Credit card debt can be a crippling and stressful financial burden. It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying things you can’t afford and raising debt with high-interest rates. But with determination and intelligent strategies, it is possible to climb out of debt and achieve financial freedom.

A Redditor shares his story on what he wishes people had told him before he got $16,000 in credit card debt. Going forward, we’ll refer to him as Original Poster (OP).


When the OP was 23 years old, he accidentally got his first credit card, thinking he was signing up for a “loyalty card” at a store. Four years later, OP had $16,000 in credit card debt, married with a baby girl, and struggled to make ends meet. 

OP’s dad called credit card debt the “ultimate slavemaster,” and OP couldn’t agree more. But OP didn’t let that debt control him forever. Less than two years later, OP and his wife had saved $16,000 and paid off all their credit card debt. 

Here are some of the tips and strategies that helped OP achieve financial freedom:

1. Don’t Delay Paying Off Your Debt

You won’t magically have more money in the future to pay it off, and the debt will only continue to grow. Paying off debt should not be delayed; doing so only leads to buying more things on credit and accumulating more debt. Act now to break the cycle.

OP says, “You will not pay it off later. When ‘later’ comes, you’ll buy other things to pay off later.” 

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2. Educate Yourself About Personal Finance

Dave Ramsey’s “The Total Money Makeover” is an excellent resource with practical tips that work. Education is vital to mastering personal finance. Learn about budgeting, investing, and saving, and use that knowledge to make informed financial decisions for a better future.

“Read Dave Ramsey’s money makeover. It’s got good tips, and the tactics work.” OP said.

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3. Resist The Urge To Keep Up With Others

The pressure to keep up with others’ lifestyles and spending habits can lead to debt and financial insecurity. Focus on your own financial goals and resist the urge to compare.

“They’re probably in debt, too, and it’s not worth sacrificing your financial well-being to compete with them. They’re miserable and controlled by debt, also. Don’t buy things you don’t need to compete with people you don’t care for anyways.” OP advised.

Read Frugal Alert: 10 Simple Frugal Tips To Save Thousands Of Dollars


4. Take On A Side Hustle To Earn Extra Income

Side hustles provide extra income. Find something you enjoy and turn it into a profitable venture. Use earnings to pay off debt, save for emergencies, and invest for the future.

“I taught myself to make skateboards and would handmake 2-3 a week to sell to help pay off the debt. My wife picked up Birth photography,” said OP.

ReadCreative side hustle ideas for you – Make $100k and up.


5. Ask Your Boss For A Raise Or Promotion

Asking for a raise or promotion can lead to financial growth and career advancement. Prepare by highlighting your contributions and demonstrating your value to the company.

“Talk to your boss, ask what you can do to take a bigger paycheck home,” OP says.

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6. Budget Strictly And Track Spending

Creating and following a budget and tracking your spending helps keep expenses under control and makes it easier to achieve your financial goals.

“Stick to a strict budget and track your spending. Every dollar counts when you’re trying to pay off debt,” said OP.


7. Use Visual Reminders Of Your Financial Goals

Visual reminders, like post-it notes or phone backgrounds, can keep your financial goals in mind. These cues can inspire action and encourage persistence toward achieving those goals.

“We put post-it notes with “0.00” written everywhere to remind ourselves of our debt-free goal.” OP shared.


8. Try To Become Emotionally Detached From Your Money

Becoming emotionally detached from money can help avoid anxiety or frustration when paying off debts or making big purchases. Focus on the facts, and make rational financial decisions.

“Become emotionless toward money. I would get so angry that I was dumping hundreds of my paycheck into debt payoff. It was only till I stopped giving importance that it became easier to make bigger payments.” said OP.


9. Prioritize Paying Off Your Debt Over Saving

When you have debt, prioritizing paying it off over saving can help you avoid interest charges and reduce your debt burden. Once your debt is gone, you can then focus on saving.

“Save nothing until it’s paid off. It doesn’t make sense to save money when CC debt grows exponentially in the opposite direction.” OP advised.

ReadSell Photos To Make Money


10. Remove Saved Credit Cards From Online Shopping Sites

Remove saved credit cards from online shopping sites like Amazon. The extra step of finding and entering your card information can be a helpful deterrent to unnecessary purchases.

“Unsave your cards on Amazon. So if you buy something, you must go through the hassle of finding the card and filling in the fields.” OP said.

These are just a few strategies that helped OP’s family overcome credit card debt and achieve financial freedom. Remember, there is always time to take control of your finances and work toward a debt-free future.

Source: Reddit

Do you agree with OP’s advice? What advice would you give in this regard?

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