How to Spend Responsibly on Credit Cards

It’s hard to argue with the convenience of a credit card. Credit provides you with flexibility when it comes to spending. Your card is always available to use regardless of when you expect your next paycheck. Owning a credit card and making timely payments also helps your credit because it shows lenders that you’re a trustworthy and responsible borrower. 

A number of reports have claimed that credit card use among millennials is dropping, but a recent survey by FICO shows that 83 percent of millennials (ages 25-34) use credit cards, and 31 percent of these consumers carry a balance of $1,000 to $4,999 each month. 

It’s important to establish responsible spending habits early so that you don’t find yourself with significant amounts of debt later in life. Carrying a balance each month can make it difficult to stay on top of payments. Here are some credit spending tips that you should practice now to keep your finances healthy for your future.  

Set a Budget

A perk of using a credit card is having the ability to spend money you may not necessarily have at the moment. But this can be a dangerous way to perceive your credit accounts because it can lead to spending above your means. Create a reasonable spending budget for your card to ensure that you don’t overspend. 

Pay the Balance in Full Each Month

Carrying a balance from month to month like so many consumers do isn’t ideal. Many cards have high interest rates, which make it even more difficult to keep up with payments every month. Set a goal to pay your balance in full and on time each month so that you don’t end up paying exorbitant interest fees. 

Keep Your Credit Utilization Low

It’s never a good idea to max out a credit card. Your credit utilization plays a major factor in your credit score. Ideally, you don’t want to spend more than 30% of your credit limit. This means if you have a $1,000 credit limit on a card, you shouldn’t spend more than $300. If you have a higher budget and want to use your card more, pay the existing balance before it’s due to bring your available credit back to its full amount.

Find a Card with No Annual Fees

When you shop around for a new credit card, look for ones with lower interest rates, no annual fees, and useful perks. Many cards offer cash back on any amount that you spend with your card. Others offer travel perks like airline miles. 

Pay Off Credit Card Debt

Get control over credit card debt as soon as possible. Making minimum payments will mean paying excessive amounts of interest over time and can make you feel as if you’ll never get out of debt. Cut your spending wherever you can so that you can focus on paying off your debt as efficiently as possible.