Summertime can lead to a slippery slope of credit card spending, leaving many in need of credit card debt help in San Diego. You look at your social media and see your friends taking off on vacations, going to concerts, movies, eating out and the like.  It all looks so fun, and you can do it all too if you just put it on your credit card, right?  If you already have high credit card debt, the answer is WRONG.  It’s time to lower your credit card debt!  Summertime can actually be a great time to reduce your credit card debt and here is how you can do it:

Lower Your Credit Card Debt In Summer

  1. Know What You Owe

It can be scary to rip off the Band-Aid, but it’s got to be done.  Many with high credit card debt bury their heads in the sand and the results are often disastrous.  You need to face what you owe head on.  Make a list of each credit card, what you owe, the amount of minimum monthly payment, and when the payments are due.


  1. Know What You Spend Money On And Make a Budget

If you have no idea what you spend per month, then it’s impossible to make a budget, which is the next step in the process.  Look at your last month’s bank and credit card statements and see where you are spending money.  Make a list of your essential expenses first (rent, mortgage, water, gas, groceries, etc.).  Then try and cut down on the non-essential purchases.  If you really want to lower your credit card debt, then it’s going to take some cutting back.  Instead of going out to eat for your lunch break, pack your meal. Turn your weekly mani-pedi into a once a month occasion. Avoid the stores where your spending resolve is weakened.


  1. Pay More Than Your Monthly Minimums

This step is vital if you truly want to lower your credit card debt during summer.  Use the money you were spending on non-essentials to really make an impact in cutting your credit card debt.  The interest rate applies to your balance going forward, so try to reduce this amount by paying twice – or more – of your minimum payment.


  1. Use an App to Stay on Top of your Budget

There are many different, very helpful apps out there that will help you stay on track.  Some of the most noted are Mint, PocketGuard, You Need a Budget, and GoodBudget.


  1. Stop Using Your Credit Cards for the Summer

Put the cards away and pay cash or use your debit card when shopping for groceries, gas, utilities and other necessities. You won’t be over-extending yourself when you’re only spending what’s in your pocket.


  1. Consolidate High Interest Credit Card Debt

You may be able to consolidate your credit card balances into a lower interest personal loan. The process involves talking to lenders about opening a line of credit and negotiating an interest rate; then, you use the loan funds to pay off higher interest credit accounts. You don’t eliminate the amount due, but you’re paying less interest and you’re only paying one creditor every month.


  1. Attempt To Settle Or Negotiate The Total Debt That You Owe

Credit card companies are often willing to negotiate with you to pay down your debt. Many times, you can settle your credit card debt for 40 cents on the dollar – or even less. Meaning, 60% or more of your credit card debt can be wiped out through a negotiation with your credit card company. If you are interested in going this route, then call an attorney who focuses on debt relief. And ask for a free consultation, which most reputable debt relief law firms will do.  Be aware of the difference between a debt relief attorney and debt relief companies.  Some debt relief companies claim to be attorneys but only utilize an attorney as a front to meet state and federal guidelines. You should make sure you contact a debt attorney who handles all aspects of the debt negotiation process, not a back office support staff. Attorneys have an ethical obligation to put their client’s interests first, debt relief companies do not.


  1. Avoid Social Media Envy

No one said cutting back on spending would be easy. While you are focusing on cutting your spending this summer, you will no doubt see your friends on social media going on vacations and doing other things that your summer budget won’t allow.  It can sting.  Try to avoid social media envy.


  1. Take Advantage Of Online Deals

Thanks to online services such as Groupon and Living Social, there are deals to be had!  Need a haircut?  Over the summer, use a stylist offering a great price.  Have an anniversary dinner coming up – find an online deal.  There are hundreds of deeply discounted offers out there just for the taking.


  1. Use This As A Teaching Moment For Your Kids

If you are making big spending cuts, then your children will no doubt feel it and they probably won’t be too happy about it.  But this is actually a really good teaching moment for your kids!  Having the discipline to stick to a budget is a hugely beneficial skill that will benefit your children for the rest of their lives.


  1. Get Outdoors!

We do happen to live in America’s Finest City! There are countless outdoor activities that you can take advantage of for FREE!  Hit the beach or bays, go on a hike, take a bike ride along the boardwalk, look for the numerous offerings of free concerts in the park, take a stroll to Seaport village and be entertained by the performers along the bay, attend free museum days, or pack a picnic and dine in Balboa park.  The possibilities are endless.