Managing Credit Cards

With Black Friday just around the corner, we've put some tips together to keep you from going into debt this holiday season.

1. Charge only what you can afford

If you are using your credit card, make sure you are only charging what you can pay off when the bill is due. This is how to avoid interest payments on purchases that will end up being more expensive in the long run than when you initially swiped your card. A good rule to remember: don’t use your credit card for a purchase if you can’t afford to pay for it cash.

2. Have an emergency fund

If you have one of these, you won’t have to use your credit card if you need to repair your car or have a medical emergency. Many people are forced to use their credit cards in this situation, which end up being more expensive because of interest charges. 

3. Highest interest rate first

If you are in any credit card debt, pay off the card with the highest interest rate first. This will save you money in the long run. You still need to make minimum payments on any other cards you may own money on, but getting the balance down on high interest cards will save you money in the long run. When you pay off a card, use the extra money you have every month to pay off the card with the next highest interest rate.

4. Double your payments

Try and make two minimum payments per month on the same card. You will lower your daily balance, which will lower the interest you have to pay. You will pay less interest overall and pay off your debt much faster.

5. Don’t impulse buy

With the holiday season and black Friday approaching, it is hard to resist all of the sales and deals that are going on. Don’t use this as an excuse to buy something because you want it and it’s on sale or day-to-day items. The small purchases will add up over time and they are hard to keep track of. Use cash or a debit card for thee purchases so you do not get a surprise bill that you can’t pay off.

6. Switch to cash/debit card

If you don’t trust yourself with a credit card because it is difficult for you to manage your debt, use cash or a debit card for your purchases. This will give you time to pay off your existing debt if you have any as well as prevent you from getting into any. 

Get more information from The Balance and WiseBread about avoiding credit card debt.

Do you need more ideas for paying off debt you already have? WiseBread can help!

How do you avoid credit card debt? Let us know in the comments below!