Your can have a richer lifestyle when your money's not falling into a black hole of endless payments and high interest rates. You'll feel more relaxed and live better without a $3,000 credit card debt. With a regular income and discipline, you can pay it off eventually. However, you can kill the debt monster more quickly by attacking it from multiple directions.
Going to Cash
If you charge $100 for every $100 you pay on your credit card, your $3,000 debt will grow old along with you and your partner. Hide your credit card away and don't leave home with it. Use only cash, checks and debit cards to get your family on a 100 percent cash basis. As a bonus, you'll automatically spend less, according to Jane Bryant Quinn, author of "Making the Most of Your Money Now."
Lowering Your Interest Rate
Lower the interest rate on your $3,000 debt so that your monthly payments pay off the principal faster. Apply for a card that offers a zero percent rate on balance transfers for one year but choose a card that doesn't make you pay a huge fee. Jane Bryant Quinn suggests finding one with a maximum fee of $50. Once you're approved, transfer your debt and repay in full before the special rate expires. Find the best deals on balance transfer cards on the Bankrate.com website.
Savings in a money market fund or savings account may give you a warm, fuzzy feeling. However, if you're paying high interest on a credit card and getting low interest on your savings, hoarding is costing you real money. Take that money out of savings and put it on your credit card debt. ABC News says if you were saving for an emergency, the debt is an emergency.
Finding Other Assets
Find more cash to pay down your credit card debt by cashing in stocks, mutual funds or savings bonds. Tap your tax refund, hold a yard sale or sell collectibles and furniture on the Internet. "Kiplinger" suggests researching online what people have paid for similar goodies before setting your price. Sell your unused gold jewelry to a dealer and put the money on your debt.
Slash spending to free up extra money for debt repayment every month. Kick the smoking or drinking habit and quit buying cigarettes or alcohol. Cut energy costs with insulation, rent yard equipment and shop at yard sales or thrift stores. Find free entertainment in the community or at the library. Follow a grocery list and cook at home using meat-stretching recipes. Make frugal vegetarian meals more often. Put your monthly budget savings toward paying off your credit card.
Earn more money and put every extra dollar on your credit card debt each month. Get a part-time job, market your crafts or share your skills. For example, tutor math or teach piano or guitar. Become a direct salesperson for a product you know and love. Babysit, walk dogs, feed pets or take over chores for vacationers for extra cash.
- Making the Most of Your Money Now; Jane Bryant Quinn
- ABC News: Better-Smarter-Faster Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt
- CNN.com: Ten Creative Ways to Earn Extra Money
- Kiplinger: 11 Ways to Get Extra Cash
- Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images