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Credit card overspending
How To Avoid Credit Card Overspending

More and more people seem to be running into overspending with their credit cards.  It's very easy to get drawn into thinking that so long as you pay the minimum payment every month, you're in control of your spending.  The reality couldn't be more different.

Fortunately, there are ways to change your habits if you want to start chipping away at those credit card balances, get back in the black again, and avoid overspending.  You can't change what's gone before, but you can take heed of some overspending advice


Try following these tips to make sure you avoid overspending in the future:

  • Don't have more than one or two credit cards.  The more credit cards you have, the harder it is to keep track of any credit card overspending.  If you do have more than one, make sure there is a good reason for it, such as collecting loyalty points, for example.  Don't use more than you have to, and if you apply for a new one to take advantage of a balance transfer deal, make a point of getting rid of an old one you no longer use.

  • Always pay your balance off in full.  This is how credit cards should be used.  But if you have a £4000 credit limit on your card and only £1500 in income each month, it's easy to let overspending rear its ugly head.  If you already have a large balance off, the best overspending advice you could use is to concentrate on paying off more than the minimum payment each month—and don't buy anything else with your card!

  • Open your bills.  This sounds obvious, but not everyone does, and if you don't, that makes you a prime candidate for credit card overspending.  It's essential to know exactly where you stand and how much you owe to be able to reduce your balance as well as reducing the chance of overspending in the future. 

  • Resist the impulse to buy things at first sight.  Contrary to what you may believe, you don't always need to buy that new jumper, book, pair of shoes, new carpet, television, kitchen units, etc.  The best thing you can do to avoid overspending is to take some time to consider whether or not you really need a certain item in the first place.  We all love a good bargain, but if that bargain ends up sitting on your credit card and being subjected to a hefty 19.9% interest rate every month for the next year or so, how much of a bargain is it really?

  • Don't always take your credit cards shopping with you.  Part of the problem with credit card overspending is that it's easy to whip out a piece of plastic and pay for any number of things with it.  A small plastic card has no recognisable value, which makes it easier to hand your credit card over as payment for a £500 television than it would be to hand over £500 in cash.  Learn to appreciate the value of money again; don't be so reliant on your credit card.  Draw some cash out of your current account to see you through the week and become familiar with using cash again.  It can really help you see the value in things,  and it helps you to avoid overspending.

Credit cards certainly have their uses—especially in an emergency.  But it's worth recognising what an emergency actually is, and reacquainting yourself with what money means to you.

The best overspending advice anyone could give you is to tackle the problem at its source… and don't do it in the first place!

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