If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you have credit card debt or have had it in the past. It’s a tricky beast, that poses specific dangers. I experienced this first hand while I was working to get control of my own credit card debt.
Even if you think you’ve got it all under control, there are still some dangerous things about using credit cards that might be affecting you, so it’s important you know them and understand how to protect yourself.
Below I’ll look at the four most dangerous things about credit cards and how to fight back.
1. They Make It Effortless to Spend Money
Credit cards are often mistakenly thought of — and used — as extensions of our income, but just because we have a certain credit limit doesn’t mean we’re free to purchase whatever we want. I found this out the hard way, as I racked up credit card debt like it was my best friend.
It’s unfortunate that credit cards make it all too easy for us to spend money, but it’s the truth. We tend to purchase things without thinking of how we’re going to pay for it when the bill arrives — and it inevitably will.
How to protect yourself: challenge yourself to only using debit cards to make purchases for the next 14 days. When you go to the grocery store or out to eat, leave your credit cards at home and use your debit card, or cash instead.
Then at the end of the 14 days you can assess your spending habits and see if you really need to use your credit cards at all. Or if you only need them for certain expenses, like travel or buying online.