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How to Not Get into Debt with Your Credit Card

By: Emma Eilbeck BA (hons) - Updated: 26 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
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The slippery road to debt...

Getting into debt on your credit card is one of the easiest things you can do, you see something you want to buy, might not have the money on you, so put it on your credit card and worry about it later, it is easily done.

Credit cards are a great way of paying for something and then paying it off later, but you need to make sure that you do actually pay it off at some point.Retailers and credit card firms will make it very easy for you to get into debt and some card companies will even hold special promotions such as the more you spend on your card the more air miles you can save up.

It is tempting to think of spending on a credit card as something that is not real, and something that you don’t necessarily need the money in the bank for. You should think of your credit card the same way that you would think about a loan from the bank, the longer you postpone paying it, the more interest you will be charged.

Retailers are clever and they will make it seem like you are saving money by taking out a credit card, as it will have a good introductory offer. Unless you are smart and pay off your balance in full each time though, the credit card firm will be the one that is making the money out of you.

How to Avoid the Temptation

It’s easier said than done, but ultimately if you want to stop getting into debt on your credit card you need to stop spending.

One way to do this is for you to work out how much interest you have actually occurred on the items you have bought. By seeing this it may shock you into realising that it is not worth it and that you could be getting a lot more from your money.

Another trick is to give the credit card to your partner or close friend and get them to look after it for you. This way your spending will be a bit more controlled and you are less likely to buy things on the spot on impulse. You could only use the card when you have planned in advance to buy something on it.

One way to stop getting into further debt is to pay the balance off in full every month, this way you will be able to keep track of what you are spending and you will be less likely to binge on the card.

Think about every purchase you make carefully, don’t rush into buying something and go away and think about it, as you may find when you have done this you no longer want to buy it.

One of the best ways to stop spending too much on your credit card is to agree a limit with your card provider, this way if you go over it then you will not be able to spend anymore.

As credit becomes more available, the temptation to spend more on plastic is growing, it’s hard to resist, but is important that you manage your finances and keep track of what you are spending, or it may come back and bite you.

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