5 Tips to Help You Stop Using Your Credit Cards

The following is a guest post.

Using your credit cards excessively, especially near the end of the month to cover the last couple of days till your payday can be an extremely bad habit. The more you rely on credit cards, the more you add to your debt each month. Credit cards also have extremely high interest rates, and if you keep on swiping your credit card, it will be next to impossible for you to save for emergency needs. Here are some tips to help you stop the cycle quickly.

Lock your credit cards – To avoid over using your credit cards, it is always a good idea to inactivate them. However, you should not close a credit card, especially if you will need it at a later time as closing a card will have a negative impact on your credit score. Just pay off your credit card bill and lock them up in your closet. When your credit cards are out of your immediate reach, you will not swipe them at every chance you get. So avoid the habit of carrying the cards with you everywhere you go.

Calculate your interest rate – Sit down and take some time to look at your credit card bills. Add up the interest rates you have paid to the issuing bank over the past month and year. If you are in a habit of using your credit cards a lot, the total amount will shock you. This “shock therapy” will motivate you to put your credit cards away for good.

Plan your budget carefully – At the start of every month, you should make a plan and write down a budget. Look at your income and your expenses and track your spending habits to see where you have been spending your money. A planned budget will work only when you know where every dollar is going. You should also list down any savings you are putting aside in this budget and treat them as an expense. The amount you have left with you after calculating all the expenses is what you have available for spending. Use this cash wisely and avoid overspending, especially at the beginning of the month so you have enough available by the end of the month.

Keep your priorities straight – You should plan your month carefully and keep your priorities straight. Spending on food and other necessities is more important than spending on clothes, shoes, bags or even a new phone. If you stick to your budget and know your priorities, you will never run out of money. In fact, you may even have money available at the end of the month to save for an emergency fund.

Get out of debt – You can also use this saved money to get out of debt. This debt could be an auto title loan, personal loan, home loan or credit card debt. Once you save enough and get out of debt, you will be surprised to know that you will actually have money left over for your wants, such as a family vacation you had been planning for months.

2 Responses to “5 Tips to Help You Stop Using Your Credit Cards”

  1. femmefrugality says:

    The shock therapy on interest rates definitely helps me reexamine my purchases!

  2. socarr says:

    Great post! I think for me, it was getting my priorities straight that helped me reorganize my finances. I started out buying things I did not need, slowly charging away and suddenly something would need to be fixed like my car needing new tires or an oil change and I would have no money to pay for those fixes. Once those small necessities started to pile on big, I realized I needed to drastically change what I spend money on.

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