Managing anything well is simple once you know the pro's and con's involved. The financial stress that comes from poor credit management skills can create a multitude of problems in your life. This is why it is good to use common sense in handling your own personal finances.
Credit card use, if used wisely, can be one of the greatest tools in building good solid credit. It can also be one of the quickest indicators to a potential lender that a person is not a responsible money manager.
Good money management skills also mean taking the time to search for the best interest rates available on a credit card. Finding a low interest credit card can allow you to use a cash advance to pay off the debt on other credit cards that you have. Having paid down the debt of the other credit cards puts you in a better position to keep tabs over your credit finances across the board and handle any financial emergencies such as illness, accident or a sudden mechanical problem on your car.
Make A List And Check It Twice!
Reevaluating how you shop during the holiday seasons is also a part of sensible money management. The urge to splurge and incur debt in buying gifts will create a financial hangover that can be repeated year after year. Many people pay for their holiday shopping for the following 12 months. Institute a personal rule to not use your credit cards for anything you can afford to pay cash for. It's not really a bargain if you buy it using a credit card that charges 18% interest.
After the holidays when all your friends and relatives are fresh in your mind, make a list of everyone you want to purchase a gift for and keep the list in an easy to reach place like a purse or wallet, as you find good deals and sales throughout the year, pick up that person's gift and put it up until the holiday season. In December, you'll have the majority of your shopping done and you won't feel the sting of holiday shopping as most people do.
Set Spending Limits
Setting spending limits where your credit is concerned is always the best bet. Take the time to really get in touch with your own spending needs and habits - make a budget and stick to it. Cut corners wherever you can and eliminate unnecessary expenses. Eat as many meals at or from home as you can. Curbing eating out expenses will save most people between $20 to $50 dollars a week on the average.
Shop During The Slow Seasons
Deciding where to shop is a highly overlooked skill as well. Retailers are seasonal and will often run sales during a slow season. These are ideal times to stock up on the things you need at a fair price and avoid using credit cards for these purchases. A little time and effort will allow you to find the best bargains year round.
Lastly, check your personal credit report once a year. Mistakes can happen and you can be denied a credit card, personal loan or even a job due to an error in reporting. Once caught, most credit report errors are easily fixed; but the responsibility of catching and correcting those errors is solely up to you. Make these habits a part of your credit and money management skills and you will save yourself a lot of money and interest in the long run.
Liz Roberts is a loan consultant with NewHorizon Finance and has been providing consumers and business owners with financing since 1989. Bad Credit? Join our mailing list for tips on building and repairing your credit yourself without hiring a credit repair. Vist our site for a list of bad credit credit card offers