Having a credit card can also be very useful and can have many advantages if used correctly and responsibly, without piling on the debt.
However, when you have a credit card in Qatar where almost everything is easily and readily available, it’s very easy to go out and spend on your card. There are so many exciting things out there in the market when you go to the various malls spread across Doha - from the latest mobile phones to the latest TV sets; from the latest fashions in apparel and shoes to the trendiest fashion accessories; from the best consoles in the market to the newest video games - that you or your family just have to have.
When you pay for all these things by credit card, you can sometimes lose track of just how much you are spending, and if you don’t pay off every month, you may just be left with a debt at the end of the year, that you rack your brains wondering how you will pay it all off…
So, if you have a credit card and often wonder how you will pay it all off, then this article is perfect for you. Here, we have put together a bunch of life hacks that will help you minimise and pay off your credit card debt before it takes over your life and help you to spend more responsibly in the future!
This would be a good place to start, especially if you are a compulsive buyer, but we also know, that isn’t always possible, and actually closing a credit card account can damage your credit score.
If you feel you are overspending on your credit card, hide it or ask someone in your household to hide it for you, so even if you feel the urge to buy something on it, you can’t! It’s important to note here that you still have to use your credit card occasionally, or the bank will cancel it, and you may not want that to happen.
Better still, cut up your credit card and throw it away before you rack up a debt you have difficulty back to your bank in Qatar.
If you want to pay off your debts in a shorter amount of time, and also get to save money on the interest, then the avalanche method is for you. In this particular method of credit card payment, you will focus on the debt with the highest interest rates. For this, you can make a list of your debts from the highest one to the lowest one based on the interest rate and pay off the lowest balance on the lowest debts, so you can then commit as much extra cash as possible to the debts that have the maximum interest rate.
If you make a monthly budget of expenses and stick to it (at least, most of the time), you may actually be left with some extra cash at the end of the month so, you can use the avalanche method effectively.
In this method, you actually put more cash towards paying the debts, and less towards paying the interest rate.
In the snowball method, you make a list of your lowest debts and pay them off first without focusing on what the interest rate is. As soon as you have paid off the smaller debt, you can move to the next smallest one, and so on and so forth.
This method is called snowball because the more debts you pay off – from smaller to bigger gradually – the more motivated you will be as you see the snowball of debt payments becoming larger and larger, just like a snowball becomes larger as it gathers more snow when it’s on a roll.
If you have good credit with your bank in Qatar and have been making your payments within the time limit, or have just a few late payments, then you may be eligible for lower interest rates, but it really depends on which bank you use in Qatar and what their policies are.
If you have more credit cards than one, and lower interest rates on them, then you can use that as a bargaining tool with your bank.
Knocking off even just a few points on your interest rate can help you save hundreds of Qatari riyals every year, which you can then use to pay back your debts.
Take a look at the things you spend money on during the month. You can use your credit card statement to help you out. Some things are important like housing, education, groceries, petrol and even entertainment (after all we need a break, too), but there must be some things you can cut back down.
Maybe you can eat out less than you normally do, choose entertainment options that are less expensive or even free (Qatar has so many events happening almost every other day that are not only hip and happening but are also free for yourself and your family: click here for events in Qatar, buy more local items when you go grocery shopping (they are usually cheaper), and if you can walk somewhere, don’t take the car, or at least, don’t go out unnecessarily, so you can cut back on petrol consumption!
When you cut down on unnecessary spending and make a budget that you can stick to (at least, most of the time), you will probably be left over with some extra money at the end of the month. Put that money towards your debt repayment.
There may be times that you do not have any extra money that you can put towards paying your credit card debt. In cases like this, you may not have a choice but to wait for a while, maybe several months, maybe more, depending on your cash flow situation. In times like this, it’s best to, at least, stick with making the minimum payments to your bank in Qatar, and then pay more when you have some extra money.
When you pay the bank just the minimum amount on your credit card, it will actually take you a lot longer to pay off your credit card debt. However, if you make a payment that is even a little bigger than your minimum payment, you can probably pay less interest on the whole.
Do you use a credit card here in Qatar? What is your experience? Is it helpful or do you find yourself in debt? How do you pay off your credit card debt? Are these life hacks helpful? Do let us know your thoughts in our Comments section. Like and share the article - it keeps us going!
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