“With great power comes great responsibility.” I think that’s what my mom said when she handed me my first credit card, or maybe I heard that on Spiderman, but either way, it’s true. Credit cards give you the power to buy a lot of goods with a little bit of money, which can be exciting, but too many students forget that just because they don’t have to pay now, doesn’t mean they’ll never have to pay. Before you whip out the plastic next time, think about these 4 tips for preventing credit card debt.
1. Create a file where you write down your incoming money and how much you currently owe on your credit card. If you owe more than your taking in, make a list of things you absolutely need to live, and only buy those things until you balance out your account. That means no movies or expensive nights out for a while.
2. Try leaving your credit card at home and bringing cash the next time you go shopping or out to eat. Once your cash runs out, you’re done spending for the day.
3. Avoid opening up multiple credit card accounts. It’s exciting to earn reward points to Macy’s or free airline miles, but the more credit cards you have, the more pressured you’ll feel to take advantage of 50% off card holder days and double airline mile events.
4. Open a credit card with a low spending limit. This way, you won’t be able to spend an obnoxious amount of money even if you want to.
For those of you who haven’t yet opened your first credit card account, remember to shop around when deciding which credit card to get. Not all credit cards are created equal, and it can save you a lot of money and frustration if you do your research before opening your first credit card account.