“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Payoff, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #payoffmindset #whatsyourpayoff http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV”
The beginning of any year usually brings with it plenty of debt and lots of worries about getting those credit cards paid off. I'm just like everyone else, I spent quite a chunk of money over the holidays and then in January was hit with a $3,400 car repair bill. Sometimes I worry as I think about how much money goes out every month, versus how much comes back in. But I'll tell you what, I am not OVERLY stressed about it. What I can be thankful for is the fact that I have an income, and in fact my income has been pretty regular of late, which is not something easy to come by when you work online. I am one of the lucky ones, and though I do worry about my bills, I don't agonize over them.
This hasn't always been the case for me. I was unemployed and completely income-less for over 5 years. I know what it's like to watch the bills come in and not know where I would be getting the money to pay them. I know what it's like to get call after call from creditors asking for payment but knowing that there won't be any extra left over to send them. It's such an incredibly stressful thing to go trough, it gets so bad you can't even sleep at night. After having gone through 5 years of this, it's not a situation that I ever want to find myself in again and that is why I am treating my credit like gold. After years of not being able to pay off my debt and having less than desirable credit, I have raised my credit score and am actively involved in keeping it as high as possible.
Your credit rating is beyond important. The car you drive, the place you live in, even what cell phone you carry, are all affected by your score. Do you want to have to dish out $699 for an iPhone 6 or $199 with good credit? I don't know about you but I could never pay full price for a phone, I like the small payment I made and the fact that I can upgrade in two years. I am also aiming for a new car next year, but one with a low APR. And maybe one day we can look into owning another home, that's still to be seen but it's going to be a possibility as long as I keep taking care of my credit. Today I am sharing a few tips that have helped me pay off credit card debt.
1. Add up your balances and write them down in black and white. I used to hide my bills, and let me tell you that NEVER worked. How will you make a plan that works unless you know your true debt? Grab a calculator, a notepad and add those balances.
2. Write a monthly budget EVERY month. Add up every single bill and expense making sure to leave yourself a portion for your personal shopping. Once you've budgeted everything out divide your balance 50/50. I put 50% in my savings account and I use the remaining 50% to pay off an extra amount on each of my cards.
3. Never pay the minimum. Two of my cards have a higher interest rates. These are cards that I got for the sole purpose of raising my score. If I only paid the minimmum amount every month, I would be paying an arm and a leg in interest. I always pay these two cards off completely every month. For the other cards I pay the minimum plus as much extra as I can from that 50% above.
4. Stop buying on credit. The thing that really worked for me in helping me to turn my credit around was to completely stop using my cards. When you have a credit card in hand, it's easy to forget that you don't have that money and you end up overspending. For two years, I only used the cash in my account and though it wasn't the most fun, it allowed me to payoff my balances without growing them.
5. Use Payoff.com. If you're finding that dealing with multiple credit card payments in different interest rates is getting too complicated to deal with, Payoff.com can help you consolidate those debts. Payoff was formed specifically to help customers pay off credit card debt in the easiest, safest, and most empowering way possible. You can apply in a matter of minutes and refinance your credit card debt so you only have one payment a month to deal with.
Can you imagine what it's going to be like to be to catch up with that old debt? Being in a better place with money, with my credit and in my work has been amazing. At one point, I never believed that I would ever have good credit. Last year alone I was able to get a new DSLR plus a MacBook Pro (not new but almost new) , and this year I upgraded my phone. And that's just the beginning. Next year I am aiming for a new car and and a move to a nicer area, and my good credit is going to help me get there.
Make 2015 the year that you reach your financial goals. Visit Payoff.com on Facebook and jump into the conversation. Getting out of debt IS POSSIBLE. What would you do with the extra money if you didn't owe it to your credit cards?