Do you have credit card debt? Is it a lot? Perhaps, unmanageable? This is a very easy trap that many fall into, that I have fallen into more than twice. And, I am a Financial Consultant who knows better. I did not take my own advice. Thankfully, I learned how to properly use credit cards, and you can too.
How to properly use credit cards?
How? Don’t! That is, do not use credit cards unless you absolutely must or it is for business, or you can and will pay them off each month!
Now, if you must… and if you can have some discipline?
If you need to, such as business expenses or keep track of spending, this is a very simple concept and will alleviate most of your money struggles and even marriage arguments.
Credit cards are a tool when you are in a great need. It is always best to play them off each month.
What credit cards are not, is being your money! They are not your income or your entitlement. They are not what you need or what you deserve. They do not make your life easier, because they will make it more complicated and convoluted. When we get this, we will be on the right track of money management.
How to manage credit cards?
- First of all, avoid the late payment trap.
- Second, avoid the minimum payment trap.
- Third, control your spending.
If you do not, the balance will spiral out of control with 19.8% as an average rate with a range of 16.97% to over 36%! Then there are the fees… So, if you can pay them off each month or have a plan to pay them off, then you will save considerably on interest, and will be able to build your savings and eliminate your debt.
Keep track of your spending, pay your credit cards on time and if you can’t pay it off, pay the max you can. Discipline yourself with a plan to set a reasonable limit on your spending. You can do that by just keeping track of what and how much you spend. Look it over at the end of the month. Or look carefully at your credit card statement. Then cut out the cancer of unreasonable spending.
What NOT to use credit cards for:
Pay other Bills…
Automobiles… Yes, people actually do this, unless you pay it off at the end of the month, you will be paying for that car over and over. So, a $30,000 car will cost you over $100,000 or more. Ouch!
Managing a credit card is all about telling your money what to do; not allowing your desires to ‘defund’ you.
If you can’t manage a credit card, do not have one. Stick to a debit card and have a good budget to guide you. That is what I do personally and what I recommend as a Financial Advisor to my clients.
How can I help build your family, or business have a successful financial future?
Dr. Richard Krejcir is licensed and experienced Financial Consultant with over thirty years of experience. He has worked for major banks, insurance companies, nonprofits, and families too. He is also an author, financial blogger and holds a doctorate in Stewardship.