In a culture and society where credit cards are often treated as a necessary accessory in life, it can be difficult to figure out how to make yourself more disciplined with credit cards when every impetus and stimuli says to spend, spend, then spend some more.
Credit card companies prey on consumers that lack the fiscal responsibility and rationality to navigate the potentially treacherous waters of interest-laden debt, and even for those not yet in real trouble it can be a valuable lesson to learn how to make yourself more disciplined with credit cards. With high rates being hidden, towering limits offered, deceptive “minimum payment” plans promoted, and other sneaky tactics, too many card-carrying customers have failed to learn these lessons before it was too late.
Every once in a while, ignorance can be used as an excuse, as perhaps can be the case with credit card users who honestly may not understand the problem that interest can put them in. It may seem remarkably attractive to make a minimum payment that only comprises a small percentage of what they actually spent that month, but when interest rates skyrocket and soon they are paying more in interest than they ever actually spent, they may soon come to the sobering realization that their plan was a terrible idea. Instead, it would be much wiser to know the details, the workings, the math, and the facts behind their credit card agreement first, before making such mistakes. Remember, to fully grasp how to make yourself more disciplined with credit cards, first you must fully grasp the consequences if you fail to attain that discipline and maturity
If you are wondering how to make yourself more disciplined with credit cards, then the real issue may lie elsewhere, such as overall financial immaturity, shopping addiction, co-dependency, an inability to break a bad habit, or just not yet having suffered enough consequences to make you realize a better route to take with your money. Credit card use is merely a portion of your overall personal-finance picture, and though it can be a significant part, you may need a complete change in mindset or paradigm to tackle your credit card discipline holistically. Spend less, save more, shop generic, use coupons, do the math, stop buying on impulse, question the true need for items you see, and generally use your brain to perform some actual, objective reasoning before purchasing goods and services.
Yet perhaps the most practical, pragmatic way to ensure knowing how to make yourself more disciplined with credit cards is to follow one simple rule: If you do not have the money, then do not spend it. In other words, unless you have the money in your checking account to pay the credit card bill when it arrives, you should not be using the credit card. This may fly in the face of what the culture preaches and how people often pay so much interest on their cards over years and years of accruing debt, but it truly, undeniably is the wiser, better, smarter, superior way to use credit cards.
Climbing out of a financial hole can be difficult, especially if you do not know how to make yourself more disciplined with credit cards, but it is not an impossible task. Use common sense, then a little more money know-how, and seeking professional credit counseling should only be an absolute last resort.