Are you in credit card debt? Are you pissed off at your situation?
Even if you get one of the best credit cards for students on the market and plan on being a wise spender, you can still end up in debt. The problem is that far too many young people blame the credit card company for being in debt, instead of taking ownership.
Blaming your credit card company for being in debt is very easy. Have you ever met someone that has blamed someone else for their problems? I’ve met far too many people like this. I’m all about taking ownership. Since you’re still reading Studenomics, then I’m 100% positive that you’re all about getting the most out of life.
Using your student credit credit is no different than your personal fitness. If you don’t know how do credit cards work, you can check out yesterday’s post on what you need to know about your first student credit card.
Right now I wanted to point out a few things college students can do with their finances instead of blaming credit cards for being broke:
Find the right credit card.
I highlighted the best student credit cards out there at the beginning of this post. Before you do anything, you need to find yourself a credit card with a low limit (about $500) and preferably one with your current bank to continue building a relationship. The best part about a low limit like $500 is that even if you max out your card, you’ll have a much easier time paying off $500 than you would $5,000 worth of debt.
Accept that a credit card is still money.
A credit card is real money. You can argue all that you want, but you won’t change this. Just because you never see the money it doesn’t mean that it’s not real.
I’ve heard various arguments on this site about how this isn’t fair and how credit card companies are supposedly loaning us money that doesn’t exist. This is irrelevant. The point is that you’re borrowing money from someone in exchange to purchase something. The money just happens to be electronic.
A credit card is money and if you max out your credit card, you’re going to have to come up with the money and you’ll be hit with interest fees every time you miss payments. The longer you keep a balance, the more money that you’ll spend on interest.
This can have a severely negative impact on your savings and your credit score.
Try using cash for a bit.
Swiping a piece of plastic is simple. Using your credit card is easier than ever before. It has become so easy that Amazon is kind enough to store my credit card information so I don’t even have to type in my credit card number in again if I want to purchase a book in a split second.
If you find that a credit card is hurting your finances instead of being used as a tool, then you should try to use cash only for a little while. After a few weeks you can determine if the credit card is the problem or if it’s your lack of money management skills that’s hurting you. I personally support paying yourself first and using cash to get ahead financially.
Those are my favorite tips for the times where you can’t stop using your credit card. What are you going to do?
If you’re a college student looking to finally start saving money, you should be realistic with what you’re doing. If you’re not ready to use a credit card just yet, then there’s no shame in waiting. If you know that you can resist the urge to splurge with your plastic, you need to put your card away before you max it out. You can start using your credit card again when you know that you’re ready.