Tips for Managing Your Plastic
As it becomes possible to pay for more and more everyday goods and services with plastic–whether with a bank debit card or a personal credit card – keeping track of expenses can become tricky. Among the tips I suggest are:
- Instead of using plastic, give yourself an allowance–in cash–and stick to it.
- If you have to use plastic, try using only a bank debit card which should limit your spending to your bank account balance.
- If you must use a credit card, limit its usage to necessities and pay the bill in full when it is due. If you have to carry a balance make sure you carry it on the credit card with the lowest interest rate.
- Know your charges and credit limits. Charges and monthly payments should not be a surprise when the bill arrives. Make sure you are charging only what you can afford.
- Consider a consolidation loan. Paying off multiple credit card bills with a single, lower interest rate loan can reduce your monthly payments. But, be careful that you don’t just extend your payments over more time, and thereby increase your total cost of borrowing.
- Keep at it. Changing financial habits requires time, patience, and discipline, but the rewards are well worth it, especially financial peace of mind!
Taken from the March In Touch magazine, © 1999 In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, GA. Used with permission.