Managing your credit card debt is one of those skills that you've either got sorted out, or fail miserably at. Sadly most people are part of the second category and are in need of a credit card overhaul. Happily, even people with drastic credit card and other debts can be helped, and that help doesn't have to involve the help of a credit counselor either, if you don't want it to. Here's how to manage and eliminate your credit card debt.
Credit Card Debt Management 101: Cut the cards up
No I'm not crazy. If you're obviously in that much need of help and really want to know how to manage your credit card debt then listen carefully. I don't want you to stop spending necessarily so don't panic. I'm just suggesting you stop spending money you don't have on things you can't afford. Surely that's not unreasonable. I realize that we live in a modern society where plastic talks more than cash a lot of the time, which brings me to step 2…
Credit Card Debt Management 102: Get a prepaid credit card
These wonderful bits of plastic let you spend like the wind still, but they stop working when you run out of actual money in your account. The money you actually have, not some theoretical money that you don't actually own, but you borrow off someone else to buy things right now. So really, it's like a debit card attached to your savings account, except it looks and feels like a credit card. Nice.
A prepaid credit card may well be the solution to managing your credit card debt. This is great news too because while yes you will still have to pay fees for the privilege of having the card, they'll be much less than if you were using a credit facility. Did I mention you're less likely to overspend? Which brings me to…
Credit Card Debt Management 103: Learn some basic budgeting
Sit down and work out how much money is coming in and what expenses you need to pay out of that money and see what you have left. Out of that money you get to pay other bills and unexpected things like a visit to the doctor or if your car breaks down… all that fun stuff no one seems to budget for an seems surprised by when it happens. Budget for those things too and you'll find yourself in a much better financial position before you know it. Just for the sake of it, if your budget allows I'd even budget for some extra money on your outstanding credit card debt to pay it off quicker, but that's just me!
Credit cards are horrible things, but unfortunately often a necessary eveil. If you want to manager your credit card debts you'll have to take action, and take control of your finances. Burying your head in the sand is not going to get you out of trouble. Facing up to the issue, taking steps to improve it and make sure it doesn't happen again is the only way to really move forward for your own good and that of your family.