Consumer Credit Counseling Service News Articles
SO you’ve paid off your debts. You’re FINALLY free! Now what? The WORST thing you could do it successfully pay down your card balances, only to find yourself in debt again months or years later. Change the way you handle your finances and they way you think about money in order to keep yourself out of trouble.
**If you haven’t set up a budget for yourself yet, this is a MUST DO step. It will help you keep track of your spending each month so you know where every dollar is going. By using a budget, you will drastically reduce your chances of falling back into debt. Paper & pen, ledger style, spreadsheet, or even great apps on your phone…there are all kinds of budget options.
USE CASH ONLY FOR NON-ESSENTIALS
Cut up those cards to avoid further temptation. Consumers spend more with a credit card than with a debit card, and more with a debit card than with cash. Cards can feel less “real” than cash. (You may need a majopr credit card for online purchases, etc. but you can resist temptation and stick to your budget using cash for discretionary purchases.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
It’s easy to lose motivation. Tracking your progress is one way to stay on the path and focus on what you’re accomplishing. There are many finance programs that can help you with your goals. You can track your progress offline. Save your receipts, record your purchases in your register or note app on your phone. At the end of the week, categorize the expenses into your budget categories. Seeing how far you’ve come can motivate you to stay the course!
Find an accountability buddy and keep each other up to date on your financial progress. This could be a significant other, close friend, or family member. Talk on a regular basis – maybe once a month or every two months – about what repayments you’ve made on your credit cards.
Guess what? Our financial counselors can help “coach” you in your financial goals if you are interested in a “third part” accountability buddy!