September 19, 2017
 
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Using Credit Cards to Your Advantage

You’ve heard the hype that credit cards are bad. They trap you in overspending and lead to debt. You’ve seen others get into real financial trouble with credit cards.  Or, perhaps you have a personal story of financial struggle with credit cards. Some offer the big solution - cut all your cards and spend only in cash!  And while this will cause you to avoid the act of swiping, it doesn’t necessarily address the issue long-term.  

If you are in credit card crisis, stop and seek the advice of a certified credit counselor to help you get back on the path of financial freedom and success.  No one should be enslaved to a 3 inch piece of plastic!

However, if you are seeking advice on how credit cards can actually serve you, check out these quick tips:

 

Tip 1. Pay off your balance every month.

Benefit: Convenience

Sounds easy enough. Spend what you can afford and pay your bills, in full and on time.  Getting the benefit of convenience really isn’t that complicated. This allows you to move freely in a society that is turning more and more away from cash. Unless, of course, you’re in line for a hotdog at Costco’s cash or check only food court. That’s when credit cards lose their convenience appeal, but that’s another story.

 

Tip 2. Shop around before applying.

Benefit: Cool, calm and collected.

Not all credit cards are created equal, so do a little comparison shopping when it comes to choosing one.  Look for cards with no annual fee, low interest rates and perks.  Rewards are appealing, and credit card companies know this is a major selling point. Check out the cash back offers, reward prizes, airline miles, etc. If you’re going to spend, get paid for it. But, don’t spend to get paid.


Tip 3. Remember who’s in charge!

Benefit: You call the shots.

The problem with credit cards is not the card or the credit card company, or even the consumer.  It’s the concept. Credit cards don’t have power over you, and they shouldn’t. Make them work for you, and remember who’s boss. That 3 inch piece of plastic serves you - not the other way around!  The proper use of credit cards starts with the proper concept. Remember that you are the master and stay in the advantage!

 

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