Aren’t you sick and tired of hearing how “bad” credit cards are and that we should all just cut them up and start living on cash again. Although this sounds nice in some ways, the reality is that we live in a consumer society and credit cards have become a major part of life. The problem is when people don’t know how to use credit cards. Credit card debt is no joke and it can suck you in like quick sand. You can blame credit card companies all you want but in the end its your responsibility to be smart with your money and your cards.
Credit cards do have a positive role to play in personal finance. If you are smart with it, it can help you better manage and spend your money and it can give you the financial leverage when you need it most. Here are 3 smart uses for credit.
I do not recommend or encourage anyone to live on credit. its a recipe for disaster. Instead, the best way to use your credit cards is to use it as backup. We all have financial disasters that usually hit at the most inconvenient times. If you don’t have life savings to fall back on then it can really hit you hard. Having a card as a backup can really be a lifesaver and at a fee of about $50 a year, it’s well worth the security that it provides in case you need it.
2. Controlling Your Spending
One of the reasons why so many people fall deeper and deeper into debt is because they get caught with their pants down – so to speak. They spend and spend and then fail to make the minimum payments. When interest starts kicking in, its usually already too late and you start sinking. The smart way to use your card however is to pay it off in full every month. Its a great way to control your spending and to now exactly how much you are spending on what. It works really well if you dedicate specific expenses to a specific card – like your groceries. However, the secret is to pay it off in full every month.
3. Large Purchases
One of the reasons why businesses like to use credit cards is because it allows you to conveniently make large purchases – even on the internet. We can all get cards with relatively high credit limits and if you have to make large purchases for say a building project or if you buy a lot of stuff online, then its ideal. Once again, the secret is to clear this debt each and every month. On large purchases, the interest can be just as large so make sure you wipe the slate clean every month.