Annie's top 5 tips on beating credit card debt
Posted by Carmen on August 27, 2010 at 1:56 pm
I was invited to talk on BBC radio Bristol about the fact that 7 million Britons have on average £3,300 of shopping credit card debt. Ouch! And at 17% APR minimum, they’re spending at least £510 a year on that debt.
Now, as we know, Annie Valentine has had huge credit card problems in the past but she is still determined to get on top of them. She never can quite stick to her boring old budget, but her debt has come down from five figures (eek!) to a low four figures.
Here are her five best tips BTW!
1. My loves, if you’ve got to the stage of stashing your credit card bills under the bed in the hope that they will just go away, pay attention! You do not want bailiffs at your door so you have got to take action! Stop shopping. Cut those cards up if you have to and start thinking of how you are going to repay just a little bit more of that debt every month. What about an evening or weekend job? Could you sell things you don’t need on ebay? Car boot sale? Hold a wardrobe sale with friends and family? Please get help. Get online, get on the phone. There is loads of help for people in debt.
2. If you are broke, don’t go shopping! Everything is laid out so temptingly that it will be impossible to resist. Window shopping does not exist. Instead stay home, organise your wardrobe beautifully, mend things, sew on buttons, polish your old shoes up. Try and be grateful for the lovely things you already have.
3. You can’t have everything! You may be able to afford a pair of new shoes, but don’t be buying the bag, the dress, the lipstick and the state-of-the-art hair tongs to go with them. Buy new shoes that will look gorgeous with the things you already have in your cupboard. Never underestimate the power of a beautiful £5 necklace from Accesorize – suddenly even boring old black t-shirts look glamorous.
4. First day of the month, have a direct debit set up to go towards your credit card bill or (once that’s paid off) your savings account. Lots of people shop because they’re insecure. A lovely fat savings account will make you feel much more secure than designer labels you can’t afford (well, apparently. I still haven’t got any savings yet, but one day I will have that virtuous, saintly glow).
5. One lovely, well made thing that you can wear over and over is sometimes better and cheaper than bagfuls of tat. Just ten pairs of £30 shoes a year equals one pair of gorgeous, treasure for a lifetime, Jimmy Choo pumps.