Credit cards have become necessary in the present times. When the economy as a whole is grappling with the pandemic and almost every business is facing a cash crunch, the trickle-down effect has impacted every one of us.
In case, you are faced with a lot of credit card debt and wondering how to manage it and what precautions you can take – we have a list of six workable solutions.
- Understand your cash flows
- It is never enough to state the importance of this factor. Unless you can compute your expenses and cash flows, you will be caught in this vicious cycle with no way out. It would become very difficult to pay off your debts unless you do not evaluate your earnings. Hence, account for your monthly recurring expenses, the approximate time of their occurrence, and the frequency of your bills
- Once you have done this, it becomes relatively easy to decide how much debt will you able to pay off every month with your funds
- Necessity and Non-essentials
- Make a list of the expenditure you incur on necessary items such as groceries, medical bills, electricity, etc. Strictly and forcefully avoid spending on any non-essential items. Having a credit card often lures you to overspend and splurge. You may not necessarily need those extra pairs of shoes you saw online. Make intelligent decisions and do not fall into the trap of marketing and advertising
- When you spend only on essentials, you would realize that you are left with surplus funds to pay off your increasing credit card debt and have also controlled your expenses
- Curb Your usage
- Stop using your credit card for your expenses if you are unable to pay off the bills. Use your debit card or cash to make purchases
- Convert to EMI
- In case you have made a large purchase, speak to your creditor and convert it to EMI at a nominal interest rate. This will lower your bill amount and you shall be able to make your credit card bill payment
- Minimum Balance
- Unless you are struggling, do not start the habit of only paying the minimum balance. Always ensure that you pay off the complete amount well within the due date. This would ensure that you are not charged with avoidable late payment fees, or delay interest. The feature of minimum balance on credit cards is designed to help you during dire circumstances only and should not be taken advantage of
- Auto Debit for repayment
- You can also consider authorizing your bank to auto-debit your account towards your credit card bill the moment your monthly income hits the account. This would curb your desire to spend more than what you can afford. Further, this would ensure that first and foremost your debt is cleared and you will spend only what is left
In conclusion, the world of credit cards is exciting and enthralling. However, like all financial facilities, it must be treated with respect and intelligence. If you can make smart choices and intelligent purchases, the credit card is your best option. Just be careful to not overspend and get caught in a cycle of debt!