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How I Paid Off $20K Credit Card Debt in 2 Years – Pt. 1

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Credit card debt is the worst.

O. M. G!

It’s like a monthly pesticide that never goes away until you tackle the root of the problem.

And when you have over 10 credit cards (guilty!), managing all your payments can be a nightmare unless you are super organized.

I just want you to know that if you have credit card debt, I understand your pain.

Debt dictates your life. And sometimes you feel the need to do EXTRA splurging in hopes that your debt obligations would magically disappear.

Ignoring your debt will make things worse (you’ll need to change that phone number!).

Now I’ve never ignored my debt but there were times when I waited until the last minute to pay a credit card bill because of my insane desires.

Those aren’t wealthy habits. Those are poor habits that will keep the debt going.

If you want to eliminate debt once and for all, you need to first admit that there’s a problem in your life and be willing to change your mentality.

In my next post, I’ll tell you how I paid off $20,000 in 2 years (y’all ain’t ready for that yet) but I really want you to understand these things before I reveal my story.

Here’s how to start eliminating worthless debt:

1.Don’t get caught on these streets paying only the minimum balance.

Girl, you’ll be giving away money and paying tons of interest. When I found out it would take me at least 10 years to pay off my credit cards at the rate I was going, I found a way to ditch that debt ASAP (hello side gigs!). I added an extra $150-$200 to my payments every month to decrease my balance.

Thinking about starting a side hustle? Create another source of income by showcasing your skills on a website or blog for less than $4 per month.

2.Stop consuming everything that you think you need.

Know the difference between wants and needs or you’ll spend the rest of your life needing a job to pay off your wants. Don’t be so easy. Make people work a little bit harder for your money.

Think about it: how many hours did you have to work in order to buy what you want? That mindset slashed my spending habits drastically (bye, bye expenses!).

If you’re addicted to shopping, you need to find a way to profit from your problems!

Yes, I’m so serious. Other people get money from your addictions, right? Get rewards points and gift cards just for scanning your receipts. One app that I have been using is called Fetch Rewards. Use my referral code, WVWBW, during signup and you’ll get 2,000 Fetch Points just for starting. Download here:

3. Leave your credit cards at home until you become a financially responsible adult.

Don’t be out there racking up more debt if you already owe a large balance on your credit cards. Stop that nonsense! Put your credit card on a time out until you are mentally strong enough to handle the responsibilities. There was a time when I lived without my credit cards for an entire year (what a challenge!). That means if I didn’t have the cash on hand at that moment, I had to forego activities and other purchases. I later realized I didn’t need the extra “junk” anyway.

Alternative: Instead of buying junk, start selling your beautiful “junk” on Poshmark! Use my Poshmark username and receive $5 Posh Credit upon signing up. Use my username as your personal invite code on your device.
Poshmark username: @ char_rhinehart  

4. Start an emergency fund.

Credit cards are not an emergency fund. I repeat. Credit cards are NOT an emergency fund. Stop procrastinating or saying what you don’t have. Do yourself a favor and put $20.20 away in your emergency fund this week. Put $15 in your fund next week. The goal is to do something EVERY week. If you only have $5, well put that $5 in there. Just do something so that you don’t have to rely on a piece of plastic to run your life.

If you need financial coaching to get you started, contact me at

5. Learn how to invest.

You don’t need thousands of dollars to learn how to invest. You don’t even need $1. Ok, let me explain that. The key word is “LEARN”. All you need is a desire and willingness to learn how to invest. Start where you are and contribute what you can.

If you’re ready to learn how to start investing without the intimidating financial lingo, you will fall in love with “Dividends Are a Queen’s Best Friend“. It’s available on Amazon! You’ll learn, you’ll laugh, and you’ll get the courage to overcome your deepest fears.

When you’re ready to open your brokerage account, you can grab a free stock from Robinhood here. Once you are ready and know what you are doing, dive in! If you want to get investing tips and insights, join my weekly newsletter.

6. Create a vision of how you would feel once you are debt-free.

You don’t know what freedom is until you are debt-free.

Imagine having the opportunity to choose what you want to do and when you want to do it because you don’t owe anyone anything.

How liberating is that?!

It was even more exciting to think about how much I would be paying myself every month instead of paying a credit card company (you ain’t getting no more money from me!).

There you go! These 6 tips are only a few things you can do to get started.

There’s a lot more to share. In the next post, I’m going to share what I did to pay off $20,000 in 2 years. And guess what? I did it without having a full-time job! Say what?!? Yep! But my fingers are getting tired right now so this post will be continued later! Stay tuned!

While you wait, don’t forget to grab your copy of Dividends are a Queen’s Best Friend! This book will tell you what you need to know to get started on your investing journey!!

About Charlene Rhinehart, CPA

Charlene Rhinehart is a Certified Public Accountant, Founder of Wealthy Women Daily, and Editor-in-Chief of the Dividend InvestHer and The Wealthy Woman Investor. Charlene is currently the Chair of the Illinois CPA Society Taxation Individual Committee. With over a decade of experience in the financial services industry, Charlene is one of the few leaders who design insights specifically for the woman investor. Charlene’s work has been featured in a variety of publications including the Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. In 2019, Charlene released her book “Dividends Are a Queen’s Best Friend”, on Amazon.

One comment

  1. Help!!!!!

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