bad credit card habits
Credit card debt

How to Quit a Bad Credit Card Habit Without Going into Withdrawals

If only breaking free of a bad credit card debt was as easy as stopping smoking more of us could do it.

I searched but I have not found any false sense of financial security patches or I’m not broke I have plastic gum to replace the feeling we get from having that stack of credit cards in our wallet.

Let’s look at the options that will help you succeed.

Cold Turkey?

Talk to smokers and ex-smokers, you will find that many failed when they tried just throwing out the tobacco. They felt miserable, anxious, physically ill and often returned to smoking after a short time just to get rid of the ill effects of quitting.

Yet read most financial experts advice on getting out of debt and the first thing they say is stop using your credit cards, get rid of all your credit cards, or at least put them in a ton of water and freeze. I have tried that and reverted back to the same bad habits.

I personally felt fearful not having a card available. I became physically ill at the thought of not having something to quickly fall back on if an emergency came up. Is there any hope for me and others like me?

Wean off?

Smokers have tools to help them wean off and eventually stop their life-threatening habit. What about credit-a-holics? We do not have anything but financial advisers telling us to stop cold turkey. Did I just give up and keep suffering in credit card purgatory?

No. I devised a plan that works for me but makes progress on paying off debt. I took a percentage of my income and each month put that against one credit card. The cards I pay off I keep but do not use.

Where’s that weaning off I mentioned? Well, hold on, here it comes. I allow myself to still use my other cards but I try not to charge more than I can pay back on that card and always pay at least a few dollars over minimum payment even on cards not used.

The card I am paying on has gone down and my total debt has dropped by much more than I have added. I have found though as time has gone by that I tend to pull out my cards much less and I feel no withdrawals from lack of plastic use.

Final Outcome?

This is not a get out of debt overnight scheme.

This will take time and effort but by finding what works for you can break the vicious cycle that causes you to get deeper in debt.

As you continue to cut expenses and credit card use without the pain of quitting cold turkey you can learn better methods to handle your finances and ultimately reach financial health free from the bondage of credit card debt.

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