4 Tips to Stop Using Credit Cards

4 Tips to Stop Using Credit Cards
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Once you’re in the cycle of using a credit card, it can be hard to break. Not only are you working and making money to put toward money you already spent, but you have to deal with crippling interest rates that keep you from paying it off in a timely manner.

If things are getting out of hand, here are four tips that can help you stop using your cards once and for all.

Shop with cash.

Swiping a piece of plastic to make a purchase is a great innovation in the way we make purchases, but it can feel a lot less “real” than buying something with cold hard cash. Instead, head to the bank and take out cash each week for groceries, gas, and your morning coffee. Watching the money dwindle from your wallet in real-life makes it much harder to spend excessively on things you don’t need.

Read your statements.

One thing that helps smokers quit smoking is adding up all the money they’ve spent on cigarettes throughout the years and seeing the huge financial toll it’s taken on them. Knowing that you’re saving thousands (yes, thousands) a year by quitting smoking is a huge motivation for many!

Take this same approach with credit card debt by calculating all the money you’ve spent thus far in interest, how much you’ll spend in the future if you stay on this trajectory, and how much you’ll save if you cut those cards up now. That massive number may just be all the motivation you need.

Use an app.

Remove the need for credit card usage by budgeting better. Use a money tracking app to help plan for upcoming expenses, save for the future, and track your spending so you know what adjustments to make to reach your goals. This is a great option for those who have multiple credit cards. Many budget apps can help you track them all in one place so you have a better view of your debt and how to conquer it.

Turn off auto-fill.

This is the one that gets me into the most trouble. It’s so easy to make an online purchase with your credit card information saved right in your phone. Even if you cut up your cards or hide them in a sock drawer, you can still have the number saved right into your phone for easy access. Just click two buttons, and your purchase has been made!

While this can be helpful in some scenarios (think online grocery shopping saving you from impulse buys), most of the time it leads to overspending. Be more thoughtful about online purchases; take the time to grab your wallet and type in the card number manually. At least 50% of the time, I find it’s not worth the hassle of rummaging through my purse for my credit card to make the impulse purchase.



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