You walk into the store, but walk out spending three times over what you’d originally intended. You may have started the month promising yourself not to make mindless purchases, but you end up overspending anyway. Before the month’s up, you’re left with a low bank balance and severe buyer’s remorse. Once you’ve exhausted what you had, you turn to credit cards for relief, which can only get you neck deep in debt.
If this sounds like your story, then you’re not alone! Most of us have a tendency to make poor financial decisions, buy more than we can afford, and borrow more than we need. And credit cards, as convenient and rewarding they may be, have only made things worse for impulsive spenders. The good news is that by gaining control over your credit card expenses, you can avert the downfalls that come with overspending.
Here are five tips that will help you avoid overspending on your credit card.
Consider your income not your credit limit
If you have a good credit score and have managed your transactions well, then it’s likely that your credit card company will extend your credit limit. But this doesn’t mean you have to use all your credit just because it’s there. Remember, having a credit limit is NOT the same as having a bank balance. Always set your own spending limit depending on your income. If you think you cannot keep a check on it, ask your credit card issuer to lower your limit.
Plan a monthly budget
If you end up overspending every month, it’s time you start using a monthly budget. Figure out how much you earn and how much you intend to spend on your needs such as food, rent, entertainment and savings. Budgeting this way will help you weed out the ‘wants’ on which you may occasionally splurge. Write every spend down which will help you think over your purchase decisions and stop you from making your next impulse buy.
Set up auto payments on your credit card
Believe it or not, not paying your credit card dues on time can add on to your woes. Set up auto-payment options to ensure that the dues are paid off in time. This allows you to reflect upon the rest of your bank balance and helps you determine your spendable income, which in turn can curb overspending to an extent.
Restrict access to credit cards
While this is easier said than done, you may find yourself spending considerably less with your credit cards simply kept out of sight. Some of the ways this can be done can include locking away your cards, handing it over to someone you trust for safekeeping and even as extreme as freezing your cards. Try removing your saved credit card details from online stores, which will stop you from making purchases at the click of a button. These simple measures can help you slowly wean off this habit.
Go back to cash
True, the world is going cashless, but moving back to cash can have more advantages than you thought possible. In fact, studies have shown that using credit cards instead of cash can cause people to spend significantly higher, which in turn leads to impulse buys. The reason is simple – It’s psychologically less cumbersome to swipe a card than to pay in cash.
Most stores make card payments easy and even offer lucrative cash back, miles and rewards on credit card purchases. But if the lure of easy money is too much for you to handle, just switch to cash. You’ll definitely find it more difficult to part with cash than to swipe without immediate consequences.