A credit card is a payment card issued by a financial institution and allows the holder to access a line of credit. This gives leeway to a cardholder to pay for merchant goods based on their qualified limit.
They can be tempting such that people can misuse the cards for unnecessary expenses, leading to high monthly and interest charges.
In Singapore, these cards are highly regarded for the purposes they fill in the wallets of the holders. The cards have built-in features that enable one to track expenses and work within your ability. If used wisely, they offer numerous benefits, such as time saving, avoid borrowing from friends, but at the same time, it can lead to misuse and overspending with items that we really don’t need.
This guide will offer tips on managing your credit card expenses so that you can enjoy access to the facility all year round.
- Keep Track of Your Spending.
As mentioned, credit cards have features that help in one’s spending, and it is essential to keep an eye on your statements on a daily basis to see how much is left for your spending pending payday.
For instance, plan to categorize the spending so that you know how much is spent on groceries, fuel, or any other expense depending on your monthly expenses. This will aid in knowing what to reduce or what needs to be regulated in the preceding months;
Make it as simple as possible so that you will be in a position to adjust without much stress. Fortunately, the built-in feature will also alert you on what you are spending most to aid you in decision making.
This withstanding confirms that anyone who uses the card correctly tracks the expenses for better reconciliation.
- Set Up a Monthly Spending Limit.
Setting up our monthly limit will allow you to spend without challenges. By the time it’s payday, one will be in a position to avoid interest charges resulting from overspending.
Spending limits can be set by Creating a Plan
Creating a plan comes in many ways. For instance;
- Paying yourself first- After getting your monthly pay, put some money aside to cater for eventualities during the month. For instance, you can have car repair costs or emergency medical costs. Opening a reserve bank account can help you manage your spending on the same.
- List down your expenses- By doing this, you will have an overview of the extent that you will subject your credit card to working for the better part of the month and plan accordingly.
- Pay Your Credit Card Bills on Time.
One major limitation of a credit card is the interest payment. To avoid penalties and further claims, paying off your balance as and when it is due is vital.
Depending on your payday, you can plan to pay weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. This will not only reduce your bills but you will also be disciplined in tracking your expenses wisely.
- Maintain a Low Credit Utilization Ratio.
Credit utilization refers to the sum of all your balances divided into a total number of credit Card limits. If, for example, your credit limit is $2000, and the balance on your credit card is $1,000, then the credit utilization limit is 50%.
The credit utilization rules state that you should not go beyond the 40% ratio, and if it gets there, it should not take long because it will affect your credit scores.
The best rate is a 30 percent utilization ratio because it will allow you to cater for any unexpected expenses before the month ends and is highly recommended.
- Use an Account Lock and Freeze Feature.
The reason behind the issuers setting up this feature is in case of suspected fraud. The user can lock the account to avoid further usage. However, this can be a way of instilling discipline such that the merchant cannot authorize payment using your card until you unfreeze the account. It will help to manage your budget to acceptable levels awaiting payday.
Since this is an automatic feature, one should not get worried about using it and avoid the temptation of spending above the limit. Should you wish to use the credit card again, you will update it online and continue spending.
- Utilize Credit Cards for Cash Flow
The bills accrued when using credit cards are paid mostly after 30 days. With such a window, spread out your monthly expenses and plan to pay for them on payday. At times huge expenses arise, and one is caught unaware in terms of cash. A credit card will aid in managing the expense as opposed to using a debit card which demands instant payment from your bank account, and as such, credit cards create some breathing space when finances are low.
- Retain One Credit Card for all the Purchases
Holding one credit card help in tracking expenses easily and especially when someone else is using it. You will get the statement all at a go rather than having to pull different statements. It makes things easier to have all the information regarding your spending in one place.
Using one credit card also helps one take advantage of reward programs. It is easier to accumulate points in one basket than when scattered. Again, one can enjoy annual perks in a better position and more so if you are a regular user.
However, this depends on many factors because the reverse can also be true. One can still choose to use different credit cards for categorized transactions, for instance, one for groceries alone and another for fuel.
Using a credit card requires budget and discipline. Persistent practice in using the money for the right purpose is essential. Always use it responsibly, and all those hitches that come along with misuse of the card will be a thing of the past.
Monitor your transactions daily, and utilize the limit accordingly; this is the only way to freedom of better cash flow management.