A lot of people nowadays are addicted to “plastic.” Plastic is a term they use to refer to credit cards. Over 60% of the world’s population is buried in debt. This is why big credit card companies reap billions and billions of dollars in interest and profits. If you are one of the 60% who own a credit card, you can manage your card to your advantage. Here is how:
- Spend only on what you need. If you have uncontrollable impulses, do not go to the malls or shops when you do not have ready cash available. Your impulses will result to charging more and more items to your credit card. Better yet, leave your credit cards at home or carry only one credit card at a time. Carry the one with the lowest credit limit. This way, you will be limited just in case your impulses take control of you. The key to successfully ward off impulses is to ask yourself this question, “Do I really need this today?” If not, don’t buy it.
- As much as you can help it, charge only enough to pay on the next due date. If you know your cash influx for that payday is not sufficient to pay off a hundred dollar dress, do not buy it. Accumulated debt usually is the result of buying things you cannot pay immediately after.
- Set a budget every half a month. Always set a limit on how much you can charge on your credit card for that month. Be sure to set realistic limits—those that you know you can pay for the next two months or less.
- Get credit cards that waive their annual fees. Cards that waive annual fees usually do not offer reward points. So either get the card without the annual fee or the card with the highest reward points. Reward points can earn you perks or discounts when buying appliances or furniture. Some also have frequent flyer perks if you fly often enough using their credit card. You may board your next flight to some place for free!
- Always read your monthly statements. Keep credit card receipts and tally them with your monthly billing. Make sure that the charges in your billing are the same with your receipts. This will help you keep track of how much you spend a month on your credit card and at the same time determine if someone is hacking your credit card.
- If you have a high credit debt, do not pay the minimum amount stated in the card. Instead, pay off as much as you can. Make a monthly budget to set aside for things you need to buy and pay. If you have an extra $20 or 50, add it to your credit card payment.
- If your credit card bill reaches an amount more than what you earn per month, stop using it immediately. Keep in locked away from you until you have paid off a good amount to bring it down.
Credit cards are assets if you know how to work them to your advantage. They can actually help you get through emergencies and other things that need immediate attention but you do not have the cash readily available just yet. Just be sure that you are taking your card on the right path. If you do, it will do you wonders.