MAKING BETTER MONEY CHOICES THROUGH PAYING OFF YOUR CREDIT CARD AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE

If you are like most South Africans, you most probably have a bit of credit you owe to a bank. Whether it be bond repayments, vehicle installments, credit cards, or loan debt, it can get depressing – but it doesn’t have to be.

I have had my fair share of debt, my journey with credit started a long time ago (it is safe to say that I am no longer afraid of credit :). From that first credit card that I told you about in January, to clothing accounts and vehicle loans, I’ve had my share of hard lessons. Luckily, I never got into the furniture shop debt because as much as I wasn’t as clued up about taking my money seriously, I knew that furniture debt was a no-go.

I must say though, that the one credit facility that overwhelmed me was my second credit card because I maxed it out pretty quickly. Back then, a credit card wasn’t so great, because I had a mountain of revolving debt that kept piling up. I knew that I had to do something to relieve myself of the anxiety I felt. So, to pay it off as quickly as I possibly could, I took the following steps:

I paid a set amount each month

I set an amount that I paid into the account each month. After a while, the repayments began to decrease. When you start, never succumb to the temptation to reduce your payment installments. Continue with your original repayment plan until the debt is paid off.

I stopped spending after paying

I developed a bad habit of paying my credit each month but then spending the money again. It only increased my debt instead of reducing it. If it means having to hide your card, do it :).

I paid more when I could

One of the greatest money choices is paying more towards your debt. When I made an extra buck, I would transfer some money into my credit card. You would be amazed at how that can help. Paying more into your debt reduces the fees, therefore allowing you to pay it off much quicker.

Another way to fast-track your debt repayment is using your savings. I did not have savings at the time, but if you do, you can use these to pay off your credit card, making sure you’re not using your retirement savings.

After conquering what I thought would be a never-ending skoloto (debt), I walked away with an important lesson. I learned to always get credit I can afford, like the Nedbank Gold Credit Card, available to people earning from R5,000 and above. It has low-interest rates and a monthly fee of only R40. This is great, because the lower the interest rate and the card fees, the less your credit card will cost you, leaving you anxiety free when repaying the debt.

Another important lesson I learned was to always make better money choices for sustainable long-term financial well-being. Also, to make better spending decisions, because if I’m spending irresponsibly, I’m essentially holding myself back.

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