The least complicated way to curtail credit card debt is to simply pay off that which you owe immediately and proactively, but this is easier said than done. After all, you’ve got life to attend to. That means food, gasoline, car payments, house payments, perhaps alimony payments, and a good helping of one vice or another.
Well, you can certainly cut out the vice…or the hobby. The point is, even if you’re being very responsible with your assets, you’re likely spending money on something you don’t need to.
Before you look at finding more creative ways to pay your credit card debt, first concentrate on the root problem: unnecessary expenditure. An additional note: don’t feel bad about the following items. The US government makes unnecessary expenditures continuously.
Ways We Spend Unnecessarily
A great unnecessary expenditure that can save you hundreds every month is surprisingly simple: coffee. Do you have to have that three-dollar large coffee from Starbucks every morning? Well, you’re spending $21 a week, or $84 a month—as high as $93 on months with 31 days. If you’re doing a $5 coffee, you’re at $155.
Cut that $5 coffee out and replace it with the one you make yourself at home. If you’re spending $5 a day on coffee, and spend $60 dollars on a good-sized coffee cup and a primo coffee maker, then you save $1,800 a year. That’s enough to buy your teenager their first terrible car.
What else are you wasting money on; fast food? Are you cooking your own meals, or are you sourcing them on a regular basis from some fast food outlet? Well, if you spend $10 a day on fast food, that’s $70 a week, or a minimum of $280 a month. At 52 weeks in a year, you’re looking at $3,640.
But if you spend $200 a month on food, that’s only $2,400. You eat better, spend less, and ease your credit burden. The only downside is, you have to cook—but is that really so horrible?
Combined Potential Savings
If you divide the costs of coffee and food to $900 and $1,820, respectively, you’re still looking at $2,720. So you’re looking at a spread between $2,720 and $5,440 in unnecessary food depending on your dining habits. We haven’t even addressed drinking, smoking, model-building, artistry, or any number of other expenses.
Are you shopping at Plato’s Closet or JC Penney? Salvation Army, or Dillard’s? How about movies, NetFlix, and video games? Do you have a library card, or do you buy books when one catches your fancy? Shoot, you’re probably spending $200 to $300 a month on complete frivolities.
If you’re buying four packs of cigarettes a week, that’ll be around $80 a month. If you’re spending $20 a week on booze, that’s another $80 a month. If you’re spending $300 on other frivolities, that’s $460, or the rent on a cheapo apartment.
That works out to $5,520 a year. You could potentially excise a combined total of $10,960 out of your yearly expenses just by cutting down on the junk spending.
Turn that over to credit card debt relief, and you’ll be debt free in just a few years; then you can spend frivolously again—albeit more carefully! But if you have multiple cards, you want to get an idea of what you owe so you can cover it all at once. Consolidation may be key.
If you’re looking for easier payments, according to Consolidated.Credit, “Debt consolidation allows people to combine several debts into one. People who consolidate debt will not only make it more manageable, but they will also save money. Additionally, they will be able to pay off their debts more quickly.”
One last thing: you may be able to achieve a lower interest rate on payments through debt consolidation and other debt management plans, allowing you to further expedite your debt payoff. So take stock of your finances, and see how you can ease the debt burden.
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