How To Be Responsible With Credit Cards

by : Dror Klar

Credit cards are wonderful little things, but in order to get the most out of one, the best thing to do is just not use it at all. Yes, I know it sounds backwards, but the best way for a credit card to benefit you is to simply put it up somewhere and not use it unless you absolutely have to. If you do have to use it, pay it off every month and watch your credit score skyrocket.

The problem with credit cards is that when people get them, they automatically feel the urge to use them and quite often, that urge is not easily quieted by a simple small purchase here and there. No, you want to use it on something big. You have a $3,000 credit line, right? Why not spend half of it on a new big screen TV?

Interest. That's why not.

The interest that you can accumulate by purchasing a big ticket item such as a new television or an entertainment system can be huge and unless you are sure you are going to have the money to pay the purchase off quickly, steer clear of these things.

Another thing to steer clear of completely is using the card all the time for small purchases, because this can become even more habitual. You do not see the harm in using it for a $5 purchase here, a $10 purchase there, but those quickly add up into balances of hundreds or thousands of dollars and you will wonder how you spent all that money.

Unless you are responsible enough to keep your debt in other areas under control (such as house payments or rent, car payments, bills, services, and etcetera) without using the credit card to play keep up, then having a credit card is really not for you. Stay away from them until you learn to manage your finances well without them.

Credit cards are very useful for those responsible few of us who can handle them, but no one needs one. If you want the convenience of not having to carry cash, you could carry a debit card instead, but make sure you do not leave your pin number anywhere in your wallet or purse where a thief could gain access to it and your checking account. You can cancel your credit card, but it's harder to cancel the cash in your checking account if your debit card is stolen.