3 Things You Can Do Today To Slow Down Credit Card Use

Slow down your credit card useage!

As credit card use continues to skyrocket, more and more consumers are finding themselves in debt. There’s no surprise that there’s quite the correlation there. Living in a consumerism driven society, many of us have become used to the term, “It’s OK, I’ll just put it on my card.” when we can’t seem to afford the things we want. With commercials making wants feel like needs and one-time only deals grabbing the attention of the masses, it becomes incredibly hard to resist using our credit cards when we don’t quite have the cash readily available.

If you are like me just a couple of years ago, you may feel trapped in a cycle of spending on your credit card and catching up on bills later. However, that cycle never ends until we become ready to make a few drastic changes in our spending habits. The good news is, there are a few things that might make those drastic changes a bit easier to stomach. Here they are…

Slow down credit card use

Slow Down Your Credit Card Use by Creating and Maintaining a Budget Spreadsheet

One of the biggest reasons you may have nothing left at the end of each pay period is that you may not have a budget that helps you get a grip on your spending. Often times, consumers slide their credit cards thinking that they have plenty of money available to pay it off. At the end of the month, a few unexpected expenses come in and…”BAM!” back to the minimum payment! With a budget spreadsheet, you will know if you are able to afford to make the payment or not. If you’re not sure of where to start when creating a budget, please feel free to read my tutorial, “How To Make The Ultimate Budget Spreadsheet”.

Nightly Credit Card Balance Checks

Another big reason for over use of credit cards is that with it being so easy to swipe our cards and worry about the balance later, we often don’t even realize how much money we’re spending every day. The good news is, most credit card companies offer online account management. Using these systems, you can often see real time changes to your balance as a result of purchases or payments. If you go on a spending spree one day, when you check your balance that night, you will see the changes that your spending spree has caused. Chances are, being conscious of the cost of basic spending habits will be enough to change them.

Make It So That Your Credit Cards Are No Longer Easily Accessible

One thing I’ve said in this article a couple times now is that it’s very easy to use credit cards. They are a very convenient spending option. All you need to do is swipe your card and worry about payments later.

I mean, it doesn’t get more convenient than that! But, that’s not a good thing. Convenience in spending can lead to overspending simply due to how easy it is to get the things you want but, can’t afford.

That being said, if you find it incredibly hard to control your credit card purchase, making it harder to get to your cards may be a good idea. I often tell people of my frozen credit cards trick when they want to know good ways to do this. All you need to do is put all of your credit cards in a plastic bag, fill it with water and throw it in the freezer. Once your cards are frozen, it will be harder to get to them and, the time it takes for them to thaw will allow for rational thought to find other options.

Instead of using credit cards, you can use bank checks or cash which will keep you in check.

Read more here about low balance transfer credit cards. It is a good concept, and guess what? You can repeat this several times throughout your lifetime to make sure you keep interest rates close to zero.

Slow down your credit card usage today!

About the Author:

This article was written by Joshua Rodriguez, proud owner and founder of CNA Finance. Join the discussion with Joshua on Google+!

9 thoughts on “3 Things You Can Do Today To Slow Down Credit Card Use

  1. I usually only use my credit card for things that I have money to pay for (eg. budgeted clothing or haircuts) or things I expect to get reimbursed for (eg. work travel or prescriptions). Keeps it simple!

  2. Joshua! Great tips! We simply use the card for a set list of very specific items and never use our card for anything else. We also have only one card. Never any surprises on our statements. Have a banana split weekend with 3 cherries on top!!!!

  3. I personally rarely use my card. I have bills that are monthly that are set to charge the card but as for using it, i just keep it in my wallet. I would say that creating a spread sheet did help me out a lot when I was using it more frequently than I am now. One of my cards is in a safe deposit box.

  4. Credit cards are not per se a bad thing – try renting a car without one – but the way banks organise credit cards is pretty scandalous. They try to trap you into debt. I have only seen one card which enables you to control things better – because sometimes credit cards can be useful. The John Lewis card in the UK enables you to set a repayment for example as £250 a month. If the balance is less then it is paid in full, if the balance is more then you pay £250 but if the balance is more than a certain amount then you pay a percentage. This way for most things you can choose a repayment that suits the pocket yet not get into too much debt. I haven’t got one of these (we have had too many anyway) but if I were to start again, I would vote for a JL card every time.

    [John Lewis is a very successful worker-owned co-operative that sells high-end furniture and household goods.]

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