By Guest Nicole
A swipe here, a swipe there – credit card spending can easily get out of hand, and when you’re saddled with credit card debt the road toward financial freedom can seem endless. Try this 30-day challenge from personal finance experts Ric Edelman and Lynnette Khalfani-Cox to help you take charge of your finances once and for all.
Freeze Your Credit Cards…Literally
The first step to regain control of your money is to stop using plastic. Call up your credit card company and place a hold on your account. If you know you need to use your card in the future, put your credit card in a Tupperware and place it in your freezer. Literally freezing your card forces you to be mindful of how many times you reach for it. This action imposes a cooling-off period so you can rethink your purchases and determine if they’re truly necessary since you’ll have to wait for the card to defrost before using it.
Limit Debit Card Usage to Once a Week
If you do need to charge a purchase or transaction, you can still reach for your debit card, but only four times a month or once a week. This gives you the opportunity to think before you swipe and you’ll be less likely to spend money you don’t already have since your debit card is automatically linked to your checking account.
Visit Your ATM Only Once a Week
Using cold, hard cash every day means you will get a clearer idea of how much you can spend over a set time period. At the beginning of each week, withdraw enough cash for seven days and see how far your money can go. You’ll be required to plan your purchases strategically to ensure you’ll have enough to last until your next visit to the bank.
Track Your Savings
In order to meet your financial goals, you’ll need to track where each dollar and penny goes. Don’t get caught blindsided again by a missed payment, bounced check, or insufficient funds in your account. Make a spreadsheet, keep a running list, or use an app on your smartphone to help you get organized and determine which areas you can improve upon.
Reorganize Your Wallet
Take a deep look inside your wallet and clean out any unnecessary cards or items. Keep only the items you’ll need in the short-term within reach so you won’t be tempted to use what you don’t have. You can rotate cards if you need to or use an organizing system with a sticky note and paper clip to allocate money – nothing fancy necessary! Once your money has been spent for the week, reconsider your purchases and compare that with your budget. Revisit this routine regularly to make sure you're making the best decisions.
Most OnlineNewest Member