National Get Smart About #Credit Day is observed annually on the third Thursday in October, but staying on top of your spending, specifically credit, is an everyday task.
Here are a few tips and tricks:
Learn how to budget: Not having a budget can be a big reason that a lot of people overspend on things that are not necessary. If we don’t know how much we bring home each month versus how much needs to go toward rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc., we will continue to overspend on things that we think we can afford, e.g. a trip to the beach, only to find out we can’t.
Don’t confuse your credit limit with your spending limit: Once you sit down and create a budget, you will know what you can afford to spend. If your budget allows for $200 in purchases, but your credit card has a limit of $500, don’t make the mistake of spending more than you can afford! Just because that $500 limit means you can make the purchase, it doesn’t mean you can afford it when it comes time for the bill to be paid.
Set up alerts: A large part of the time we overspend is simply because we lose track of how much we have already used our credit cards. Setting up account alerts ensures that you will know when you have reached that $200 limit that your budget allows for, rather than continuing to spend money you cannot afford. Some card issuers allow you to set up your account to receive notifications via text or email (but check with your issuer because some do not have this function).
Switch to cash: If all else fails, make the switch to carrying cash rather than plastic. This limits you to the tangible money in your pocket, so when it runs out, you’re done spending.
For additional assistance with credit visit: https://www.cccsnepa.org/
Amy Simpson, B.S. Business Administration 2018