by Gail McTaggart
In the current climate, many people are aiming to reduce or eliminate their credit card bills – but this isn’t as easy in reality, especially if you aren’t 100 per cent sure what you owe or how many credit cards you have.
Credit cards don’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, and they don’t have to be something you shy away from – as long as you manage your debt appropriately and only make realistic purchases.
The first step you should take to get your credit cards under control is to evaluate your current financial position. Find out exactly how many credit cards you have and what is owed on each. If possible, consolidate all of these in to one monthly payment that is easily manageable.
Once you have consolidated your debt, it is time to put a plan in place to ensure you keep your credit card debt under control. Find out what your minimum monthly repayments are and aim to pay off a little extra each month.
As an example, on a $1,000 debt, if you were to pay an extra $20 a month on top of a minimum monthly repayment of $50, you could save yourself approximately eight months and more than $100 in interest.
While a credit card can be a useful way to generate a positive credit rating and is good to have around when unexpected expenses arise, it is important to keep your spending under control. If you are finding it difficult to keep a hold on your spending, an option may be to cut up the card and pay cash instead – this way you can be sure you are only spending what you can afford.