Sometimes the circumstances of life cause you to run out of money. When this happens, your credit cards can come in handy to pay for essential expenses that can’t be postponed or avoided, like food, medicine, and utilities.
If you’ve racked up credit card debt this year, you’re probably in good company. After all, many people still haven’t fully returned to work, and inflation has made everyday expenses like groceries and gasoline more expensive in general. But if you want to end the year debt free, here are some steps you can take to make it happen.
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1. Get a tighter budget
Keeping a budget is a good debt avoidance strategy. After all, if your expenses are clearly defined for you, you’ll be less likely to overspend.
But if you’ve ever been in debt, you may need to be more stringent with your budget to free up some extra money to pay it off. Take a look at your spending and see if there is leeway to reduce spending. This could mean temporarily canceling a streaming service or being more frugal at the supermarket – look for things that match your specific situation.
2. Choose a secondary activity
You may already be living a rudimentary lifestyle and have no expenses that you can cut back. But if it does, you are not doomed to stay in debt. If you can get a sideline on top of your main job, you can use the proceeds from that gig to reduce your balance.
Keep in mind that having a sideline doesn’t necessarily mean committing to set times. Nowadays there are many concerts that you can do independently. You can request to write or edit content from home, drive for a rideshare service, or sign up for pet or house sitting when it’s convenient for you. And these are just a few examples.
3. Make a balance transfer
The less interest you earn on your credit card debt, the easier it will be to pay it off. And to that end, a balance transfer credit card can help.
When you make a balance transfer, you are transferring your existing balances to a new credit card with a lower interest rate. You may, in fact, be able to get an introductory 0% APR on your balance transfer. A balance transfer is especially worth pursuing if you have decent credit. (If your credit is lower, you might have a hard time qualifying.)
End the year on a good financial note
A lot of people like to start a new year with a blank financial slate, so you might be motivated to get rid of credit card debt by the end of 2021. The good news is that there are several tactics you can take. use to achieve this goal. And remember, even if you can’t seem to get rid of it all of your credit card debt before 2022, if you reduce your balance, you will always end the year in a better position.