Most Americans have one or more credit cards, but many have difficulty budgeting their use. The simplicity of using a credit card for purchases makes it easy to understand how individuals can quickly accumulate unwanted debt. If you find yourself having difficulty controlling your credit card use and debt, don’t get discouraged; there are simple solutions you can consider to help get a handle on your credit cards.
Use Credit Cards Less Often
Understanding that using a credit card is essentially the same as borrowing money for a purchase can go a long way to conceptualizing the true cost of credit card use. Any amount you charge to your credit card accrues interest if the balance isn’t paid off by the end of the month. Consider not using your credit card for small transactions, like those under $20, because no one wants to accrue interest on their daily cup of coffee purchase.
Consider Alternatives to Credit Cards
If you are having difficulty limiting your credit card use, consider alternative forms of payment. Debit cards and checks are viable options, but simply using cash will force you to only spend what you have on hand or in your bank account.
Leverage Available Technology
Many credit card companies, banks, and third-party organizations offer some sort of financial tracking software, and some even offer smartphone apps that allow you to stay up-to-date on your spending while you’re on the go. There are even software and applications that can offer insight and suggestions on your spending habits to help you better budget your finances.
Consider Reducing the Number of Credit Cards You Own
It’s good to have at least one credit card to help build credit and have in case of emergencies. While there is no magic number of credit cards you should own, too many credit cards can weigh down your wallet and make it easier to accumulate debt.
Commit to Sticking to Your Plan and Budget
Life is complicated, and there will always be unplanned expenses. However, proper planning for the unexpected can reduce your need to depend on credit cards. If you stick to your plan of credit card use and budget your finances it will be much easier to handle any unexpected expenses that may arise.