Credit cards are generally deemed as the reason why people get into financial issues and looking around there are a lot of them. In 2011 the average US person had 6500 dollars in credit card debt (http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/17/pf/credit_card_debt/index.htm) . This is a huge number, especially considering that there are 300 million persons in the US and 6500 * 300,000,000 = 1,950,000,000,000. That’s almost 2 trillion in debt and that is just credit card debt. Like so many things, don’t be a statistic, pay of debt and put your money into investments that appreciate or retain their value.
There are many ways that people get into trouble with credit cards and many of them are not due to the person being irresponsible its that most people don’t think about the long term of their finances. Most people view credit cards as an extension of their wealth. This is what most people have been told and what many believe. While credit cards and credit in general is an indicator of prosperity they are not the same as being wealthy. For instance a person with no job can have multiple credit cards but they have no money to finance that credit. Unfortunately this cycle continues and the average consumer gets deeper and deeper into debt.
To break the debt and instead focus on savings there are a number of steps that one can take.
– Break the “I want it now” approach. Delayed gratification is the key.
– Don’t pay the minimum. Pay as much as you can.
– Don’t carry the credit card on you. Instead carry cash. (You will know how much you are spending by the decrease of the money in your pocket)
– Credit cards are not additional cash, they are a loan and one that has to be replaced.
These are some of the ways that one should begin to view credit in order to stay out of debt or get out of debt. It is tough going especially when we have been taught our entire lives that credit cards equal money and that if you want it you should buy it. But when you are debt free and saving money you will feel much better about yourself and your future.