How to Escape the Credit Card Trap

Many people, particularly those who are already in the corporate world, are offered with various ways on how they can manage their hard-earned money. One of the most common methods of savings, as often under the recommendation of different financial-based companies, is through the use of credit cards. However, despite this “saving method”, a large number of employees find credit cards as somewhat devious, particularly on times when they receive their bills or letters that include their incurred balances, including the added interest rates. Often times, these employees call it the “Credit Card Trap”. If you are one of those who are planning to acquire a credit card, or if you are currently in the pit of this “trap”, you might as well read on these three tips so as to avoid the Credit Card Trap.

How many credit cards do you have?

Assess Yourself

If you're planning to get a credit card, you should evaluate what kind of spender you are. If you think you're the kind who likes buying things that might accumulate to an amount that won't be able to fit in your monthly pay, then it means that by the time your bills arrive you will be left with no money at all—which might prompt you to pay for it the next month. What if it happens again? This only means that you can't pay your credit card balance in full, and in the right time—that said, stick with paying stuff with cash. Credit Cards allow you to have a grace period for your payment after purchase, but this does not mean that the debt won't eat your money. Add it with interest, and your money might get empty in no time. If you already have a credit card and you're currently experiencing this situation, then let me tell you this: do not purchase anymore if you're using your credit card, unless if it's for a very important situation like for educational and medical needs. Work on your debt by saving money. If everything has been already paid off, then you might reconsider using it again (this time, of course, with proper money management).

Think More, Spend Less

Credit cards, actually, are useful for managing money. That's why, in line with what was previously mentioned, with proper knowledge on its usage comes the benefits rather than getting trapped by a debt. At the end of the day, it's still a matter of what you need and what you want. Use your credit card wisely and focus first on your necessities. Ask yourself, “Do I need this furniture?” “Should I have this branded bag?” Satisfy your needs first and as long as you can hold back, spend less on your wants. Remember that being thrifty is not a crime.

Learn how to budget appropriately

While it is mostly recommended yet impossible to have zero percent of debts, leave the 36% of your monthly income for your debt-payments; then get 10% of your income to put it in your savings. Oh well, if your debts don't occupy the whole 36%, you can save the remaining for your own savings. As for the remaining percentage, you should use for your necessities. Also, keep a track on the things you will acquire with your credit card—here, you can actually work on budgeting. For example, for a month, you should only spend this amount of money, or that. Anything that exceeded what you have allotted for your credit card, you should not purchase (or if it's really necessary, deduct it for next month's credit card budget). These said, you must be able to pay your debts on the right time, as well as save your personal money.

Remember that by the same time you acquire or use your credit card, you are immediately made responsible for its usage (that's why, actually, there's no use to blame your credit card if you find your balance booming in numbers; you're the handler so it should be your responsibility). Also, remember to never ever try to escape bank letters and bills. Report to your bank immediately as to avoid more hassle. Credit cards are beneficial, too, just don't forget to use it efficiently to escape the credit card trap!

Mark Hugh Neri

Looking for financial planning workshop or for life and/or health insurance with investment options? Got questions related to personal finance? Feel free to message me at Money Gizmo (see link below)

Subscribe to Money Gizmo

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox.

or subscribe via RSS with Feedly!