I am lucky and I’ve cleared up my finances when I was in my mid-late twenties and the only reason I did it is because I was so dedicated to ridding myself of the evilness of credit cards, interest and silly spending. I am so glad I was committed to my debt clearing because now I can tell you how I did it and share my learnings with the world.
Here are some step-by-step ways to clear up those bank books so you can live your life debt free and learn to LOVE money!
1. Run your credit report on Credit Karma. I love it through my iPhone… It’s an easy to read credit report and it’s absolutely free and no credit card is even needed. Running this helps you to understand exactly where you are with your debt situation and you can see if there’s any nonsense that’s not accurate. (when I first did this, I found out I owed a gym from 1998 $15 [WTF] and it was negatively effecting my credit amongst other things…)
2. Contact the mistakes and/or pay off the small debts first. This leads to small victories that lead to big change! Credit card companies actually do lower interest rates and late fees if you give them a call and act politely.
3. During this time, spend less. Do yourself a favor and stay in, watch movies, read books, and connect with your community. Sit back, relax and watch your credit karma clear…
4. Do not (I repeat, DO NOT) use your credit cards. Especially the ones that charge interest! This just leads to financial success and responsibility. The only 2 credit cards I have is… My Gold American Express card and my Best Buy card.
My relationship with money goes up and down and it goes through waves, but at 32, my relationship with money flows freely. I understand that it does come and go, I’m saving up little by little, and I know what I can and can not by and I know when to treat myself to a pair (or 5 pairs) of shoes.
I urge you to LOVE money and your finances. It feels so good to be financially free and clear of debt – but the effort you put in to clearing it up is ever greater!