Originally Posted by Ltlabner
Another thing that helped me and Mrs Ltlabner when we were paying off the $20,000 of credit card debt we (mostly me) had amassed was to start thinking of everything in terms of "what will this cost me per month or year".
The Mrs. and I had a mound of debt starting out. Credit Card debt, student loans, car loans, etc.
1. Call all credit card companies and ask for the lowest rate. Tell them if they can't lower their rate you are liable to go bankrupt.
2. After this round, call them all back and ask the lowest of the rates if you can consolidate (transfer) your balances to them. Move to the next, etc.
3. Pay off the minimum on each of the credit cards except the one with the highest rate. Pay it off as fast as you can. Once it is paid off, begin on the next highest, as much as you can. 0% interest for 18 months, despite a $200 transfer fee, can be your best friend. Do the math.
4. I also began taking classes (that my company would pay for) in order to put my student loans back in deferment. This allowed me to pay more towards the credit cards (though interest still accumulated on the student loans). Eventually this also gave me a Masters degree and a healthy raise.
5. Don't buy anything over $20 today. If you find something you want that costs more than $20, come back the next day to purchase it. You'll buy about 80% less IMO. That movie you "needed" yesterday will be a pain in the rump to go and get tomorrow.
6. What is free entertainment in your area? Local parks, museums, free concerts, biking trails, etc. (Libraries have books, movies, etc.) softball team, open gyms, available tennis courts, etc.
7. If you get a raise, don't spend it, increase what you are paying towards you debt.
8. Call everyone you owe and tell them you have hit a rough patch ... ask them if their is anything they can do to help delay your payments so you can catch back up. If you are in real dire straights, find out what the penalties for missing payments to each one are and choose the lesser of two evils. Always send at least partial payment to everyone you owe. Good faith goes along way.
9. Usually our two biggest expenditures are housing and transportation. Consider how to cut costs in either of these areas and you'll catch back up much more quickly.