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The Pay Rise Negotiation Cheat Sheet for Young Australians

Do you want to make more money? Many companies offer a once-a-year, across-the-board pay rise that helps earnings to keep up with inflation. But if you’re seeking more, you’ll need to negotiate. And for many of us, negotiating is intimidating. But fortunately,.....

Wealth - 6 min read

Weighed down by credit card debt? You’re not alone. In 2019, the average credit card balance in Australia was over $3,300, and a whopping $45 billion was owed nationwide.

But even if you’re feeling mired in debt, you can start taking steps immediately to extricate yourself from monthly interest payments and credit difficulties. With these ten tips, you can pay off your credit card faster and achieve the freedom you’re craving.


1 - Get Organised

Gather all of the information for every credit card that currently has a balance. Make a note of each card’s interest rate, due dates, balance, and minimum payment. With all of this data, it’s much easier to make a plan and move forward.


2 - Identify the Card with the Highest Interest Rate

Often, people feel overwhelmed by the goal to pay off their credit card debt, especially when they carry balances on multiple cards. Simplify the problem by identifying the card with the highest interest rate. This will be your starting place. By paying this balance off first, you will save money on interest, which can then be used to pay down other cards.


3 - Pay the Minimum Balance on All of Your Cards

Instead of trying to add extra payments to all of your cards at once, pay the minimum payments on all of them except the highest interest card, which you just identified. By keeping up with all of them, you’ll avoid late fees and keep your repayment costs low.


4 - Pay as Much as You Can on the Highest Interest Card

Let’s say you have three credit cards with balances. On the two cards with the lowest interest rates, you’ll pay the minimum payment each month. But for the highest interest card, you should pay off as much as you can until it’s fully paid. If you’ve been paying an extra $150 each month, you can then apply that $150 (plus the amount you paid for the minimum payment) toward the card with the next highest interest rate. The amount you apply to the debt snowballs with each card you pay off.


5 - Stop Using Your Credit Cards

Of course, if you keep adding to the balances on your credit cards, you’ll always struggle with debt. So stop using your credit cards for making purchases that you can’t repay immediately. If the temptation is too great, don’t carry your cards with you, and if necessary, destroy them.


6 - Analyse Your Spending

If you haven’t tracked your spending in the past, start keeping records so you can see how you spend your money. After you’ve recorded each purchase for a month, analyse the results. If you’re like most people, you’ll come across some surprises.

When you see your spending laid out in black and white, it’s easy to make intentional decisions about your cash flow. If you’re spending more on dining than you thought, you could decide to forego eating out until you’ve paid off your credit cards.


7 - Create a Budget

The word “budget” sounds unpleasant to many, but working from a budget can be liberating. When you know exactly how much you can spend and still stay in the black, you’ll experience less stress and more control over your financial life.

How much will you spend on food this month? How much on transportation? When you’re trying to pay off your credit cards, you can make adjustments to budget line items to free up more money for debt repayments.


8 - Consolidate Your Debt

Like things simple? Consolidating your debt onto one card or acquiring a debt consolidation loan might be the strategy for you. Instead of juggling four or five bills each month, you’ll only have one to manage. Be aware that debt consolidation may come with extra fees.

On the other hand, some credit cards offer an introductory 0% APR period when you transfer your balances to their card.


9 - Consider Drastic Measures

If you’re desperate to get rid of credit card debt, you might consider taking drastic steps. For instance, you could sell an asset, such as a second car or items around the house that you’re no longer using. Apply the proceeds to your debt and get rid of a large chunk in one go. You could also consider using some of your savings for paying off debt but keep enough in savings to serve as a rainy day fund.


10 - Talk with Your Financial Adviser

If you’re concerned about your credit card debt, that’s a great sign! You’re thinking about your overall financial well-being and taking positive steps for your future. Take your momentum one step farther by setting up a consultation with an Altus wealth adviser. You can discuss your plan for eliminating credit card debt as part of a holistic strategy to improve your overall financial life. Get in touch with us today!


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