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Tips on Credit Cards, Part 1

In today’s society, charge cards are used not only for necessary items and needs, but also to keep up with the Joneses. Although this was not their intention, so long as you continue to make your payments, the banks will encourage you to keep spending on anything and everything that you want in life. Because most people have misused these, credit cards are also one of the easiest places to save money. We don’t know if there is such a saying but there should be one for “if you want to save money, stop spending money”.

Thus the first way to save on your credit cards is to stop using them. Do not carry them with you. Cut them up keeping only one for emergencies. Only carry that one with you when you are traveling and might have an emergency such as a car problem. It is too easy to see something you think you want, know you should not spend the money on, and charge it anyway. If you do not have that card with you, you will have to think longer about whether you really want to drive all the way home and back to get that item or not. And, do you want to use the extra gas to drive back and forth?

However, you still need to work on the outstanding amount you owe on your cards. First, make a list of each card with its present monthly minimum payment (assuming you will not use the card again), the remaining balance to be paid off, and the interest rate. The way to get out of debt and save money at the same time is to work on paying off the card with the highest interest rate because that card is costing you more. Thus, each month you will make a minimum payment on the other cards and pay whatever additional amount you can on the highest rate card.

Do not consider debt consolidation loans. They may look good in the commercials but you are only getting a smaller monthly payment for all of your bills while paying a higher interest rate and for a longer period of time. If you want to get out from under your debt, instead of just living with it for the rest of your life, you must get them totally paid off. Consolidating your loans and reducing your monthly payments will only work if you do not run up charges on your credit cards, you have just created a larger debt to payoff. Consolidating your loans only covers up the real problem of spending too much money. It is better to work at paying off those cards.

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