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admin | to meditate in silence | 09.07.2014
Before you make a purchase on a credit card, consider if this is an item that you need now.A  Could you put the purchase off, save up the cash, and go back and pay cash without needing to borrow money from the credit card company?
These kinds of premeditated decision making efforts will most likely save you the most money. Some credit card companies offer higher percentage cash back bonuses for particular retailors or during particular seasons of the year.A  Are you shopping at those retailors simply because of the incentive?A  Could you get a similar item cheaper somewhere else without the cash back bonus?A  Always compare prices before you jump at cash back motivated deals. Then we had credit cards that gave us an increased percentage back or discount by making purchases from an online retailer and accessing the retailer through the credit card companya€™s website.
When I used to use credit cards I often found myself seeing the return money as a€?a penny saved is a penny thata€™s mine to do whatever I want with.a€? When I bought the item, I mentally subtracted the cash back amount as a discount on the actual price of the item to help me rationalize purchasing it. When it comes time to choose your cash back return, consider applying that money directly to your monthly bill, or get a check and put it in your checking account.A  This choice validates why you bought the item in the first place- to save your family money. Subscribing via email is the best way to stay connected to all the fun stuff happening here at Living Well Spending Less, and we invite you to join more than 300,000 subscribers in receiving regular updates! March 12, 2014 by Peter Mullison After medical debt, overwhelming credit card debt has to be the biggest reason our clients come to us for help. If you are using your credit cards without being able to pay them off every month, consider whether your budget plan is workable. Using your credit cards when you’re having cash flow problems, such as during unemployment, can quickly compound your problems. Credit card lenders will often entice new customers with introductory, or temporary, low interest rates. Late fees and penalties can quickly add up and late payments can often result in a higher interest rate being automatically imposed.
Credit card payment protection plans, credit report monitoring, travel clubs, and other offers ending up costing you more than they benefit you.
Just because your credit card lender has increased you limit doesn’t mean you should take advantage of it or that it means that the lender thinks you can afford it. If you are having trouble managing credit card bills, bankruptcy may help you get your debt under control. In the adult world, it’s often said that credit cards should not be considered as an extension of your paycheck. The whole purpose of having a credit card in school is so that you can pay for unexpected expenses, not day-to-day living expenses.
Having one credit card is flirting with danger, but you are taking a dive into a pit of fire by having several. If you have a single credit card with a credit line of $2,000, that limit will keep you from ever getting any deeper into debt. As a student, it’s hard not to believe that you are someone important when you get all of the special offers thrown at you. Make it a personal money rule right now that you will never charge more on your credit card than you can reasonably afford to repay, generally within 30 days. If you never borrow more than you can pay back within a month, that will keep you from spending more than you should. The best way to avoid this entirely is by paying most of your expenses in cash or by a debit card attached your bank account. You shouldn’t be using your credit card to go to the movies, to buy a beer, or to get a latte at Starbucks. Save your credit cards for emergency situations, where you must make a purchase that exceeds your current resources.

However, one scam which may not be as common but does take place is the credit card services scam. Some of these offers may ask you to submit a certain amount of money via your bank account or existing credit cards. Nearly 32 million people in the United States were victimized by credit card breaches last year, with the holiday shopping season a particularly vulnerable time.
The best thing you can do for your family is ditch the regular use of credit and stick with debit cards or CASH.A  You wona€™t be tempted to spend money you dona€™t actually have for things you dona€™t actually need.
There have been many times when I get really excited about something that I thought my husband was going to be on board with buying only to find out that he didna€™t really want it or didna€™t feel like we needed it at the time. One quarter might give you cash back on travel while another quarter gives you cash back on entertainment.
Our newsletter offers a weekly dose of inspiration & encouragement, and many of our readers tell us it is the highlight of their week! It’s so easy to fall into those traps and I still find myself getting duped by good marketing! For a variety of reasons, like divorce, unemployment, and medical needs, they have had to resort to using credit cards to make ends meet.
If you need to use your credit cards to pay your expenses, you may have reduce or cut some of those costs.
Consider instead reducing unnecessary expenses, such as cable, entertainment, and eating out. They know it means it will take you longer to pay your card off and that they’ll earn much more interest in the mean time.
More likely, all it means is that the lender thinks you’re willing to take on, and pay for, more debt. On the surface it looks like a healthy dose of financial freedom – after all, you’re able to spend money that you don’t really have.
As a student, you probably don’t even have a paycheck, so the implications are even greater. If money is tight, you need to live within a budget, not swipe a credit card when ever you can’t afford something. But if you have three credit cards – each with a credit line of $2,000 – then you could end up going $6,000 into the hole. They want to get your attention, and your business, as early in your life as possible, and keep you as a customer as your financial situation in life improves.
You’ll see rewards points, cash back, interest-free purchases – you name it – all in an effort to get you to take their credit card now.
You have to establish some sort of control in regard to credit card use, and this rule is a pretty standard one.
You probably have a rough idea how much money you will have coming to you in any given month, and that needs to be the limit on your spending.
That will largely eliminate the need to use a credit card, and make it easier to pay off the balance if you do. If you can’t afford to pay for these purchases through non-credit card sources, then you can afford to have them.
This could involve buying a necessary item that you need for school and don’t have the cash for. There are many fake companies out there who try to make money by either offering them services that they actually cannot offer or by plainly lying altogether and making a dash to the door once they have gotten your money.

Although there is no reason why these companies can’t be clean, you can never know for certain. They generally have information about companies that are running a legitimate service  and those who are trying to scam consumers.
During the dining out incentive quarter we always found ourselves eating out way more simply because of the 5% cash back during that time. We put every purchase on credit cards (even $3 spent at McDonald’s) so that we can track our spending, earn more interest on our own money (we have a lot of large purchases for our farm, but even the small purchases add up), and earn more cash back.
On the other hand, using credit cards during these times, as opposed to taking out a home equity line, is preferable. Purchases made during the introductory interest rate will often be paid back at a much higher rate once the introductory period ends. But that freedom can quickly turn into a pair of handcuffs if you run up a balance that you can’t afford to payoff. After all, as a student you have what seems to be unlimited expenses, and often no income to help pay for them. Maintaining multiple cards – whatever the superficial reason might be – is setting you up to go deep into credit card debt. It’s no secret, the banks know that university graduates represent potentially higher income and net worth later in life. As a student, you’re in no position to take these offers and then get yourself buried in debt. If you exceed it – especially if you do it too many times – you’ll end up carrying a very large balance that will not only cut into your cash flow (making monthly repayments), but will also further limit your ability to borrow in the future. This thing can be avoided by being a little more careful when such a situation comes your way. You can check on the internet as there will be good or bad feedback available about the service. Most legitimate credit card companies will not ask you for any kind of setup fees and if there is any such fee, it will be deducted generally on a monthly basis and will be added to your bill.
Some credit card lenders will actually increase your interest rate on future purchases when your score drops. And that’s exactly what could end up happening if you accept these offers and begin making credit cards a regular part of your life. You should keep your credit card balance clear for exactly these moments, that way you’ll be able make charges when and where it’s absolutely necessary. You will have to be patient in the process as sometimes the desired results are not on the first page. When we get it in our heads to purchase something with a credit card, we instantly start justifying the purchases with all the bonuses wea€™ll get.
Take a careful look at your monthly statement which should include an estimate of how long it will take you to pay off your card if you make the minimum payment.

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