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 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!
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