Teaching Kids to Be Responsible with Money

Proactive Tips For A Healthier Relationship With Your Credit Cards

by Ian Wallace

Consumer debt levels are rising. In fact, according to recent statistics furnished by one of the three main credit reporting industry giants, the average credit card holder in American now carries a balance of $6,375, which is a three percent increase in just the past year.

Since there is no doubt that access to consumer credit can be an important financial tool, finding ways to manage it more effectively is critical for building household wealth. If you are currently involved in a less than productive relationship with your credit cards, the following tips can help you take control and enjoy a healthier relationship with the credit cards you currently carry in your wallet. 

Pay cash for small daily expenditures

A pumpkin spice coffee on the way to work, a trip through the fast food drive-thru at lunchtime, and stopping for milk and a cold drink at the corner store on the way home are just a few of the small expenditures made by adults each day. While each is a small purchase, making them several times per month can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars each month.

When these small daily costs are being paid for with a credit card, there is a real risk that they will become part of an ongoing, costly credit card balance. Instead of taking this type of chance with your finances, consider budgeting to pay for these expenses in cash and limit the use of your credit card for more pressing expenditures. 

Use zero-interest transfers wisely

Those who have credit card accounts that have been managed wisely often receive offers to move their balance to a new card and enjoy zero-interest for a set period of time. If you have outstanding credit card balances and would like to pay them down, using these zero-interest offers to move the balance can allow you an opportunity to pay more on the balance during the period when no interest is charged. 

Strive to pay off new charges every month

Another way to start whittling down your credit card balances is to keep track of the number of new charges each month and then pay that amount along with your regular payment each month. This will immediately result in halting any increases in the balance and will help you keep your family's credit card debt at a healthier level. 

For additional information about wise credit card management, take time to discuss the matter with your bank or a financial services expert soon.