Using a credit card is a great way to build your credit and learn how to responsibly manage both your money and your credit score. However, without the right amount of control and discipline, your credit card use can quickly become very hazardous to your financial health. If you’ve experienced having too much credit card debt and not knowing how to overcome the temptation to use your credit card, here are three things you might want to try to encourage yourself to spend less money with your credit cards.
Try Thinking About Cards Like Cash
Lindsay Konsko, a contributor to NerdWallet.com, shares that studies have found that people generally spend more money when using cards than when they use cash. This is due to the fact that when you spend cash, you see the physical money emptying out of your wallet. However, when you use a credit card, all you have to do is swipe your card and your purchase is made. Therefore, you become more detached from your purchases, resulting in the spending of more money when you use credit cards. To overcome this problem, try thinking about using cards the same way you think about using cash. One way you can do this is by keeping a checkbook balance that you total up after each purchase.
Don’t Pay Credit With Credit
When a person gets into credit card debt, it can be difficult to crawl out of that hole along with paying all your other monthly bills. And while the prospect of paying off a bill with your credit card may be enticing, Ginger Dean, a contributor to Forbes.com, warns against ever paying off a credit debt with a credit card. Not only will this not help to solve your debt crisis, but you’ll also be paying more money in the long run due to interest. Your best bet is to begin scaling back on other purchase or expenses to pay off your credit card debt.
Review Your Account History More Often
Credit cards allow you to make a purchase now and then worry about paying for that purchase at a later date. While this is convenient at the time, when your credit card bill comes around, it’s not uncommon for people to find that the money they owe is more than they thought. To keep this from happening to you, Holly Johnson, a contributor to The Simple Dollar, recommends logging into your online credit account at least once a week to check on your spending history. This will give you the opportunity to see how much you’re actually spending and scale back before it’s too late.
If you’re looking for ways to spend less money on your credit cards each month, consider using some of the tips mentioned above to begin keeping a smaller balance today.