Many medical students and residents use credit cards throughout their training to help cover their expenses, and if that’s you, you’re not alone. In fact, the average credit card debt for a U.S. household carrying a balance is over $16,000.
In addition to having debt, many Americans have more debt than savings too. If this is you, you probably realize that it’s time for a change. After all, debt prevents you from living the life you actually want and being able to reach your biggest financial goals.
(Plus, if you’re a young doctor, you likely already have significant student loan debt; credit card debt is an added burden you can live without!)
To help get started with the process, below are 4 steps you can take to escape your credit card debt once and for all.
1. ANALYZE YOUR EXPENSES
In order to get your debt under control, you will need to start by analyzing your expenses.
2. FIND WAYS TO REDUCE WHAT YOU OWE
There are a several ways you can reduce what you owe on your fixed expenses. (See below for more details.)
3. SET UP A BUDGET
After you reduce your fixed expenses and analyze your spending, set up a budget.
4. CHANGE YOUR OUTLOOK ON MONEY
Once you pay off your credit card debt, it’s important to change your outlook on money to avoid falling back into the debt trap again.
Overall, it will take extreme discipline to change your lifestyle, but it will be for the better. No one is perfect, and the mistake of accumulating debt (even though it’s a bad one) isn’t the end of the world. Good things actually will come out of this; it will just take some hard work and discipline to achieve it.
To learn more about the four steps mentioned above, including more detailed explanations about how to best cut expenses and set up a budget, please check out the full post on the Physician Wealth Services blog.