Some think that making the minimum payment every month on credit cards is more than good enough, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Interest rates add up and can completely outdo almost all of the payment you put toward the principal balance. However, not everyone feels they can afford to pay more than the minimum. You’re not alone; there are many people who are in the same situation as you.
On the contrary, you likely can afford to pay more than the minimum payment on your credit cards, you just don’t know it yet. It’s important, especially if you racked up a lot of holiday costs, to start the new year out right by coming up with a plan for reducing your credit card debt. Consider this your year to get out of the money hole, and the best way to do that is to start paying more than the credit card companies are telling you to pay.
Even if you’re thinking there’s no way you could pay more than you do now, you might be surprised how a little reorganization and planning can turn things around There are several ways you can start the new year out right by paying your minimum and then some every month from here on out until you finally get your bill down to zero.
Pay in Pieces
This is one of my favorite ways to pay my credit card every month. I’ll pay a certain amount of money each week toward my credit card instead of paying one lump sum every month. I make sure to pay more than the minimum I owe and paying my bill in pieces allows it to be less painful than sending in a single payment. You may find this to be easier as well.
Pay in the Beginning of the Month
Another one of my favorite ways to pay my credit card is to send in a payment at the beginning of the month, even if the bill isn’t due until the end, then every week I’ll send in a little something extra toward the balance. It allows me to make sure I get the bill paid on time and feel satisfied knowing I’m paying more than I have to. This could be an easy option for you as well, especially if you find yourself short on cash by the due date.
Earn Extra Income
Pay the minimum amount from your paycheck, but earn extra money every month and use that cash to pay extra. It’s virtually painless and you won’t have to worry about being short on money for the rest of the month.
Here are some easy ways to earn extra cash:
- Sell off your junk – It’s a win-win situation. You sell off your clutter and earn money in the process. What could be better?
- Teach – Whether you do it in front of a crowd or you do it online, there are plenty of opportunities to teach others how to do a specific skill. For example, you’re likely skilled at using the Internet whereas some others aren’t. Offer your services whether you teach them how to order checks online, how to make an international phone call using VoIP, or how to clear out their cache.
- Run errands – There are several websites that allow you to do the errands of others for a good amount of cash. In some cases, the errands are as simple as picking up a birthday cake or scheduling a reservation at a busy restaurant.
- Do surveys – This is something you can do during commercials while you’re watching TV. There’s usually a minimum payout amount, so as soon as you get it, you can throw it right into your checking account and pay it toward your credit card.
- Pet walking – There’s always someone who needs their pet walked and doesn’t have time to do it themselves. It’s fun, easy and requires very little time.
Stop Using Your Credit Cards
The more you pay off on your credit card, the less your minimum amount is going to be. Even if you significantly pay down your credit card, continue to pay more th
an what your minimum amount was at your highest point. When you stop using your credit cards, it allows you to stop incurring even more debt which also raises your minimum amount.
When you force yourself into the mentality that you can only make the minimum payment every month, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. You’re going to get stuck in a vicious cycle of repeatedly paying the credit card companies and barely getting anywhere.
The sooner you pay off your bills, the less time you’ll have to deal with a huge bill hanging over your head. Even making a plan to get to that point is a great way to start the new year, especially if it results in you having a zero balance by the end of the year.
Lauren Romano is a freelance writer who gains inspiration for her writing from a variety of sites whether it’s browsing www.buychecksbymail.com or reading through discount deal sites. She loves the city but lives for the beach. Her goal is to eventually retire on a secluded island with a pina colada in hand.