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May Challenge: No Credit Cards

no credit cards challenge eliminate credit card debtCredit card debt can stem from both needs and wants. If you struggle to manage your credit cards or currently have credit card debt, try this month’s challenge. Put down all your credit cards and learn how you can eliminate your credit card debt.

No Credit Cards Challenge Rules

1. Debit cards are allowed.

Unlike credit cards, debit cards draw directly from your actual bank account. Debit cards provide the convenience and experience of using a card without spending money you don’t have. This doesn’t mean you can spend whatever you like. However, it will help you identify your spending habits and manage credit card debt.

2. Switch your bill payments.

If you are paying monthly bills with a credit card, it will be difficult or impossible to eliminate credit card debt. This action creates a dependence on your cards. Switch your payment method to draw directly form your checking account or choose to pay in cash if it’s an option.

3. Remove the cards from your wallet or purse.

Think of this as removing temptation. While you are out and about, you may pay for something with a credit card by habit alone and regret it later. This is just a way to set yourself up for success. Keep your goal of reducing credit card debt in mind and take them out of reach.

4. Use your budget and an accountability partner.

Keeping your eye on the budget throughout the month will be important to ensure your bank account does not dwindle away with your new withdrawals. Purchases, large and small, add up. You may not be used to keeping track of spending as vigilantly.

You may also benefit from having an accountability partner or someone you can talk to. They can offer you support and encouragement to keep working toward eliminating the credit card debt. Explain what you are doing, the rules and the goal so they can best support you. Maybe they will participate too!

Too Much Credit Card Debt

Unlike the other challenges, this one may not work for everyone. If you have too much credit card debt and can’t cover all your bills from your income alone, there are a few options for you to move forward:

  • Switch just one or two accounts to start.
  • Take the previous monthly challenges on budgeting, spending and eliminating debt before attempting this one.
  • Before switching anything, call a certified credit counseling agency to go over your financial situation and help you determine next steps, like a debt consolidation plan.

To speak to a credit counselor today about budgeting and managing your finances, call 800-769-3571.

ABOUT AUTHOR / Michelle

Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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