Is getting out of debt one of your financial goals?  No kidding – most families are fighting the Credit Card Monster all the time, and it gets exhausting!

Here are some super simple strategies that you can start on TODAY to take back control of this battle.      Credit Card

1.   Put a note in your wallet

This simple and silly strategy is highly effective at remembering what your goals are.  Write your goals down on a sticky note and put on your credit card.  When you pull it out to spend money you are reminded of your priorities and you may make a different choice.

2.   Choose a Debt-Free Date

Just by setting a date by which you will be debt free, you will find yourself being more focused towards that goal.  Creative ideas will come to you so you can get that date closer.

3.   Cool it down

Create a “cooling off” period for credit card purchases by making it harder to get at.  Take your card out of your wallet and put it somewhere that is less accessible.

A simple and effective way to cool it down is to place your credit card into a container with water and store it in the freezer.  Want to buy something off budget?  You have to wait until the container melts giving you some time to consider your decision.

Money tree

4.   Create a payment plan

Fast and effective, snowballing your debt payment plan is simple with some of the online calculators.  Just decide how much you have to pay towards your monthly debt payments, and the calculator will show you the fastest way to your debt-free date. You can find several online.  Here is one example: Snowball Calculator at About.com

5.  Ask for a better credit card deal

If you have good credit and have been paying your bills on time, you can ask for the credit card company to lower your interest rate.

6.   Do a Balance transfer

Your credit card companies will often offer balance transfers. Be aware that there is usually a 1-2% fee to transfer the money.   Also, if you use that card while you have a balance transfer on it, the new purchase is charged the regular interest rate.  Your payment is divided proportionally between the new credit and the balance transfer, meaning that you are accumulating higher interest on that new debt and there is no way to pay it off until the whole card is to zero.  This strategy requires diligence and attention.

7.   Work from zero

Focus on getting your lowest balance credit card to zero.  Sometimes you have to use a credit card.  When you do, use the credit card that is at zero.  Plan for and commit to paying it off to zero every month.

What will you take action on today?  Is it all a little overwhelming? Need more ideas? Ask your friendly Financial Coach. www.schedulewithkaren.com

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