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When we’re young, many of us take out the first credit card our banks offer us. Thinking ourselves grown up, we promise that we’ll only use it for emergencies and we’ll always pay it off in full every month. We say things like “it’ll never cost a penny” and “having it will help me build a credit score”.
For a small group, this is all true. They use their card sensibly, they pay it off, they switch to the best deals and barely pay any interest, and their credit scores are fantastic. For many more people, things aren’t so rosy.
Those emergencies can come more and more often. Cards start being used for treats and impulse purchases. We can’t afford to pay more than the minimum payment, and we’re paying more interest than we’re actually paying off the debt. The amount we owe can quickly start to spiral out of control as the debts rise into the thousands. We have to take out another card because all our disposable income is being used to pay off the first debt and there’s no credit left to cover those inevitable emergencies.
Debt is a very real problem for a large portion of the population. Even those with good jobs and a relatively high income can find themselves struggling to pay for the essentials every month because huge amounts of their cash-flow go towards making repayments. Debts are a massive waste of money that you need to get rid of. Let’s make a plan..
Assess Your Debts
If you’ve got more than one debt, you should pay off the one that’s costing you the most first. Look at the interest rates and charges and list them in order.
Set up a standing order to pay whatever you can afford either weekly or monthly so that you can’t forget. Even just a small amount more than the minimum payment will help to clear your debt much faster. Increase the amount whenever you can.
Claim What You Are Owed
People are proud. Don’t let your pride cost you money. If you’ve paid PPI, make a claim. If you are able to claim any benefits, do it, they are there to help. And, if you’ve had an accident, contact a personal injury lawyer who could help you get the money you are owed.
The internet is a fabulous tool when it comes to earning extra cash. Even if you work full-time and have very little spare time, there are plenty of ways that you can earn a little extra money online. Some of the best include:
- Starting a blog and making money through advertising, sponsored posts and affiliate marketing
- Market research, get paid to test websites, products, and stores, or to complete surveys
- Reviewing. Many companies will pay for reviews of products and services
- Freelancing. Make money as a freelance writer or web designer in your spare time
- Selling stock photographers
Cut Your Cards Up
The best way to make sure you get out of debt is not adding more. Cut your cards up now. If a genuine emergency arises, you can always get a new one within a few days.