Recently, I pulled myself out of credit card debt and it is a fantastic feeling! No longer am I a slave to the machine and no longer do I need to worry about minimum payments. I’ve attached a graph below showing my debt over the past 3 years.
It went from manageable to unmanageably pretty quickly and almost without warning. I tried strategy after strategy, but eventually got out of it. What you don’t see now is the $0 that I’m currently at, but trust me - it’s there.
So how did I do it?
Persistence. I knew that it would take time. I had budget a few years to get out of debt back in June of 2011 (when the debt was at it’s peak). Fortunately, I got out faster than I had planned, but I was prepared. Like most people, I piled onto “interest free” credit cards and played the games that people play with themselves when trying to dig free. It didn’t work. The only thing that really worked was knowing that someday soon, I’d be debt free.
People subscribe to various strategies when it comes to debt reduction and all of them are valid. They’re mostly valid, but the most important thing is to not add additional debt! Stop using your credit card for EVERYTHING. Go to the ATM and get cash, even if you need to pay a fee. The discipline is worth it.
Tell people that you’re paying down your debt. Tell friends and family so that you make a commitment. A stick in the ground is worth a lot.
It’s not easy, but when you’re down to zero, be sure to reward yourself. Debt is a terrible thing and people don’t often realize it. It’s so easy to get into debt, but you can spend the rest of your life trying to get out.
Stay persistent, friends,