Debt-free before your due date

There's no better motivator than a baby on the way to get a financial fresh start. If you have credit card debt hanging over your head, make the moves, right now, to be debt-free before your due date.

With equipment to buy, the possibility of extra medical costs and a reduced income while you’re on maternity leave, adding a new member to the family isn’t easy on the budget, even when you’re in the black. It may have been a long time since you were debt free, but it can be done. Try this plan of attack:

Stop recreational shopping. Unless they come from the maternity department, don’t even think about buying new clothes – you won’t be able to wear them for several months, by which time trends (and your taste) may have changed.

Pay your bills on time – no excuses. You’re hit with a fee every time you’re overdue – some banks charge up to $40! If forgetting the payment date is a problem, set up direct debit for the minimum amount due, plus a calendar reminder to make sure there’s enough in your transaction account on the big day.

Be smart about balance transfers. Interest-free and low-interest balance transfers can give you a real chance at knocking over debt. But beware of using that same card to make new purchases, as these will attract a much higher interest rate – often over 20%. Compare balance transfer credit cards.

Use savings to pay debt. You’re losing more money paying credit interest than you’re accumulating through savings. If you have cash stashed, use it to put a dent in your debt – consider this the rainy day you’ve been saving for.

Consider a debt consolidation loan. Rolling all your debts into one monthly payment can give you focus. See how quickly you can pay off your credit card debt.

Switch to a debit card. You can still have all the convenience of paying bills and making (sneaky) purchases online but using money you actually have. Compare debit cards on Mozo now.