Are you looking for help with credit card debt? Are you ready to get a hold of your credit card spending?
Most of us know what it’s like to buy something that we don’t need and can’t afford. What makes this purchase even worse is when the credit card bill shows up. We stress about how we’re going to make this payment. We instantly regret the purchase as we deal with out credit card bill.
I have one tip that will help with credit card debt right now. Let’s get into it…
Do you ever find yourself mindlessly scrolling and buying stuff? Do you ever go shopping when you’re bored? We all know what happens. You end up in credit card debt because you just bought something that you didn’t budget for. It happens to the best of us. I can’t even begin to think of all of the times that I went shopping bored and left with $400 worth of items that I didn’t need.
This is why it’s important that we try to control our credit cards before they control us.
Here’s my tip for help with credit card debt.
Try the sleep-on-it rule.
You may have heard of this in the 6000 different formats that personal finance bloggers have presented it in over the years. Everyone has a different name for it. I call it the sleep on it rule. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t require much explanation.
How does this rule help with credit card debt?
Basically before you make a major purchase you NEED to stop yourself, put the item down, go home, go about your life the same way you normally would, go to sleep, wake up, and then decide whether you will go all the way back to the store to buy the item.
Long story short: you sleep on the purchase. You don’t deny the purchase totally. You just try to sleep on it so that you have time to think about if you really want to buy this or not.
Making a purchase with your credit card is simply too convenient.
We all know how easy it is to buy something on your credit card. Here are a few examples:
- Your credit card information is saved in most places online.
- You only have to swipe. You don’t feel the pain.
- You feel like you’re using someone else’s money.
Credit cards are designed to be easy to use.
I will NOT advise you to cut up your credit cards or to hide them in your sister’s room because that is an extremely short sighted decision. I also believe that everyone reading this blog is a rational human being that has the ability to practice a certain level of self control. This is why I want you to try this rule so that you can get comfortable with using credit cards.
Why’s this an effective rule to help with credit card debt?
This sounds pretty simple, but why does this rule actually help with credit card debt?
- It creates a barrier. When you wake up the next morning (or afternoon) you need to find the motivation to go all the way back to the store and make the purchase. By stopping yourself in the moment, you may even forget about the purchase. I can’t tell you how many times I totally for got about what I thought I wanted to buy so badly.
- It builds a great habit. If you can successfully practice this rule then you will basically create a shopping system where you at least second guess major purchases.
- It’s important to think twice. It’s far too easy to go on a shopping spree (especially online). This is why it’s important to think twice by telling yourself that you’re going to sleep on it. Sleeping on it usually gives you time to think about the purchase and your finances.
- You may even look at the numbers. Sometimes before making a huge purchase, I look at my bank account to see how much money I have. This forces me to look at the reality of my finances.
- You limit your junk. If you give into every temptation then your home will be filled with junk. The last thing that we need is more crap laying around that we don’t need. Sleep on it so that you free yourself up.
How can the sleep-on-it rule be implemented effectively?
When you see a decent product at a decent price you may get excited and immediately swipe your credit card. If you can find the self-control to put that card away and put the product back on the shelf, then you need to sleep on it. Once you do it once you’ll be able to do it again. The hard part is putting that new iPhone or Dolce & Gabana cologne down the very first time to sleep on it.
You also need to only use the sleep-on-it rule for fairly major purchases.
No point to think twice about buying lunch or a bottle of water on your way home. You only have so much restraint within you. I want you to apply this to anything over $50 so that you don’t get into massive credit card debt by maxing out your card.
For example, before I purchased my boxing gloves I went home to sleep on it. When I woke up I still had them on my mind and I realized that this was a purchase I truly wanted to make. A friend of mine that plays the guitar in a band buys a new guitar every couple of months. A few months ago he was in a guitar store and saw that an expensive guitar was on sale (coincidentally it was still expensive). Instead of making the purchase right away he decided to go home to think it through. A few months went by and he never even thought of this guitar again until we talked about the sleep-on-it rule.
Nobody’s saying that you have to deny yourself forever. I just want you to try delaying so that you don’t give in to every single temptation around you.
Have you ever tried the sleep-on-it rule? If not, what rules have you used to reduce your credit card debt?