Live without Credit Cards: 77 Tips

America, we have a credit card problem. The average American family carries more than $8,000 in debt! Don’t be part of the statistic. Here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a slave to your credit card debt.

Stretch Your Income

1. Take charge of your salary. Get organized and develop a spending plan. Yes, a budget. Keep it simple-track the money you’ve earned and spent. At the end of the month, look at it with a critical eye. Where can you cut and save?

2. Work more. If you can, pick up a little overtime. Work an extra shift or bonus-paying project.

3. Take advantage of your employer. Find out about any employer-sponsored benefits available to you. Wellness programs offer discounts on things you may already spend money on, like a gym membership. Many employers also allow you to set away pre-tax dollars for health and child care.

4. Trim your health costs. Medical bills can come unexpectedly and be very painful. Be smart: participate in an employer-sponsored health plan. These plans allow you to protect yourself from health-induced financial ruin by paying for health-care premiums on a tax-free basis.

5. Got a raise? Save it. If you don’t see the money, you’??re not going to miss it. Instead of charging your next major purchase, you can pay cash with the money you saved.

6. Fix your disposable income. Budget a set amount for your disposable income. Instead of using all of your extra money for a trip to Fiji, first work on paying off loans and set money aside in savings. Sure, it’s not fun to sock away extra cash. But won’t that vacation be more relaxing when you know you can truly afford it?

7. Face the facts. Most of us tend to have a certain level of denial towards credit. Face reality for a change. You can’t control your credit cards if you don’t know how much you owe.

Play Smart With Card Companies

8. Lose interest. Try to pay of credit cards that carry the highest interest rate first. But don’t neglect the others. Make at least minimum payments to avoid expensive late fees and damage to your credit.

9. Ask for a better deal on your high rate cards. If you succeed, you’ll soon notice that your minimum payment is lower. But here’??s the twist: instead of paying the lowered amount, continue paying your old high-rate amount. You’ll see your balance shrink faster without any additional squeeze on your budget.

10. Move on for a better deal. Find a zero percent or low-interest credit card, then transfer your high interest balance. Be careful! One late payment can turn your great deal into another high balance.

11. Improve your credit score. If your score’s too low, you may have trouble getting a good deal on loans and credit cards. Designate a period of time within wh