If you’re constantly paying with plastic and you often find yourself unable to pay off the full balance at the end of the month, or your credit card balance just keeps getting bigger and bigger, now might be the time to take a step back and concentrate your efforts on breaking the credit card habit. After all, the only people who are benefitting from your spending habits are the credit card companies who are getting all those lovely interest payments from your pocket!
If you want to get your spending back under control and you feel that your credit card problem is getting too big, check out these simple tips for breaking the credit card habit right now:
Watch Your Spending
Part of you knows that you’re spending too much, but just how much are you wasting each month? The best way to determine this is by tracking everything you spend for a month, including those sneaky cups of coffee every morning.
You’ll probably find that you are spending much more than you realized on non-essentials simply because, when you’re paying with plastic, you don’t feel like you’re losing money. Seeing just how much your spending is the first step to taking back control of your finances.
Read Up on Marketing
It isn’t easy to curb your spending and stop using your credit card when the whole world wants you to spend, spend, spend, but when you know the tricks and techniques marketing companies use to convince you to buy their products, it’s much easier to resist and only buy the things you truly need.
Pay Off the Balance
If you want to stop using your credit card, it is sensible to take steps to pay off the present balance. Once you have done this, you can cut up your credit cards and never look back. If paying your credit cards off is problematic, and if you hit some bumps along the road, it might be worth looking into debt consolidation loans, and when you’ve made some progress, gathering some info on the best credit repair agencies, so that you can sort out your credit score and have access to more affordable forms of credit (bank loans, mortgages, etc.) in the future when you need them. This will help you avoid getting back into the credit card habit later.
Cash is King
Once you’ve cut up your credit cards and banished expensive debts from your life, you can either pay for your everyday purchases with cash or your debit card. I would recommend, if you want to save money, paying with cash because there is a risk that you could start using your debit card as if it was a credit card, even though logically you know it isn’t the same at all. With cash, you physically have to hand your money over, and this is often enough to stop you overspending.
Giving up a credit card habit isn’t easy, which is why you have to be fully committed to the process. Write down all the reasons why you’re better off without credit card debt and look at it whenever your resolve falters. In addition, try to build up an emergency fund, so you can take care of any financial emergencies with cash, thus removing the temptation to apply for another credit card in the future!
*This is a collaboration post