What I wish people told me before I got $16,000 in CC debt

by east_off

Quick background. I got my first credit card by accident. I thought I was filling out a “loyalty card” at Cabelas. Ended up being a line of credit. I was 23.

4 short years later and married with a baby girl, I find myself with $16,000 in credit card debt. I actually saved my very last dollar and have it taped to my steering column in my truck. And when I say last dollar I truly mean it. We had negative balance in the bank and overtaxed all our cards.

Less than two years later, we now have $16,000 in savings and no credit card debt. (We finance one of our cars)

Credit card debt is crippling. My dad calls it the ULTIMATE SLAVEMASTER. It forces you into depression almost by default and controls every aspect of your life.

Here’s my list and I hope it helps you. I’m no guru, I just learned the hard way.

  1. You will not pay it off later. When ‘later’ comes, you’ll be buying other things to pay off later.
  2. Read Dave Ramsey’s money makeover. It’s got good tips and the tactics work.
  3. The Jones’ can suck it. They’re miserable and controlled by debt also. Don’t buy things you don’t need to compete with people you don’t care for anyways.
  4. Pick up a side hustle. I taught myself to make skateboards, and would handmake 2-3 a week to sell to help pay off the debt. My wife picked up Birth photography
  5. Talk to your boss, ask what you can do to take a bigger paycheck home.
  6. Be a bitch about your budget. Set it and don’t stray from it.
  7. Put post-it notes with $0.00 written on them at the office, in your car, on your mirror, on your phone background. Seeing that everywhere actually reminded me of my goal of achieving $0.00 CC debt. Not sure if it legit made a difference but I think it might’ve
  8. Become emotionless toward money. I would get so pissed that I was dumping hundreds of my paycheck into debt payoff. It was only till I stopped giving a f#&@ that it became easier to make bigger payments.
  9. Save nothing until it’s paid off. It doesn’t make sense to save money when you have CC debt growing exponentially in the opposite direction.
  10. When in doubt… overpay. If you run short on money in your checking, but whoop, dip into the CC for 50 bucks. Keep basically nothing in your bank account because “you spend what you have.” My family could live off of $75 a week. But if we have $300 to live off of, guess what… we would use $300. So I would always put as much as made sense. A few times I overpaid but it forced us to be frugal.
  11. Unsave your cards on Amazon. So if you go to buy something you have to go through the hassle of finding the card and filling in the fields.

These are just some of the silly things I picked up along the way that I think would’ve helped me stay out of the mess. We are so happy now that we worked our butts off to become financially stable. I hope this helped!

 

 

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