The Only Rule You’ll Ever Need to Erase Credit Card Debt

by David Bakke

erase credit card debtI was remembering the other day way back when I first began to emerge from the financial debacle that I had created for myself. I had solved my credit card debt, which was fairly easy by that point in time because all of my credit cards but one had been closed for non-payment or overspending long ago.

I had been in debt to my parents for years (to the tune of about $15,000) and had finally paid them back as well. I was also finally able to get a checking account again to. That privilege had been revoked years before as well for bounced checks and general account mis-management.

So I was on the phone with my mother and we were discussing the prospects of me getting another credit card. I think I had received one of those things in the mail or something which told me I had been pre-approved. I now look at these things as an annoyance, but let me tell you, seeing that one in the mail for the first time in probably ten years almost brought tears to my eyes.

So I was talking to my Mom, and she said to me, “I’ll just tell you one thing, and if you follow this rule, you’ll never have credit card trouble again for the rest of your life. And that is, if you can’t afford to pay it back by the end of the month, then you can’t afford it.” Now, these days, this concept is so elementary to me and so ingrained into my brain that it hardly is worth thinking about. But let me tell you, I had to do some serious pondering about it back then.

You see, my parents didn’t always have credit cards. As a matter of fact, I don’t think they got their first one until some time in the 80’s. Therefore, they pretty much had to base their lifestyle off of this premise. As a matter of fact, their basic premise was if they couldn’t afford to buy it at that moment, then they couldn’t afford to buy it.
My point is this: If you are really serious about getting out of credit card debt and staying out, then this is the only rule you’ll ever need to erase credit card debt. There are other ways and systems for getting rid of your current balances and you’ll have to factor those in before you determine what you can afford and cannot afford, but you really need to think that way about your credit cards. It can’t be that hard to do. I mean, if you have a salary, you should know how much you make per month, and if you are hourly, then you should know how much you make per week. It should only take a few minutes of computing to determine whether you have enough money to put something on a credit card. In the beginning, if you’re trying to dissolve large balances, you may not be able to afford much. But let me tell you, if you can weather those times until you’re out of debt, and use this one rule once you are there, the money you’ll save and the load that will be lifted off of your back will give you a sense of confidence and pride and self-assurance that you may have never felt before.

To learn more about these and other personal finance topics, stay tuned for my soon-to-be-published book, “Don’t Be A Mule: A Common-sense Approach to Saving More, Spending Less, and Generating Extra Money in Your Everyday Life.

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