3 Ways to Pay Off Your Credit Cards by the End of the Year

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KEY POINTS

  • If your goal is to close out 2022 without credit card debt, you don't have much time.
  • There are steps you can take to free up money to chip away at your balance.
  • See about picking up a side hustle, cut your spending, and ask for a year-end work bonus.


Get ready to kiss that debt goodbye.

Maybe you racked up a credit card balance this year because inflation drove all of your living costs up. Or maybe you gave into peer pressure and took a trip you couldn't afford, thereby ending up with a balance on your hands.

There's no sense in beating yourself up over the credit card debt you've accrued. For one reason or another, that's the situation you're in. But you may be eager to get rid of that debt before the new year kicks off. That way, you can begin 2023 with a clean financial slate.

Of course, paying off your credit cards by the end of the year may prove challenging seeing as how we're already in November and there isn't much time left before 2022 wraps up. But if you make these moves, you may find you're able to whittle your balance down to $0 just in time to count down into the new year.

1. Get a side hustle

You might spend most, or all, of your current paycheck on living costs. But if you score a second paycheck, you can use that extra money to knock out your credit card debt.

Not only is the gig economy booming these days, but in the coming weeks, many businesses will likely need extra help to handle anticipated holiday volume. And so if you're willing to work at, say, a retail shop a few nights a week, you might manage to boost your income nicely -- and use your earnings to get rid of your credit card debt for good.

2. Slash your spending

There are probably at least a couple of expenses you pay for monthly that aren't considered essentials -- things like a gym membership, takeout meals, or subscription boxes. If you're willing to cut back on enough of those purchases for the rest of the year, you might manage to make a nice dent in your credit card debt -- or maybe even get rid of it entirely. 

3. Fight for a bonus

Some companies reward workers with bonuses at the end of the year. But this practice isn't universal. Even if you're a great employee who always goes above and beyond, getting a bonus isn't a given.

That doesn't mean you can't fight for one, though. First of all, your company may be more willing to give out a bonus than a raise because a bonus is a one-time payment, not an ongoing obligation. And also, these days, workers still have an upper hand in the labor market. A lot of companies are still having a hard time hiring staff, and your employer may not want to lose you. 

As such, your boss may be willing to go out of their way to make you happy -- even if that means finding room in the budget for a year-end bonus. That's cash you can use to wipe out your credit card debt. 

Don't resign yourself to starting the new year with debt

Clearly, the clock is ticking down on 2022, and there isn't a lot of time between now and the end of the year to eliminate credit card debt. But if you're willing to make some or all these moves, you may find you're able to get rid of that debt just in time for 2023 to begin. And that could help you start off the new year with a better frame of mind.

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