Credit cards are just so convenient, aren’t they? There’s no need to carry any money with you ever again: you can just take one with you to the shop and pay the exact amount just by handing it over. If you haven’t been paid yet, then you don’t need to worry, because the money will still be there.
When you shop on the Internet or over the phone, it’s the only good way to do it – what else are you going to do, post a cheque? Like anything convenient, though, credit cards have a flip side – in fact, they have lots.
Can You Keep Track?
When you walk into that shop and hand over the card, the money is taken from the card, and the card goes back into your wallet. You still have all the things you started with – there’s no less money in your purse or wallet to remind you of what you’ve spent.
Everyone has a tendency to underestimate what they spend, and smaller amounts can add up quickly on a credit card without you even noticing. It’s like taking the way phone bills work and applying it to everything you buy – and that can’t be a good idea.
Money For Nothing
Using credit cards is a great way of losing a percentage of your income to a credit card company in exchange for nothing. The moment you run a balance, you’re paying them interest. Not only that, but you’re paying your credit card bill as soon as you get your wages, so you don’t have the chance to earn any interest on them from your bank. When you think about it, you’re losing out twice over – and for what?
Designed to Keep You in Debt
Your credit cards are trying to keep you using them and paying interest. You will find it very difficult to pay off all your credit cards once you have them. The company will do everything they can to stop you paying before you’ve paid them lots of interest. The more debt you show you can pay back, the more they’ll try to offer you, until they get you to the point where you can’t pay.
The Lie in the Name
Credit cards are called credit cards to avoid saying what they really are: debt! You will do much better in all things connected to credit cards if you always remember this simple mantra: credit cards are debt cards. Use the word debt as often as you can whenever you talk about credit cards.
But Sometimes You Can’t Avoid Them
When you need money in an emergency and you just don’t have any, there’s no doubting that credit cards can be useful. They are also a very useful way of proving to credit rating agencies that you can handle debt, and this will be taken into consideration when you apply for car loans or a mortgage.
Just remember that whenever you handle credit cards, you’re playing with fire. Do everything you can to keep your use of them to a minimum, and you’ll have a much better financial life.