Signs you should curb your credit card usage
By Chris O’Shea* Credit cards are helpful in many ways. But if they’re used incorrectly, they can become quite the burden. Here are some signs that you should be curbing your credit card usage.
Your budget is busted
Keeping a detailed budget is key to financial health. If you use a budget, you’ll have a section for paying off your credit card in full, every month. Paying your bills on time (even if you don’t pay them in full) in turn helps your credit.
However, if you don’t stick to a budget, or never even bothered to create one, you should be wary of using credit cards. If you don’t have any idea about monthly expenses, it’s way too easy to simply reach for your credit card to pay for something. Then, when the end of the month comes and the bill is due, surprise! You don’t have enough in your bank accounts to pay the balance. Now you’re looking at interest charges. It’s a cycle you don’t want to begin or continue. Create and stick to a budget so that when you do use your cards, you’ll be able to pay them off every month.
Your spending is off the rails
As USA Today notes, if you’re spending more than you should be, it’s time to press pause on your credit card usage. The best way to know if you’re spending too much? That budget we just mentioned. If you’re spending too much, dive into your budget and see where things are going wrong.
You’re deep in debt
It’s hard to climb out of credit card debt if you keep using your cards. If you’re only making minimum payments on your balance each month, the interest piles up quickly. Instead of continuing to add to the problem, craft a plan to dig out of the debt. Remove your cards from your phone and computer. Put them in the freezer. Whatever you have to do to stop using them while you pay down the debt.
*This guest article is from the “Your Money Blog” in ‘Mid Oregon’s Digital Banking Credit Savvy resource.’ It is made possible by Savvy Money. “Signs from Cards” by Chris O’Shea was published in July 2021.