If you’re like most of us, you have 2 or 3 credit cards that you’re repaying on a monthly basis. On top of this, you may have other financial obligations and responsibilities. Sometimes, it seems like the money goes as fast as it comes in. And you may feel like there isn’t any room for error as far as your finances go.
So staying out of debt is of the utmost importance. One wrong move financially can mean a huge disaster for the family finances. It can mean less of everything for you and your loved ones. And it can mean a lot of grief and anguish for everyone involved.
But how can you make certain to avoid credit card debt, or any other debt for that matter?
That’s what this post is all about.
You’ll see exactly what needs to be done to keep your finances as healthy as possible and avoid the credit card debt bug.
Here’s the first thing you should be doing.
Avoid Credit Card Debt with the Help of a Budget
Start by creating a budget that you can live with. Don’t worry about what the neighbors have or don’t have. Don’t worry about what others in your family have or don’t have.
Just worry about the family finances and the big picture. Set up a budget that you can easily live within and calculate what you can pay back on your cards.
Pay as much back as you possibly can each and every month. Remember, the more you’re able to pay back, the sooner it will be paid off. That is a great feeling. And it will keep the creditors off your back.
Avoid Using Credit as Much as Possible
Next, you’ll want to avoid using your credit cards except in extreme emergencies. An extreme emergency should be pre-defined. It should be a situation that may mean hospitalization, a car break down or another serious reason.
Other than that, don’t use your credit cards at all. Focus on paying them off, not using them.
You may get the urge to close down your credit card accounts to help your situation. But you should avoid that because it would be a negative mark on your credit. You don’t want that either. Just keep them in good standing with your creditors. If you are finding it hard to not use your cards, it might be time for more drastic measures.
Hide Credit Cards from Yourself
If you’re tempted to use your credit cards, make them difficult to get to. Start by removing them from your wallet and putting them somewhere that it’s more of a challenge to get to.
Many have resorted to freezing them in a container of water in their freezer to keep themselves from using them.
This way, they must first thaw them out before they can use them. This may seem a bit extreme to you, but it does work. You’ll be surprised at how much less you spend every month by not carrying them around with you. Can’t use em if you don’t got em.
Learn to Save… On Everything
Learn to save your money for things that you want to buy. If you want something new, set up a savings account to save for that item.
It may take a while, but it will be paid for and you won’t have to make payments on it. It’s a great way to get what you want, and it teaches patience as well as saving habits. These methods are crucial to dodging credit card debt.
Not only should you learn to save on big purchases, you should learn to save more on what you buy on a regular basis like groceries, entertainment, breakfast, lunch at work, and anything bought on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
Use coupons when you can. Buy the cheaper brand item. Take your own lunch to work instead of ordering out all the time. If you concentrate on all of these little thing, you can end up saving a small fortune each and every month.
My Final Thoughts…
Hitting the breaks on your spending habits can be hard work. Most of us struggle with impulse buying and putting everything on our credit cards.
But, keep in mind, many people don’t even have a credit card and they’re doing just fine. You don’t need what everyone else has, you can be very comfortable with just the bare minimum and save your money for more important things. Staying out of debt should be at the top of your financial to-do list.
Credit cards should be utilized very mindfully and if you can’t afford something, save for it, don’t go into debt to get it. Your credit is hard earned so don’t rack up more on your credit cards and then wind up behind on payments. That scenario can not only wreak havoc on your finances, it can leave a mark on your mental health.