How to win face to face with credit card bills

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re dealing with credit card debt. Interest accumulates quickly and before you know it, the bills are beyond your means. An action plan with play-by-play will set you up for victory over your debts.

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Q: When the latest pandemic restrictions started shortly before the holidays, my wife and I decided to splurge for the kids. They had worked so hard in school and with online learning, and we had to cancel our vacation travel plans, we thought they deserved great things. And by buying them, we also made ourselves happy. However, now that our credit card bills have started coming in, we’re a little worried. We spent more than expected. What can we do to get back on track sooner rather than later? ~ Hake


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A: This January period can be difficult. Dark winter days and inclement weather have a firm grip. We’re struggling to stick to the self-improvement goals we set for ourselves just three weeks ago. And nothing reminds us faster that the holidays are really over than the bills for the fun we had. But to prevent winter vacation from ruining your summer vacation plans, it’s important to find a way to pay credit card bills as quickly as possible.

It’s harder to get back on track because paychecks can be smaller at the start of the year than they have been in recent months. Depending on your income, once you have contributed the maximum to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) during the year, you face one less deduction until the start of the following year.


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Health care deductibles for public or employer-sponsored plans generally reset on January 1 of each year. It can also contribute to lower paychecks or higher expenses at the start of each year. And specific for 2022, the rising cost of living — especially with gasoline, groceries and general consumer goods, continued financial uncertainty for many households, and apprehension about the next stages of the pandemic — coping with credit card debt can seem almost insurmountable

To make paying off your credit cards easier, here are eight tips to get you started:

First tip: don’t procrastinate

Just like ripping off a bandage, the faster you do it, the faster the pain goes away. Take charge of your bills and regain control. Log in and see where you are; don’t wait for the final bills to arrive. Make a list of what you owe and figure out how best to prioritize your payments. Learn more about the Snowball and Avalanche Methods for Repaying Debt to get the most for your money.


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Second tip: choose two expenses to reduce

Rather than trying to cut all of your expenses, choose two major expenses that you can reasonably reduce temporarily. While saving a large amount is great, consistency is more important, so pick your first two with that in mind. Consider parking a vehicle for a few months if you are a two-car household. Check with your mobile provider if you can reduce data for six months. Ditch expensive personal care appointments and pay only for the most essential services. Pay the money you save directly to your bills.

How a family of four can save up to $70 a week

Tip 3: Remove the temptation to spend

There is no shortage of things we would like to spend our hard earned money on. But when we’re paying off a debt, every little extra expense makes it take a lot longer. Help yourself stay on track by removing temptation. This may mean going for a walk with a friend rather than meeting for lunch. Unsubscribe from emails from your favorite retailers and log out of apps and/or disable push notifications. Stay away from places that cause you to spend impulsively. In short, do whatever it takes to keep your money safe .


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Tip 4: Stop using your credit cards

If you’re serious about paying them back down to a manageable amount, you should stop using them unless absolutely necessary. It will help if you do not take them with you and remove the details from electronic payment systems.

How to stop relying on your credit cards to make ends meet

Fifth tip: recruit a partner for the trip

If you share household finances with someone, they will likely be your best partner in paying down future debt. Find ways to discuss your goals and talk about money without blaming or starting to argue. Make sure you’re on the same page so that one of you doesn’t spend what the other saves. If you manage your money on your own, ask a friend to set you a debt repayment or savings goal so you can work on your respective goals at the same time. Having a partner to help you through the tough times will make it easier for you to stick to your goals.


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How to talk to your spouse about setting financial goals

Sixth advice: pay more than the minimum

Making only the minimum required payments on your credit cards won’t get you out of debt anytime soon. They are designed to ensure that you meet your minimum contractual obligation, not that you pay as little interest as possible. And the more interest you pay, the longer it will take to get out of debt. Avoid the minimum payment trap by topping up your payments and paying out a set amount each month.

Four minimum payment myths and how to avoid the pitfalls

Seventh tip: base your decisions on a budget

It’s hard to cut back, change your spending, or pay more with your cards if you don’t know where your money is going. Part of creating a realistic budget is tracking your spending, identifying your spending habits, and then creating a plan for what you want to do with your money. This is the difference between tail wagging dog or tail wagging dog. Take back control of your finances with a budget based on your current situation .


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Tip Eight: Don’t Spend Money to Save Money

It can be tempting to buy an app, subscribe to software, sign up for a personal coaching program, or take on new debt as you try to get out of debt. Before spending more, start with what you can do for free. Enjoy free of charge financial education resources . If it turns out that you need a consolidation loan or duty explore debt repayment alternatives , make sure it costs you less than what you are currently being charged.

The Basics of Managing Credit Card Debt

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re dealing with credit card debt. Interest accumulates quickly and before you know it, the bills are beyond your means. If stress and worry are beyond your capacity, don’t delay in seeking help. An action plan with play-by-play will set you up for victory over your debts.

Related Reading:

When to Get Professional Debt Help

13 money saving tips to pay off debt fast

Could you break up with your credit cards for 3 months? here’s how

Scott Hannah is president of the Credit Counseling Society, a non-profit organization. For more information on managing your money or debt, contact Scott by E-mail , Check or call 1-888-527-8999.

READ MORE by Scott Hannah.



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