Credit card debt is a serious problem for many American households. In fact, Bloomberg reported that the end of 2016, Americans held more than $740 billion worth of credit card debt.
Credit cards can be extremely useful, but they can also be dangerous if a person does not know how to use them properly. While help is available for people who have gotten intoo much debt, it is best to avoid this problem entirely. People who are perhaps getting a credit card for the first time should practice certain acts to avoid getting into excessive debt.
1. Only use it for emergencies
It is understandable that people actively want to use a new credit card. However, it is preferable to only use it when it is absolutely necessary. For example, a person may need to spend a lot of money to get a car repair. A credit card would be beneficial in this instance because the person can get the car back up and running and then pay off the credit card over time.
2. Limit the total number of cards
Many people have far too many cards than they actually need. The average American only needs two credit cards maximum. Any more than that is begging for trouble.
3. Stick to a budget
All credit cards come with a limit. Despite this limit, people should not always max out their cards at the end of every month. In the event a person has the option to increase the limit, it may be preferable to avoid it.
4. Avoid bringing the card everywhere
It is tempting to simply leave a credit card in a wallet or purse when going out. However, it can actually be better if people leave cards at home and only make purchases with cash. This will prevent them from buying things they may not actually need.
These guidelines are also helpful for people who have gotten out of debt and are starting over to prevent financial trouble again.