I like my Visa. Always have. But it does not outshine cash.
Let’s face it, Visa is everyone whether you want it to be or not. Visa is accepted at the gas station, grocery store, airports, restaurants, and shopping malls.
Even vending machines take credit cards now. I once read that if you have to put groceries and gas on plastic, then you’re in trouble.
A book I read called Maxed Out, discusses the dangers of heavy dependence on credit.
You want to get on the right side of Mr. Interest, whereas, you earn it instead of pay it.
Here’s how you do it.
Read the fine print. Make sure to read your credit card statement. Know what interest rates you are paying and pay attention to the fees.
Pay off in three years. Credit card statements now show payment information of what happens when you pay only the minimum or what to pay to pay off your account in 3 years. If you stop using your card, you can pay it off in this time and be out of debt.
Plan to repay debt. I have read over 100 finance books and many state the same messages. One in particular is to make a plan to pay off all debt if possible in 3 to 5 years. Excluding the mortgage.
Setting goals. Write down a realistic plan to get rid of credit card debt. You need the amounts owed and interest rates. The goal has to be measurable such as 3, 4, or 5 years.
Stop digging. You will have to stop using plastic. It’s the only way.
Save for emergencies. Have a rainy day fund to help kick the credit card habit. If you can save 1-month worth of expenses, you can start to kick the habit as you can pay for what you want with cash.
Delayed gratification. Plan your expenses. If you want to go to a concert next year, then start planning well in advance and save the money to pay for it with cash. No credit equals no debt.
Right side of Mr. Interest. Once you pay off the credit card debt, you can focus on investing the money you were paying in finance charges and start earning interest of your own instead of paying it.
Simply put, you can go from paying interest to earning it on the money you invest. This 8-step plan will help you get there.