How do you stop digging yourself deeper into debt?
Americans carry a lot of debt, and it is easy for mounting debt to grow. Sometimes, it grows faster than you can pay it off, and that can be very stressful.
Here are five surefire strategies to help you help yourself:
1. Give yourself a 'time out.'
Parents know the "time out" routine. You can do the same with your credit card. Vow to wait 48 hours before you buy anything. If you still must have it in 48 hours, then buy it -- with cash. Don't have the cash? Don't buy it.
2. Stop using your credit cards.
Yes, this is the obvious one. If you're in the habit of leaning into your credit cards, this can be tough.
Some ways that people have gone cold turkey:
3. The $100 key rule.
Actually, this can be the $50 or $25 rule, as well. Commit yourself to never spending more than X amount when you go to the store for something else.
Say you go to the store to buy a new shirt for work. You estimate a new shirt will cost you $40. Do NOT leave the store with any additional purchases that add up to an additional $100 (or $50, or $25). Set your spending target amount BEFORE you go shopping. Do not change this magic number.
Here's the key: that's $100 (or $50, or $25) you're not spending in CASH. We're assuming you've decided to listen to Rule 2. This rule helps keep your cash flow flowing -- so you've got an extra $25, $50, or $100 to put toward your credit card payment.