10 Ways to Control Your Credit Card Spending

If you feel as if you’re spending too much on your credit cards, it might be time to learn how you can better control spending and save money at the same time.

Credit cards are great and they can be one of the best ways to build and maintain your credit while allowing you to have the extra spending power that so many people crave. The problem often isn’t the credit card itself becasue many cards offer fantastic low rates that most people can handle. What really causes problems is the overspending that can occur with a credit card.

Try these pointers to help you control your credit card spending.

1.Set a budget you can live with: This might seem a little crazy because when most people think of budgets, they think of the unpleasant business of working to pay for the essentials. You can set your budget however you would like, but if you’re carrying some debt on your credit cards then you’ll want to allocate enough money for your credit card payments – usually the minimum payment plus some – and then focus on working with cash for a while.

2. Give yourself a little spending money: There is no reason why you can’t let yourself spend a little money. Work with cash for a while so it’s easier to control your spending and you can focus on paying down your debts.

3. Think, think, think: Before you make that purchase you should think about it. If you’re feeling impulsive and really want to buy yourself something it’s important to take some time to “mull it over”. One of the biggest offenders when it comes to overspending on your credit cards is impulsive spending, so take some time to decide if you really want that big purchase and then pay cash for it if you can.

4. Switch to cash for most things: Switch to paying cash for most of your purchases. In other words, if you can cut your credit card expenses to one night to dinner and the movies a month and few tanks of gas, while making sure to pay cash for your groceries, lunches and every day needs, you will find that you cut your credit card spending dramatically.

5. Take someone shopping with you: If you have your budget friendly spouse or friend shopping with you, they can act as a voice of reason to help you curb your desire to spend irrationally. When you’re hearing those little words asking you if you really need that $200 of perfume right now it can change the way you look at your spending habits.

6. Make a list before you shop: One of the best ways to control your credit card spending is to make a list. For instance, school clothes shopping might be something you would put on your credit card, but when you know in advance what your kids need and even plan for just one extra something they must have, you’ll find you’re able to put a cap on the expenses easily.

7. Stop carrying a balance: The bottom line is that if you’re carrying a balance on your credit cards, you’re overspending. Instead, know how much you will be able to pay for your credit card bill each month and plan to pay it off at that time. If you can’t do that then you’re spending too much.

8. Take a look at why you spend: Yes, it’s likely an emotional thing. Spending can make us feel good and justified and more beautiful or attractive and happier, but it’s possible that you’re overcompensating for something. When you can recognize the feelings that encourage you to spend, you can stop the spending before it starts.

9. Get an idea of your big financial picture: When you have a good idea of where you stand in the whole world of finances and you can see where you want to be, it could be enough to prompt you to stop credit card overspending.

10. Leave it at home: Here’s a crazy concept: leave your credit cards behind at home before you shop. It’s that simple; if you don’t have your cards, you can’t overspend.

These are just 10 ways that you can help to begin controlling your credit card spending so you can start loving your plastic again and stop wishing you didn’t have to deal with credit cards anymore.

Mark Brown is a personal finance writer who works for CreditCardCompare, a leading Australian credit card reviews website where consumers can find the best deals to reduce their interest repayments and help them get out of debt faster. For more of his writing, follow @thecreditletter on Twitter.

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3 Responses to 10 Ways to Control Your Credit Card Spending

  1. Great post! I want to see a follow up on this topic!?


  2. This is a very informative article and help me out to get all valuable information about this topic. Great work. Cheers!

  3. Mai says:

    I’m looking for the best rewards credit cards I can find. Does anyone have any good ideas?