Tips for paying off your credit card

What one piece of advice would you give to someone struggling to pay off their credit card debts?

I’d probably suggest that they create a budget and review their spending so they can then work out if it’s possible to make bigger monthly repayments.

What would you suggest?

Use the pyramid method, paying the minimum of all cards and then paying all spare cash you can to paying off the highest interest card above the minimum.

Also try and find a balance transfer card to shift as much debt to 0% as possible.

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Didn’t know it was called the pyramid method - makes sense!

And yeah, balance transfer cards can be a great idea for cutting credit card costs :raised_hands:

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This is generally considered the best approach.

If you’re in debt, it doesn’t need to be a 0% deal to save you serious cash. In some cases, just being able to put a chunk of debt at the lowest rate possible so you have some headroom to pay off your nastiest [Edit: remaining! - obviously, transfer your highest interest debt] credit cards can speed the whole pyramid up considerably

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Yeah, I was playing around with a credit card repayment calculator online and it really shows what a huge difference even a few % less interest can make to your total repayments!

Which one is it?

There are loads online, but I always go for the MSE calculators. (They have a calculator for everything!)

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See if it’s possible to consolidate onto a new card that might give an interest-free period. Or a personal loan for the card balances.
Cut up the cards. Or, keep 1 for emergencies in the home.
Spend only on necessities, no eating out, no takeaways, no new anything unless something needs to be replaced.
Make the financial priority to clear the debt and once cleared build an emergency fund.
With the exception of cars and property, only buy something if you’ve got the money to pay for it. Other exception, if something is available on interest free credit but only have 1, maybe 2, of these at any given time.

Loads of great tips here, thanks for sharing!

I’ve seen tips online that suggest literally freezing your credit card to reduce any temptation to use it - not sure how well that would work though haha

I think it stems from the idea of habit forming / breaking. If you want to make a habit harder so more likely to break it, make it take more than 30 seconds of your time to do.

Move the remotes into the bathroom cabinet if you want to watch less TV. Block takeaway apps from use if you want to eat less takeaways.

Freezing your card would take more than 30 seconds to recover :wink:

I use this trick a lot, keeping a bottle of water nearby and putting my alarm clock on the other side of the room. :slight_smile:

Yeah I guess you’re right!

Even having to input your card details when you buy something online, instead of the info being automatically populated, adds just enough effort to make me question how much I want to buy something lol

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If you want to go extreme, try the 24h cooling off method. You want to buy something - diarise the purchase for tomorrow.

I was speaking to someone on our Instagram account that did this kinda thing but had a 2-week cooling-off period instead. Pretty cool to have that much dedication to mindful spending!

I think the price of something deffo dictates how long I think about buying it, too - under £50 I think I’d just go for it, anything over I’d probably ponder on for a bit longer

I saw someone yesterday on Reddit had calculated the cost of their purchase (a kettle) over a year which was interesting.

They included the purchase, the cost of use (water and electricity), the change due to lockdown usage increase, the savings according to buying coffee elsewhere… it was all a little too much for a kettle for my energy levels, but I liked the idea.

I did something similar with my iPhone and Apple Watch late last year, and will likely try to do it for holidays this year.

Do you know what their main purpose of doing this was? Sounds like they went into quite a lot of effort to work it all out, but then what did they do with that information lol?

I have no idea but I have tracked down the actual post! Now you can read it in detail too :wink:

Haha ok this is amazing

Loving all the discussion about how the price would vary depending how full the kettle was :sweat_smile:

And someone saying they boil the kettle once and put it in a flask to keep hot all day - now that’s thrifty!

Yeah and I’m all for that if people need to. One of the presents I bought the better half was a lava lamp they wanted. I thought about not doing it but then when you calculate the cost and weigh up the enjoyment they get from it, it’s cheaper than the Netflix subscription!

I’m trying to be thrifty in terms of the grand spend, but trying to enjoy the smaller things more.