Avoiding Credit Card Debt: Smart Financial Management

Billing Cycle of Credit Cards

It is better to take preventive measures than getting stuck and searching for a way out. This rule applies to our debts, too. It is not that credit card debt can not be undone; it just becomes challenging to get out of debt. There are a number of ways, and by adopting them, a person can save himself from falling again into the snares of the pain of debt. So, it is wise to pull yourself out of it using some tips and strategies and save yourself from pulling up more debt again.

How to Avoid Getting Back Into Debt?

Here are some straightforward and safe methods to adopt in order to avoid slipping into debt all over again:

Track Income

Keep track of each and every rupee that comes in every month or week and every rupee that goes out. This is a good way to keep an eye on your money, your budget, and your savings. 

Expenditures can be decided upon based on your income. Stuff like insurance, food, medicine, fuel, mortgage payments, insurance, food, fuel, minor expenses, etc., should be incorporated into the budget. Be disciplined with your budget and avoid overspending, not even meager amounts, as they may add up to become big numbers until more income arrives.

It is also wise to keep some extra budget for emergency cases, like car crashes, medicine, etc. It is not advisable to put extra expenditures on a credit card and then have to worry about paying it off. Plan about such matters beforehand and use the cash in hand instead. Unusually large emergency expenses can pivot to your emergency fund.

Get More Than What You Need

Living a life without debt does not mean sacrificing your desires for your needs. You can buy such things by using the cash that you have. For example, you wish to buy new clothes, go out to eat, watch movies in the theater, take a weekend trip, etc. 

Remember the two golden rules when you want to indulge in fulfilling these desires of you and your family. First, spend any available cash on such kinds of products. Second, avoid using funds from other parts of your budget to cover them.

Do Maximum Cash Payment

Be wise, and pay with cash as much as possible. It is not that you have to pay with cash for every expenditure you make, but it is recommended to restrict yourself to the discipline to only use cash that you have on hand.

Many people enjoy using credit cards to earn reward points they may later use for travel or other exciting items. You must ensure you have enough cash on hand to pay for any and all expenses charged to your credit cards.

Follow the rule: ‘Treat your credit cards like a debit card.’ In other words, pay off credit card expenses as soon as possible (within days or a week maximum) to accumulate reward points without debt, avoiding late payments and avoiding debt.

Plan for Major Expenses

Major purchases like buying an electronic appliance, replacing an old car, and so on need to be planned beforehand on how and when to buy them. The simplest way to accomplish this is to set aside money to save it in your budget. When you have enough money saved up, and there are no other significant emergency costs, you can make the purchase.

Do Not Miss Your Savings

One part of your budget should be kept aside for savings. Normally, people have a separate savings account for this purpose, along with a checking account or an emergency fund they contribute money to. Commit a monthly percentage of income to savings and emergency fund accounts, regardless of income. Financial advisers suggest putting 5% of income into savings or emergency funds.

Follow the rule: Ensure an emergency fund covers six months’ living expenses. If you don’t already have one, start one month’s worth of living costs aside and progressively increase it.

Recall Debt Often

Living in debt is a horrible experience for all. If you have ever gone through one, do not let the memory fade. It will help you look before spending that extra buck unnecessarily or unplanned. Keep yourself safe from any such situation where you feel stressed or anxious by learning from your mistakes, which can help to motivate you further. Lastly, follow all the smart financial management habits that you have discovered in this article.

Avoid These Mistakes

Due to errors and past spendthrift patterns, many people who manage their debt successfully sometimes return to even higher debt later. Here are some examples of the common mistakes to avoid:

Setting No Financial Goals

People do not set any financial goals after they become debt-free, which is a blunder. Getting out of debt should serve as a constant reminder that one should learn from their earlier mistakes and plan accordingly now. 

Now, you need to be cautious in setting a better budget. Even without significant financial goals, such as a house or savings, keeping financial management is facilitated by creating and adhering to a budget. This prevents issues and supports keeping your financial condition solid.

Closing Credit Cards

Do not stop using credit cards once you have been debt-free. However, it does not prove to be the most clever strategy for everyone. Closing credit cards reduces borrowing history, making it more difficult to get loans in the future, maybe a mortgage or vehicle loan. Even if you secure a loan with closed credit cards on your credit report, you will have higher interest rates, which can cause future worse debt. 

It is advisable to keep your credit cards active and control your spending by paying them off right away after making purchases. Avoid making errors, hold them accessible, and very quickly pay them off.

Neglecting Credit Reports and Credit History

Closing credit cards is not wise as it negatively impacts your credit history. Keep your accounts active, even if you do not have to use them. Also, if you do not use your credit cards for a long time, some creditors may close your accounts. So, it is advisable to make a couple of small purchases monthly on a credit card followed by instant paying off to preserve your credit rating, thus maintaining your credit history.

Follow the rule: Check your credit report at least once a year or twice or three instead. Even without applying for a new loan, keep complete control over your finances by keeping an eye on your credit score to be informed of your financial standing.

Summing Up

As you have understood, living a debt-free life does not tell you to embrace frugal living but to use smart financial management strategies. It is good to buy with cash and not overburden your credit card. It is equally important to maintain your credit history for further loans and savings. This trade-off is greater financial freedom and security.

FAQs About Credit Card Debt

1. Is a credit card a debt trap?

Credit cards seem quite convenient, but one has to repay the amount used. When buyers don’t pay their credit card bills by the due date, they might become defaulters and get caught in a debt trap.

2. Can credit card debt be forgiven?

Credit cards are a type of debt that normally does not have forgiveness possibilities. Credit card debt is not forgiven due to issuers’ expectation of repayment and possible collections if not paid.

3. Is credit card debt bad for credit score?

Credit card debt seriously impacts your credit score. Avoid maxing out your card because using your whole limit may negatively impact your credit score.

4. How much credit card debt is normal?

The suggested normal credit card usage ratio is 10%. Keep your monthly payments minimum. It will help minimize late fees. 


Bucky Robert

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