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Money tips and MYJAR news

Money Tips: Alternatives to Using a Credit Card

How to avoid credit cards

Payday can often feel a long way off, and there are plenty of times throughout the month when it’s tempting to just whip out the credit card and worry about the consequences later.

While there are some benefits to having a credit card, often it’s too much of a temptation to spend what you don’t necessarily have, and makes borrowing something that's part of your monthly financial routine.

And since there’s interest on top of what you’ve spent if you don’t repay in time, it’s well worth finding alternatives when you’re in need of some extra money.

Use our guide to quitting your credit card and you could find that your monthly budget is much easier to manage.

Plan your Budget

This is absolutely vital if you want to make your money go further and avoid cyclical credit card debts. Think carefully about realistic limits for everything you spend in your daily life, from food to rent and electricity.

Remember that the essentials should all be covered before you get onto ‘nice to haves’ like games, meals out and makeup. We wrote a whole article about how to create a budget, and more importantly, stick to it.

This is easier said than done but it’ll be worth it when you have peace of mind and some extra cash to spend every month. Just make sure you keep on top of everything you’re spending, even when it’s small amounts that don’t seem very significant.

Switch to Cash

When you’ve just been paid it’s tempting to spend on your card without thinking twice. however, it's been said that those who always spend on their cards are likely to spend 30% more than those who pay in cash.

Get into the habit of taking out cash rather than using credit cards and you’ll find that you become much more aware of your spending.

Stop Carrying Cards

The best way to avoid using cards is simply not to have them on you when you’re out and about. You don’t need to do anything as drastic as cutting up the cards if you think you’ll be able to use them less often and more responsibly in the future; but, it’s important to get out of the habit of relying on them.

Consider putting them in a hard-to-reach place, like on top of a high cupboard or even in the freezer.

Save for an Emergency Fund

Factor an emergency fund into your monthly budget and you’ll find that you soon have a good backup option for when you need some extra cash unexpectedly.

If you have any debts, this money will help, and free you up to spend your money as you choose.

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Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk