Yummy… a pizza with onion, green pepper, mushrooms, olives, plenty of tofu and a bit of minced fresh garlic. Tasty! Oh, and I have to buy my new laptop. Well, for all these things and little pleasures there’s the credit card. I prefer to pay with my credit cards as I dislike the notion of acting like an ambulant cash dispenser 🙂 However, using credit cards requires control and knowing well the “policies behind the card” (the rates, the limits, how the credit reporting system works, etc.) Managing and using credit cards is just a matter of applying good sense.
That said, I have some friends that abuse their credit cards usage. They charge a lot! They go nuts because they feel like they work pretty hard and should be able to do that sometimes. The problem is not that they cannot afford the payment or cannot pay it off. The problem is that most of their purchases are frivolous things they really don’t need. Surely, they work hard and they deserve to enjoy the fruits of their work. But they are not enjoying anything by acquiring a bunch of unneeded objects. On the contrary, they’re wasting their money. The only thing that such frantic credit card usage satisfies is the desire of material possession. Do we indeed work so hard only to crumble under such lame desire? When we are going to use our credit card we always should examine the actual reason behind the purchase. Review carefully your financial state… are you paying a house, a car, a small loan? Then try not to acquire more debt. Moreover, if we have a short or troubled credit histories we must try to do things right. Pressure of extreme debt is what leads to desperate and dangerous measures such as payday loans, for example. Really dangerous. Calm. Relax. Think. Good sense, remember? Life is beautiful.
If you cannot control your credit cards, I think it’s best that you turn them over to the issuer. Alternatively, give them to your husband/wife, if he/she is more responsible 🙂 Don’t be afraid to close a card you don’t want. Though closing cards never helps to improving your credit scores (on the contrary, may hurt them), the damage will be relatively minor if the card has little time with you. Now, if you’ve held the card for many years… think it over, as closing it may seriously hurt your scores.
Credit’s origin delves into ancient history. Thanks to credit, we can be granted a loan. But credit also signals the creation of debt. Thanks to the advances of informatics and communications, we are able to use our credit cards almost anywhere, anytime. That’s nice, I think. Some people argue that credit cards are evil instruments that may easily leave you broke. I disagree about the ‘evil’ part, but certainly they’re not ‘god’ instruments 🙂 They said that lenders hide several dirty tricks behind the cards (soaring rates, huge fees, poor limits, etc.) That’s why I said we have to know well the terms and conditions. Here we have a few remarks:
- In general, we have to go little by little with credit cards and scores. Credit is a mixture of trust, settlement and reputation.
- If a card does not work for you, turn it over. Try to keep older cards, though.
- Some people recommend that we should not carry credit card balances. I disagree. Pay in parts, but always amortizing the debt. Avoid late payments by agreeing to an automatic debit so at least your minimum balance gets paid every month.
- Instead of accepting a new card, ask for higher credit limits on the cards you have.
- Compare credit card interest rates to suit your finances.
- Use your card carefully, and learn to use them. Sometimes credit cards represent an opportunity for going to the restaurant with the family, buying gifts for the loved ones, attending emergencies, harnessing a sudden business chance, and so further.
- Apply good sense. Don’t hurt your self-confidence. Enjoy your cards but take the responsibility 🙂
Finally, I like to buy some healthy pizzas and some gadgets with my credit cards. That’s what I like the most about them 🙂