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Five Ways To Manage Your Credit Card

Dec 12, 2007
Credit cards are a great idea - they are convenient to carry around with you. Accepted in most stores and provide a fantastic way to pay for goods if you are waiting for payday. However, they can easily become a burden when the bills roll in and you do not have the means to pay them off in full. Many people have found out how easy it is to run up debts on their credit cards to their cost and now face thousands of pounds worth of debt. Unfortunately, this is the way society, and indeed the world, works at the moment and there is nothing we can do about it.

However, it is possible not to get into debt to begin with, which is the best option at the moment or so it appears. So the cost of living has risen and the lifestyles that we all lead far outweigh the amount the majority of us earn in a year, but only a few minor adjustments need to be made to ensure that we do not get into debt in the first place. The following are excellent ways to manage your credit card before it manages you.

1. Do not memorize your PIN number - If you know your pin number then it would be extremely tempting to spend on your credit card every time you go into a shop or are short of cash. The only way to stop this behaviour is to stop using your PIN number. The only way to stop doing that is not to memorize it in the first place. There is nothing wrong with spending money on it on the Internet when you can weigh up the options, but impulse buys are often what get us into debt in the first place. This also goes for the cash cheques that credit card companies send out to their customers. Just burn them as soon as you get them to stop yourself from using them.

2. Keep a track of your spending with a diary or spread chart - This allows you to track what you have spent in a month, what you are buying and thus allows you to see whether or not you can afford to pay off the bill and cut out any unnecessary expenses. It is easier to realise just how much debt you are getting into if you can track your payments.

3. Make use of online balance facilities - Many companies now have online tracking facilities or automated numbers that you can call for an up to date balance. Make the most of them because you will be better able to track how much you have spent in a different way to the above point. You can even use them in conjunction with each other. If you use Internet banking or the credit card facilities then you will also be better able to pay off as much as you like whenever you like.

4. Research any offers on your current cards - Some cards may have 0% purchase or balance transfer deals. Make the most of them if you are in debt or do need to spend on your cards. Others have anniversary deals as well so you can use them to manage your bills as and when the offers become available.

5. Reduce the number of cards that you have to one or two for emergencies only - If you only have one or two cards for emergencies only then you will be equipped for disaster but ready to avoid debt as well. The more cards you have the more opportunity you have to get in debt so cutting the amount down will give you a better sense of where you are financially.
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