A Fin24 user shares her strategy of tackling debt, adding that she cut up her credit and bank cards because she could not trust herself around them. She writes:
In 2012 I had the following debt:
1 Jet Stores - R11 000
2 Truworths - R5 000
3 RCS - R7 000
4 Game - R700
5 Credit Card - R25 000
After I have paid all my monthly installments I would not even have enough money for food and transport, so I would use the revolving credit from my credit card.
When I finally decided that enough is enough, I started to research debt eliminating. I came across a testimony of a guy who was burdened by debt and how he overcame it. He wrote that he tackled the smallest debt first; when it was paid up he moved to the second one and used the money that he used to pay for the smallest debt to double up on the next debt. Then he moved to the third debt, he used the money from the smallest and the second debts to double up on the third debt until he paid up everything.
The first thing that I did was to cut up and throw away all my store credit cards and the bank credit card because when they were with me I would be tempted to use them. I could not trust myself around them.
I then told my children that there will be no more luxuries - only the necessities. I told them that the nice things that I used to buy them were through credit, I was not paying cash and now I am trying to dig myself out of the credit hole. We had wars about this but they learned to accept it.
I applied his principles in my own debt life and it worked. When I got my bonus cheque I paid it into my credit card and closed it.
After paying up each account, I would tell the retailer to close it because if I didn’t I would be tempted to use it again.
However, I fell again victim to the credit monster last year.
My brother visited me from overseas and I had to get accommodation for him because my house was too small for both my family and his. While I was wondering what to do, here comes in a call on my cell phone from a bank that I have never used in my life.
I don’t know where they got my details but they offered me a credit card to the value of R40 000. The temptation was huge and I fell for it. I was back at square one.
In addition, I also took a loan to buy a car so that I was able to collect my brother and his family from the airport and also transport them around, since they were scared of driving in South Africa because in Canada they drive on the right hand side of the road.
I am now busy paying up this credit card and the car loan. I am applying the same principles that I learned with my previous debts. I am almost half way with the car loan, I am now down to R21 000. I hope to complete both debts by March/April 2015.