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Tips to Stay Debt-Free When using Credit Cards

Posted by : Premraj | Posted on : Wednesday, October 3, 2018

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Experts agree individuals should avoid using a credit card altogether, keeping just one for emergency situations. Even still, many people prefer the plastic over cash, as well as the buying freedom that it gives them. If you’re one of those people who simply want a credit card in their wallet, it is imperative that you learn a few strategies that prevent getting into major debt with your plastic.

Create a Budget

Budgeting is important for anyone who wishes to remain debt free, especially when credit card usage comes into account. When you know the amount of money that’s coming in versus what is being spent, it is much easier to stay on track with your finances. Make sure your credit card payment is included in your monthly budgeting amount. You’ll decrease spending habits considerably if this payment takes a large portion of your budget.

Charge Only What You Can Afford

Don’t charge anything to the card that you cannot afford to buy. Many people view credit cards as a ‘free meal ticket’ that allows them to buy items they otherwise couldn’t afford, when in reality, you should use the card only when it is within reason of your budget. People get into debt quickly when spending beyond their means.

Pay Off Your Debt

Repay, in full, any money charged on the card the following month when it becomes due. Otherwise, you simply pay off the interest rather than the actual debt and the balance will remain hanging over your head for some time. This follows the ‘only charge what you can afford’ rule. Forbes reports that consumers paid more than $104 billion in credit card interest fees over the past five years.

One Card Max

Consumers carry an average of four credit cards. How many cards do you have in your wallet? It’s time to shred the plastic if there is more than one card in your wallet. Shredding some of those cards will considerably reduce your debt. Choose only one credit card to hold and keep it tucked in a sock drawer in the bedroom at home rather than in your wallet. If the card isn’t easily accessible, spending money isn’t so easy either, and avoiding debt is far easier. Carrying two, three, four or more cards is simply wasting money since you’ll pay interest and monthly fees on the cards, even if there isn’t a balance.

Monitor Spending

Create a spending limit for yourself, even if the credit card lender has not imposed a limit. Determine the amount of money you’re comfortable spending each month and comfortably repaying at the end of the term. Don’t spend more than this amount. Keep in mind the amount that you can spend may fluctuate from month-to-month as your debts and the financial situation changes. Also, remember that creating a limit does not mean that you must spend this amount. Using the card only when necessary is the absolute best debt-relief solution!

Debilitating Condition

Apply for Social Security Disability if you have a debilitating condition and the credit card lenders cannot be garnished should you renege on the payments. While this isn’t to encourage defaulting on your debts, if situations arise that put you in a situation where working is straining your life due to medical conditions, do not allow credit card bill collectors scare you into working simply to repay the debt.

It is best to spend cash and leave credit cards behind, but if you insist on carrying the plastic, make sure you do so responsibly. Getting into credit card debt is far too easy and a risk that you shouldn’t willingly take when it is easier to avoid trouble from the start. The tips above are a few of the simple ideas that can help keep you out of financial turmoil and major credit card debt. Use these tips to stay out of debt today and well into the future.

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