay back what you owe, it’s just borrowing money, right?
It can be especially tempting when it seems that every other day information is posted to you from a bank depicting just how great their interest rates and credit card offers are, but sometimes even those with the greatest of intentions manage to end up in debt due to having too many credit cards. Here, we have devised a guide to help you tackle this issue and one by one be able to cut your plastic up.
Figure out what cards amount to
As obvious as it may sound, you can’t begin to tackle your debts until you know exactly what they are! Go through your purse or wallet and see how many credit cards you actually have and check your statements to see what the balance is on each of them.
On top of this, if any of the cards are charging interest, ensure you know what amount this is and how much you are being charged per month. It’s also imperative that you know what the minimum monthly payment is and when it is due so that you don’t end up missing any and causing more damage.
Do you have savings sat in an account that, while gaining interest, could be used to clear one of your cards? As much as we all like the security of having savings, if you are spending money needlessly elsewhere on charges, you technically aren’t saving anything. Borrowing money will cost you more money than you will be able to save.
Saving will feel so much better when you are wholly able to do it without worrying about debts that are growing elsewhere.
Yes, the B word has to be mentioned here. When paying off debt, it is often the most obvious methods that are overlooked. Chances are that if you have a number of credit cards with large balances to pay off, you aren’t living within your means and often go further than spending money on the essentials.
Do you really need that new handbag? Can you save money by making dinner at home instead of eating out at a restaurant? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself, as while luxuries may bring excitement and moments of joy, they are not worth the anxiety that can come with debt.
Create or download a budget sheet (there are loads available online) and enter in the details of all your outgoings. Make sure to fill it in to the exact amount otherwise you won’t be able to get on top of your finances 100 per cent. Compare it to your incomings and you will soon see where you can make some changes in your spending habits. While it may not look like you can save much money, in the long run it will add up and every bit helps towards paying off your credit cards.
Make some order
When you have multiple credit cards to pay off, it is better to pay one at a time rather than trying to do them all equally simultaneously. Not only is it satisfying to be able to close an account, it also means that you can minimise the number of debts you have quicker.
How you decide which order to do this in depends on a couple of things: which is greater out of the highest interest rate and the lowest balance? It is usually advisable to pay off the credit card that is charging the greater interest as this reduces the risk of paying more back than you need to.
It might seem unmanageable when you have so many cards to pay off, but by taking in some of the advice above, you will be able to manage it and at some point become debt-free.