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Saving Money

This 21-Day Challenge is Perfect For People With $5K or More in Credit Card Debt

If you have credit card debt, you know. The high interest rates, the constant anxiety, the feeling you’ll never escape…

But today’s the day that’s all going to change. It’s time to finally pay off your credit card debt and live your life with a little less money stress by committing to this 21-day debt payoff challenge.

You ready? Follow these steps to finally conquer your credit card debt:

Day 1: Freeze Your Credit Cards

No, we’re serious. Literally freeze your credit cards.

If you want to get serious about paying off your credit card debt, you’ll want to stop using your cards — at least until you can pay down your balance and temper your spending.

So grab a container from your cupboard, fill it with water, drop your credit cards in, and pop it in the freezer. No more spending temptations. Now you’re ready to get serious.

Day 2: Ask This Website to Help Pay Your Credit Card Bills This Month

If you have credit card debt, you know. The anxiety, the interest rates, the fear you’re never going to escape… 

And the truth is, your credit card company doesn’t really care. It’s just getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates — some up to 36%. But a website called AmOne wants to help.

If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.

The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 2.49% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.

AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why after 20 years in business, it still has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $50,000 online. You do need to give AmOne a real phone number in order to qualify, but don’t worry — they won’t spam you with phone calls.

Day 3: Get a Free $83 for Winning a Game of Solitaire

Lots of us already play Solitaire on our phones for fun or just to pass the time. Want to see if you can win money at it?

There’s a free iPhone app called Solitaire Cash that pays up to $83 per win — that’s an extra credit card payment!

You might be thinking: There’s got to be a catch. This is definitely one of those spammy apps, right?

Wrong. There really isn’t a catch. Sure, you can pay to play in some higher-stakes tournaments, but there’s no pressure. And, in fact, there aren’t even any annoying ads.

With each game, you’ll battle it out against at least five other players. Everyone gets the same deck, so winning is totally a matter of skill. The top three players who solve the deck fastest can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.

Over on the App Store, it has over a million downloads and more than 15,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars (out of 5).

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

Day 4: Cancel Your Car Insurance

Here’s the thing: your current car insurance company is probably overcharging you. But, who has the time to look around for around a new company?

But a website called InsuredNation could help you save up to $500 a year. That’s $500 towards your credit card debt.

It takes just two minutes to answer some questions, and InsuredNation’s smart matching technology will show you the insurance companies that are the best fit for you. And don’t worry — InsuredNation uses the most advanced data security and encryption technology, so all your details are safe. 

The website is free to use and can even save you up to an additional 20% if you add another vehicle to your policy. You could be paying as little as $19 a month for car insurance.

InsuredNation has already helped millions of people find affordable car insurance. See how much money you could save with a new policy.

Day 5: See If Your Credit Card Company Made a Mistake

Did you know that one in five people have an error on their credit report that could be costing them thousands of dollars?

The credit card companies are famous for reporting misinformation to the three bureaus.

Thankfully, a website called Credit Sesame will help you detect any errors — for free. If you find any, it will even help you dispute them.

Salome Buitureria, a working mom in Louisiana, found a major error on her report this way. Using Credit Sesame, she was able to fix the mistake and take additional steps to raise her credit score from 524 to nearly 700. 

Now she and her husband feel like they’re in a better position for their biggest goal — purchasing a house. 

Want to check for yourself? It only takes about 90 seconds to sign up.

Days 6-7: Build a Sustainable Budget

A couple talk in their living room.
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Now it’s time to build yourself a budget. We’re giving you two days for this because we get it: This can be overwhelming.

Oh, yes, we hear your groaning from here, but budgeting is an integral part to paying off your credit card debt, and it’ll help you accomplish your financial goals. Plus, it doesn’t have to be that difficult.

We suggest using the 50/20/30 budgeting method. It’s easy and offers a lot of flexibility. Here’s what it looks like:

  • 50% of your monthly income goes toward living expenses. These include rent, mortgage, utilities, groceries, car payments, gas and loan payments.
  • 20% of your monthly income goes toward money goals, which can include investments, savings and debt-reduction payments above the minimum amount.
  • 30% of your monthly income goes toward personal spending. That’s everything else.

Because you want to pay off your credit card debt, you’ll want to focus on building your minimum payments into that 50% category. Then any additional efforts will get wrapped into the money goals category.

If you’re struggling to make your expenses fit perfectly into each category, feel free to adjust the proportions. Like we said, this is super flexible, so use it to suit your needs and hit your goals.

Day 8: Get a Free $225 Just For Watching Cooking Videos

If we told you you could get free money just for watching videos on your computer, you’d probably laugh.It’s too good to be true, right? But we’re serious.

A website called InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.

All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward. Brands pay InboxDollars to get these videos in front of viewers, and it passes a cut onto you.

InboxDollars won’t make you rich, but it’s possible to get up to $225 per month watching these videos. It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately earn a $5 bonus to get you started.

Days 9-16: Commit to a “No Spend” Challenge

A couple eat breakfast together.
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You’re making good progress so far! Now it’s time to really pour fuel on this fire by committing to a week of no spending.

That means you won’t spend any money on nonessentials this next week. Definitely still pay rent, your utilities — all those responsible grown-up bills — but don’t spend anything on entertainment, clothes or dining out.

Yes, this will be difficult, and you will face temptations. But this is a great way to reset your spending habits and save up some extra money to put toward your debt.

If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can go for a full month, like personal finance writer Jamie Cattanach. She committed to a No Spend November, to help tame some of her holiday spending. When Cattanach finished her challenge, she saved more than $600. Not bad, right?

Day 17-20: Add $225 to Your Wallet Just for Watching the News

It’s been a historic year in news, and we’re all constantly refreshing for the latest updates. You probably know more than one news-junkie who fancies themselves an expert in respiratory illness or a political mastermind.

And research companies want to pay you to keep watching.You could add up to $225 a month to your pocket by signing up for a free account with Swagbucks. They’ll present you with short news clips to choose from every day, then ask you a few questions about them.

You just have to answer honestly, and Swagbucks will continue to pay you every month. This might sound too good to be true, but it’s already paid its users more than $429 million. 

We talked to one user in Pennsylvania, 52-year-old Carolinda Hendrickson, who earned $1,200 in a year.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and start getting paid to watch the news.

Day 21: See If You Can Get $80/Month From This Company

Whew! You’ve almost completed the challenge. How are you feeling? You should be proud of yourself for committing to pay off your debt.

Taking surveys might not sound like the best way to pay off debt, but if you’re just vegging out on the couch — or pretending to be interested in your partner’s new favorite show — why not click a couple buttons? It could earn you up to $80 a month. Seriously.

There are a bunch of paid survey sites out there, but one of the best we’ve found is Survey Junkie

They’ll ask you questions about things like, what kind of laundry detergent you use, or if you prefer Pepsi or Coke. You get points for answering, and many people accumulate enough points to request a check within a few hours. 

More than 10 million people already use Survey Junkie, and it has 4.5/5 stars on TrustPilot. Give it a try by visiting Survey Junkie and clicking the “Join Now” button. It’s free.