Unsurprisingly, the use of credit cards is the major cause of the lack of control in the Brazilian’s finances. To give you an idea, 59.4 million people are negatively named because of this payment method, according to the Credit Protection Service .
Still according to the survey, lack of financial control (11%) is among the main factors of default, behind only unemployment (26%) and falling income (14%).
Nevertheless, there is no denying that the credit card is a great ally, increasing the purchasing power of many people! What makes it a “villain” or “good guy” is the way it is used.
With that in mind, here are 8 secrets on how to make credit card conscious use. Check-out!
1. Use automatic debit
With so many bills to pay each month, it is only natural that you forget to pay off any of them. The problem is that delaying your credit card payment can cause you to pay the highest interest rates on the market.
So be aware of the due date! Choose a period that is close to the day you receive your salary. Also, use automatic debit for invoice payment.
That way, you don’t risk forgetting – or, if something happens that prevents you from making the payment on time, making your day to day life easier too.
2. Buy in as few installments as possible
The arrival of credit cards has transformed the lives of many Brazilians, both for good and for bad. As already mentioned, it is certain that this feature allows people to buy items faster, or they would hardly buy without the possibility of parceling out a purchase.
However, it is noteworthy that this convenience also brought exacerbated consumerism, and many people began to spend more than they can afford. It’s that feeling that you’re not spending money, and it’s not true, is it?
Therefore, use only in emergency cases, in purchases that you can pay with peace of mind, if in installments. Prefer whenever possible to wait a little longer and pay cash. So if you have a problem later, you don’t run the risk of getting bogged down with an expense that has been split into many installments.
3. Annuity Review Card
When ordering a card, we sometimes miss important details because of the impulsiveness to hear the product’s advantages presented by the seller. Card annuity is one such aspect, which can come at one time or in installments on your card statement.
Ideally, you should opt for companies that do not cover this fee. But if it is not possible, you can negotiate a value to make it more advantageous.
Also, avoid having too many credit cards: the more cards you have, the more annuities you have to pay.
4. Never Lend the Card
Who has never heard of a family member or friend: “I have no credit card. Can you lend me yours to make a purchase? I pay the installments every month right! ”? With this, the name loan to third parties is the fourth most pointed cause for default with the card.
As trustworthy as you are, think about it: If they can’t have a credit card or need to resort to you to make an installment purchase, they may not have enough resources to purchase such a product.
Thus, the chances of her not paying are huge! And guess who will be solely responsible for the expenses incurred? You!
Not to mention that the card belongs to the holder, being non-transferable. This means that someone else is not allowed to use it.
5. Enjoy the benefits
The vast majority of card companies offer a number of benefits or loyalty programs. It usually works with the points system, which can be redeemed for discounts on stores or restaurants, airline tickets, awards, among other advantages.
It is noteworthy that these cards that offer benefits usually have higher rates. Therefore, it is only interesting to hire if you are really going to use what it has, otherwise it is better to choose a simpler (and cheaper!) Card.
6. Choose different payment dates
We talked a little bit ago that having many cards is not a good practice for those who want to make conscious use of credit cards, right? However, having two cards is interesting to split the payment into different periods of the month.
For this, you need to be aware and choose two different dates, preferably with a difference of 15 days between them.
7. Escape the Minimum Value
Sometimes it is tempting to pay the minimum card bill. But don’t fall for it! Always choose to pay the full amount, since making the minimum amount you risk accumulating the debt from month to month and eventually become a snowball.
Remember that the interest rate charged by credit card is one of the highest in the market, that is, getting into debt is not complicated!
8. Record your expenses
In fact, this tip is not just for conscious card use, but for your overall financial life: record and track all your expenses.
With all your card spending on track, you can plan for yourself, see when you will finish paying for a particular purchase, which month is best to buy a desired product, and assess which spending can be cut as a way to avoid debt.
To do this, you can make a spreadsheet according to your expenses and needs, or even use mobile apps that fit your needs.
See how it is not so complicated to make conscious use of credit card? These are simple attitudes that can make all the difference in your finances. Best of all, without having to extinguish it from your life. After all, when used correctly, it can be a great payment alternative.