If you are seriously looking to eliminate debt, then you need to consider applying for a balance transfer credit card. With the help of balance transfer cards, you can get yourself back on track and back in control of your finances.
The Cold, Hard Facts
Astoundingly, the average household in America has a revolving debt, which is basically credit card debt, of over $9,000. If you are among them, you can take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. At the same time, you shouldn't get too comfortable. Debt means bills and, more often than not, the payment of finance charges. Basically, being in debt costs you money. Fortunately, balance transfer credit cards and a few other easy to follow steps can help you get out of debt and stop paying high interest fees.
Don't Spend Above Your Means
The first step in getting out of debt is to stop spending above your means. Obviously, if you are spending more than you are capable of paying back, you will only dig your hole of debt deeper. In addition, if you are already in debt, you need to cut back your spending to the bare minimum. After all, your goal is to reduce your debt, not to keep adding to it.
To help you keep your spending within your means, it is wise to set up a budget. For many, it is difficult to restrict spending because we have become so used to the easy access provided by credit cards. When you sit down and form a budget, however, you will probably be amazed when you realize how much wasteful spending you engage in without even thinking about it. In fact, you can probably eliminate some expenses without really noticing. Of course, you will still need to put money aside for regular expenses such as rent or mortgage, insurance, and food. You can also set aside a little "play money," but be sure to never spend more than what you have set aside.
Set the Plastic Aside
After you use your balance transfer credit card to consolidate your debts, set the card aside. First of all, balance transfer credit cards often have a high APR on purchases made outside of the transfer. After all, the credit card company needs to make up for the loss somehow. Secondly, carrying your credit card with you only makes it more difficult to resist temptation and impulse buying. Instead, use cash whenever possible. Many people don't truly attach the cash value of what they are spending when the use a credit card. Counting out your money and watching it leave your hands and go into the cashier's hands, however, really makes you notice.
In fact, research has shown that people spend an average of 112% more when making purchases with a credit card as opposed to making purchases with cash. With this kind of data, it is no surprise that most merchants accept credit cards or even encourage the use of credit cards.
Watch Your Interest Rate
If you absolutely must use a credit card and carry a balance on it, make sure it has a low interest rate. If your balance transfer credit card has a high interest rate on purchases, set it aside and use a different card for every day use. The amount of money you can save by using a credit card with a lower interest rate is outstanding and can translate to hundreds of dollars in savings every year. Then, make sure to apply the money you save back to toward paying off your debt. When you find yourself debt-free, the small sacrifices you made to get there will be well worth it.