Whether or not you take a dream vacation out of the country, across the country, or throughout several states, your vacation bills can add up until your credit cards are nearly maxed out. While it was a lot of fun, vacation time is over. Now, it is time to pay the piper and get rid of the debts that you accumulated. Sometimes, this is easier said than done, but it is possible to do if you create a viable plan of action.
Revert to the Cash-Only Method of Paying for Goods and Services
You can begin by going back to an age-old strategy for living within your means. Revert to the cash-only method of buying things and put away your credit cards. If you have a budget in place for weekly expenses such as fuel for the vehicles and groceries, you can continue using your credit card for those expenses as long as you can pay off that portion of your credit card bill in full. With this strategy, you can only purchase the items that you can afford to buy with the cash in your wallet.
Temporarily Eliminate Impulse Buys from Your Shopping Adventures
If you use shopping as a way to lift your spirits, put a temporary hold on that experience. Impulse buys can derail any financial plan – even one that uses cash payments. You should avoid the aisles at the grocery store that generally lead to impulse buying. Typically, this includes the snack, candy, soda, and bakery aisles. Take your shopping cart to the self-checkout or to a cashier whose aisle does not include a candy display.
Tips to Help You Stay Focused on your Goal
- Stay away from people who doubt your ability to keep to your goal. Their negative comments are likely to derail you from your path of savings, even if it is only for one day.
- Avoid locations where you are likely to indulge in credit card usage, including shopping malls, taverns, and electronic stores.
- Create mini-goals that you can almost guarantee you will be able to keep.
- Instead of eliminating all of your fun, keep one or two inexpensive rewards to help keep you motivated.
- Keep a running tally and cross out your debt total, replacing it with the new, lower amount each time you pay some of it off.
Remember that once you pay off your credit card bills, you can continue to use the strategies that you have learned to continue saving money. Open up a savings account and put the money away for your next vacation. Even if you cannot save up the full amount of money that you will need, next year’s credit card bills won’t be so out of control.
Minimizing credit card use is even simpler if you give yourself a minimum amount that you can personally charge. Anything under that amount must be bought with cash! Life is short. Savor the sweetness by eliminating the stress that exists in your life, starting with your debts. Spending a little less today really can help you out tomorrow.