You need to cut down your monthly expenses and live frugally if you ever want to get out of debt. Let’s assume you have a $20,000 in credit card debt and you current minimum payment is around $500 per month. Unless you really don’t want to pay your credit card bills at all. You have to pay it in full before you can cancel your credit card.
Let’s say you have $14,000 in credit card debt and your current minimum payment is $350. At 21% with a minimum payment of 2.5% it will take you 542 months to get rid of your debt. In that time, you will pay more than $32,000 in interest. this is not at all funny. but this is how this works.
If you keep paying a fixed amount of $350 dollars (which is your current minimum payment),It will take you 70 months to be rid of your debt. In that time, you will pay $10,290.27 in interest. Still Its unacceptable.
However, If you manage to reduce expenses by $200 each month and apply that amount to your credit card’s minimum payment, then each month you can payback $550. this way, It will only take you 34 months (3 years) to get rid of all your debt. during this time, you will pay only $4,692.23 in interest. this is also crappy but better than 542(45 years) ye and 70 months(6 years) and you will save some where between $6,000 to $28,000 in your interest payments.
If you still doubt in what I say, You can use this Minimum payment calculator to find out how much money you will be wasting by not paying off your credit card balance as quickly as possible.
Indeed, there is no feeling like getting out of debt. Its always better than watching cable tv or dining out with friend. You will get more joy out of these activities when you are debt free.
So let me share with you, the list of things I banned from my life until I become debt free. I am no suggestion that you should follow this advice par see. you should look and adapt this list to your own life style. Make a list of your daily expenses. better keep a journal. then decide.. which expenses can you cut? what are the things that you can live without? You will sure find stuff in your life that is eating up all that cash. Living frugally till your debt is fully is not easy but it is also not impossible.
Best advice I can give you is to either Transfer Credit Card Balance to a low interest card or apply for a debt consolidation loan. in either case following tips will help you paying off the debt in full.
Five Expenses you can’t afford when you are broke
Expensive Cars, Phones
You might well be thinking that it’s the car you drive that defines you. people judge you by the phone you carry. No, this is not what defines you. Sell you phone, get a basic cell phone with cheap package and use it for emergency only.
Sell that fuel guzzling expensive car. get a cheaper economical car. Use the proceeds from sale to pay off some of your debts. Check out top 10 list of inexpensive but great cars
Except some really shallow people, no one care what you drive. And shallow people suck big time. You will not like to be in debt for those suckers. People you should care about are your family and friends. Friend don’t care what car you drive and what is model no of your mobile phone.
Golf Club / Gym Memberships
Sell or cancel your membership. Yo don’t need it. you can do without them. Yes! It’s your health we are talking about. You don’t need a gym to loose weight, there are other ways too. You can do exercise in public parks.
Since, I hope you will be following all these tips.. you will not be eating out as much as you are now. You will not be sitting on as for hours due to that Cable TV. It will be lot easier for you to lose weight. Once you have paid off all the debt, you can reward yourself with a gym membership. in the mean time, run on city streets and parks. (I bet you will enjoy it more)
Impulse Buying / Recreational Shopping
Make a list of grocery items you need this month & when you go for shopping stick to it. No impulse buying. I know shopping makes you feel better when you are depressed. you kids might need some extra stuff. you need some extra. you have to look better on work & expensive gifts for people are important. but NO. NO. NO.
If you are in credit card debt. probably it’s the crap you bought for the reasons above that got you in the mess you are in. You also have enough crap already in your house & that will last for a while. Stop all shopping. STOP ALL SHOPPING. repeat after me… stop all shopping. yes. Cut your credit cards if you can’t make yourself stop. better Freeze them in a ice cube. this will keep you from impulse shopping.
Dining Out / Weekend Drinking Spree
Those struggling with debt are always surprised that when they keep a record of every food-related purchase made for a month, including dining out, fast food stops, vending machines, etc., and realize just how much they spending. The fast food lunches and Starbucks coffee purchases really add up. This money could be better used to pay down debt instead.
If you kept a record of every penny your family spent on food, including dining out and fast food purchases for two months, you might be surprised to discover just how much you’re wasting on unnecessary items, too, such as prepackaged or ready to eat meals and such. It is recommend that you keep a record of what your family spends on food for a two month period so you can determine how to reduce your monthly food budget.
Put all your grocery money in an envelope and go to the store. Don’t spend any more than is in that envelope.
Cable TV / DishTV / Magazine Subscriptions
Cable, DishTV and loads of magazine subscriptions are expensive and a strain on your budget. You can save around $60 or more per month buy cacelling your cable TV or DishTV subscriptions. Find other modes of entertainment. If you go to movies, got to concerts, go to bars.. you may end up costing yourself well above $2000 in entertainment costs alone. (that does not include eating out.) there are ways to have fun and excitement that do not cost much. Here are a few ideas.
Instead of buying books and magazines, check them out. You will find a library within walking distance from your home for sure. they some times also have a great selection of DVDs. but it depends. Parks are also a nice place to hang out. Here is a time magazine article about Life without television. Its a good read indeed. check out.