A credit card is almost an essential in today’s world. While cash still just about remains king, cards are used more and more because of their unbeatable convenience and safety. However, there is a significant dark side: credit cards make overspending easy, with all the risks of building up problem debts that involves. So how can you enjoy the benefits of a credit card without this risk?
Don’t Carry Your Card
If you always keep your card in your wallet or purse it’s always available for that tempting impulse spend, and as using a card doesn’t feel as ‘real’ as using money, this temptation can be very hard to resist. Leave your card at home, and you can’t use it on a whim which may later be regretted.
Don’t Store Details Online
While most shopping websites nowadays allow you to store your card details online, making shopping simple, this is a double-edged sword. Sure, it simplifies ordering when you need to do it, but being able to buy things with a single click can easily run out of control. If you can, make sure you have to enter your card details afresh for every purchase you make so as to give you a minute or two to think twice.
Clear Your Balance Monthly
If you see your card account as a bottomless money jar, then spending is too easy. Getting into the habit of clearing your balance each month will help you to see that it’s real money you’re spending whenever you use your card, making it more likely you’ll pause for thought before making a spur-of-the-moment purchase.
Avoid Routine Spending
If you use your card for groceries and other everyday spending, you can run up large bills almost before you know it. If you use cash instead, you can only spend up to the amount you’re actually carrying, rather than having the false impression of a safety net given by a large credit limit. Alternatively, using a debit card will at least make sure that your spending will be settled immediately rather than potentially building up debt over months or years.