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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

5 ways to keep yourself out of credit card temptation

This article is part of our March - National Credit Education Awareness Month

For most of us in America, it's very easy to whip out our credit cards and go a little shopping crazy.  We tend to buy what we want with the idea of not having to pay for it right away.

However, if you aren't careful, credit card temptation will leave you with regret and in a world of trouble. That's why the best thing you can do for yourself is to remove the temptation to spend money.  Below we have out lined 5 ways to keep yourself out of credit card temptation to ensure that you don't go spending crazy:

1. OUTLINE YOUR BUDGET

Ever heard the expression of living within your means? Well, that's exactly the first rule of credit card management.

Know your budget and budgeting basics.  There are many articles online as well as applications to guide you through the budgeting process.  Whatever your method is, just be confident in the number that you set aside in your mind.  By writing down your budget and having a way to track what's being spent, you'll have a much better chance of resisting credit card temptation.

2. LEAVE YOUR CREDIT CARD AT HOME

Unless you work from home or don't have a job, leave your credit at home where you won't always have access to use it.  Think of like out of site, out of mind.

By leaving your card at home you won't be tempted to use it plus you'll be forced to pay with cash or on a debit card instead of leaving yourself with an unexpected bill at the end of the month.

3. HAVE A LIMIT

Though your credit card company may approve you for a 5,000 dollar card limit, if you know that you'll be tempted to max your card ask your credit card provider for a lower limit.  They will try to discourage you but that is just a cheap ploy to get you to spend more money and therefore pay more interest to them.

If you feel that you can be responsible with a higher limit, then by all means keep the credit limit you have. Just be sure to take a step back and evaluate if your spending starts to get out of hand.

4. DON'T FALL FOR CREDIT OFFERS

Every credit card company will have something to offer you as a consumer; free $100 to sign up, no interest financing for 12 months, low interest & APR, etc.  Whatever you do, don't give in!

A lot of the time these offers come with an annual card fee or a high interest rate after the trial period.  If you are going to open a new credit card, you should pay off and close your current card first.

5. FIND A NEW FOCUS

If you're tempted to spend money all the time because you love to shop, stop shopping.  Instead when you feel the urge to shop or spend money, go out and work on your garden or take a new hobby to focus your mind elsewhere.

If you continue to focus on whatever it is that makes you spend money you'll find yourself upset and frustrated or worse, broke.  Even if you have control of your credit card spending, finding a new activity to fill your time will be much more beneficial to you.

Do you have any credit card or budgeting tips to share? Leave us a comment below and let us know how you keep yourself out of credit card temptation.

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