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Getting out of Credit Card Debt
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Caitlin
Student Contributor
Posted July 5, 2016
Getting into debt is scary. Some people avoid it at all costs, getting anxiety at the idea of debt. Unfortunately, no matter how careful we are, unexpected expenses can happen, causing a deficit to our budget, forcing us to confront the possibility of taking on debt. So what do you do if you over charge a credit card? Here are some of our suggestions:
Stop. Take a deep breath.
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It can be hard to relax when you realize that you don’t have enough money to pay off your credit card. You’ve been taught to pay off the balance every month and last month you charged more than you made. It can be stressful and overwhelming, but take a deep breath, relax, and realize that you can fix this.
Write out your list of expenses.
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Similar to creating your own budget, write out the amount you spent last month and how much you made. Figure out exactly where you’ve fallen short. Next, try to approximate your income for the next month. Of your remaining money, subtract your expenses (rent, groceries, utilities) and see what’s leftover. Figure out how much you can afford to put toward the balance each month to pay it off in as little time as possible.
Pay off your balance as soon as you can.
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If you’re carrying a balance, you’re going to pay interest on it, which means you should pay it off as soon as possible. Try cutting back on some of your extra expenses. Maybe you don’t eat out for the next month, or maybe you cut your grocery budget back a bit. Do what works for you and your personal budget. The important thing to remember is that sacrifices can help you pay off your balance as fast as possible.
Make more, spend less.
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Which one sounds better? Making more or spending less? Both will help you reach your goal of paying off your credit card debt. If you have certain expenses you absolutely can’t give up, or if you’re already living paycheck to paycheck, you might consider picking up an extra job. If that’s not feasible, try crafting and selling what you make, or selling items you no longer use, like clothes. If you want to spend less, try cutting back in areas you don’t absolutely need, such as cable. It may not be ideal, but it will help you pay off your credit card faster, and then you can reassess your budget and determine if you can afford some of the expenses you got rid of.
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