Credit cards are just a piece of plastic, but they hold A LOT of power. If you have not realized it yet, you can quickly destroy your credit and find yourself in a pitfall of debt if you use your credit card incorrectly.
Many college students get a credit card and then use it to provide them with an “income” of sorts. They purchase whatever they want without the realization that they have to pay this back.
If you have a credit card in hand, it is important that you are financially responsible and that you work hard to keep your credit card debt to a minimum. But how? Let’s take a look.
Have the Money Available
You can reduce the amount of credit card debt that you have by making sure that you do not make a purchase for an item that you do not already have the money for.
You should use your credit card to make purchases, as this does allow you to raise your credit, but always pay the amount off as soon as you can.
Avoid Unnecessary Purchases
When you have a credit card in hand, it can be easy to buy unnecessary things like that 50-inch television or that awesome new iPod. Try to avoid buying things that you do not need and cannot reasonably afford.
Is It Worth It?
Before you make a purchase on your credit card, think about whether or not it is worth it. For instance, say you want to buy that 50-inch TV and it has a price tag of $1,200. You work a part-time job and make $200 per week. It would take you six to eight weeks of working just to afford that TV. Does it seem worth it now?
If you have a high credit card interest rate, think about refinancing your credit card to get a lower interest rate. Simply taking this step can reduce the amount you pay monthly and can save you thousands of dollars in interest.
Hide the Credit Card
Another way to minimize the debt on your credit card is to simply put it in a safe place and do not use it unless you absolutely need to. There are some things that you do not want to pay cash for and you should use your credit card for these items because it offers you some protection.
Most items do not need this protection and you should leave your credit card at home when you go out. This way, you only have the money in your pocket and you are not tempted to overspend. For example, if you have $50 in your pocket and you plan to go out to eat and see a movie with friends, you know the movie ticket will cost you $15. This means you have $35 left for your meal and any additional purchases.
Therefore, you will not be tempted to purchase a bunch of drinks or side items because you know you do not have the money to pay for it.
Minimizing credit card debt is easy when you work at it. If you find that you spend too much on your credit card, simply put it away and only make necessary purchases with it.