Nothing can compare to the sense of fulfillment and exhilaration you experience when finally becoming debt free. If you’ve managed to successfully and completely pay off all your credit card debts after an extremely long period of time—a very big congratulations to you!
Yes, you do deserve to celebrate a little after carefully handling every single dollar for many months or even years. However, keep in mind that although you are no longer in debt, remaining debt free is a completely different story.
Here are some useful tips on remaining debt free for the rest of your life:
1) Stick to one or two cards.
While it may be impossible to completely stop using credit cards, the least you can do is have just one or two cards. Close your accounts if you find yourself constantly being tempted to spend more money than you can actually afford.
2) Use cash.
You may have credit cards in your possession, but that doesn’t mean you need to use them. Always use cash to pay for your purchases unless using your card is really necessary. Keep your credit cards at home to avoid being tempted!
3) Don’t spend past a certain percentage of your credit limit.
Commit to never maxing out your card again. Establish a limit to your credit card spending and stick to it. A safe bet would only be spending up to about 30 to 40 percent of your limit.
4) Pay off your balance at the end of the month.
Only swipe your credit card when you are absolutely sure that you can pay off the entire amount within 30 days. This mindset may be a very difficult one to practice, but it is sure to keep you from going back in debt.
5) Create an emergency budget.
One reason many people go into debt is because they lack emergency funds for when such crucial times arrive. Now that you are no longer paying off debt after debt each month, start working on beefing up your emergency funds instead. One easy way to build up your incidental funds is by setting up an automatic draft from your payroll account to your savings account!
As you are about to find out, life after credit card debt isn’t easy. Don’t get sucked back into debt, and don’t let all your hard work go down the drain! To remain debt free, you must keep making smart decisions and uphold your commitment at all times!
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