Help… my cards control my life!

Help… my cards control my life!

Last updated on 13th December, 2017 at 10:27 am

Lying awake at night stressing about your debt repayments? Does your month last longer than your money? Here are some guidelines to help you…

Living on borrowed money seems to be easier than ever before. You can have a credit or store card in the blink of an eye and suddenly the world is your oyster. Money has gone online, so without a credit card or a debit card you have little choice but to live in the past, when buying something meant getting cash, going to the shop, getting what you want, paying and returning home. Who still has time for that when, instead, you can buy almost anything with the touch of a button on your keyboard? So yes, cards and online shopping are convenient, but can easily result in unmanageable debt levels.

Manage your debt

Here are some tips to help you manage your credit and store cards – and therefore your debt – wisely.

  • Keep only a single card, and stick a note on it saying ‘emergencies’. A single card also makes it much easier to keep track of your expenses.
  • Pay the full outstanding amount on time every month. This will ensure a good credit rating and will keep you out of that nasty credit card debt trap.
  • Think: do you really have to buy every little thing on credit? What happens should you lose your income today? You will still be responsible for settling that debt.
  • Avoid impulse shopping. Don’t do it. Think about that purchase for 24 hours before you swipe that card.
  • Be mindful of doing too much online shopping. You might not really need those items. (Really, you don’t…)
  • Say no to multiple credit card offers. All you need is one card.

Four signs you are in trouble

  • You find yourself the proud owner of various credit cards and have reached the limit on all of them.
  • You are juggling other bills in order to pay the minimum monthly payment on your credit card account.
  • You swipe your card for items you once paid cash for, like food or petrol.
  • You use your bank overdraft facility to pay your credit card balances.

By Helen Ueckermann

Want to learn more?

We send out regular emails packed with useful advice, ideas and tips on everything from saving and investing to budgeting and tax. If you're a Sanlam Reality member and not receiving these emails, update your contact details now.

Update Now