When you apply for a credit card, you do so with the best intentions. Even if you need it to get you out of a rough spot, it’s your hope that you don’t cause more harm than good.
Unfortunately, there are a variety of spending habits that can bring trouble to your financial life. Here are three that you want to avoid at all costs:
1. Spending More Than You Can Afford to Pay Off
Do yourself a favor and only put on your credit card what you can afford to pay off when your next statement arrives. If you stick to this strategy, you’ll never find yourself biting off more than you can chew.
Every time you carry a balance, you get hit with a finance charge. By paying your bill in full, you can save this money.
2. Spending For the Points
If you have a rewards credit card, it’s easy to get into the habit of using it excessively to earn as many points as possible. It’s okay to do this as long as you can pay off your balance in full every month. However, if you’re using your card just to gain points, you could be digging a deeper hole with each passing month.
3. Calling Everything an Emergency
There’s no denying the fact that a credit card is a nice financial tool to have on hand in the event of an emergency.
You need to know the difference between a true emergency and one you make up because you want to spend money.
For example, it’s an emergency if your car breaks down and you need to call for a tow. It’s an emergency if you need to seek immediate medical care for an illness or injury.
It’s not an emergency if you have a work meeting and want to buy a $500 pair of shoes you can’t afford.
If you avoid these credit card spending habits, you’ll come to find yourself feeling better about your finances.
In the event that your credit card debt has spiraled out of control, consider using a balance transfer credit card to regain your footing.