An Important Message for Seniors: Use Credit Cards Sparingly

Apr 22nd, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

If you are one of those, and who isn’t these days, who has several credit cards in your wallet, be sure you are prudent in your use of them. If possible, cancel all those you have except the two best ones–that is the two with the best interest rates.  Cut up the rest and throw them away, notifying the company you no longer use them and wish to have your account canceled. Under no circumstances, do not open accounts with new offers which come your way. No matter the freebies offered, tear up the invitation and do not reconsider.

Pay off your balances at the time the credit card bills arrive. If you can’t, this may be the first sign of trouble; you are spending too much money if you consistently cannot pay the balance on your account(s). If you choose to pay some amount on each, at least do that until they are brought to a zero balance. Check your account monthly. Be sure all the charges are yours. Pay enough to stay ahead of the interest charges. Keep in mind your goal is to take charge of no more charging.

In this economy, charging to cards without a plan for paying the bill when it comes is a sure fire way to create economic difficulties which will haunt you regularly. If you can pay cash, do so. Try not to write too many checks. If you can arrange for automatic payments for bill paying, do so. Be sure to guard against overdrafts, which can cost tons in fees. Don’t, under any circumstances, continue to charge against a card that is almost at its limit. Bring the amounts down, being sure to exercise the discipline to put them away in a safe place, to avoid the temptation of use or overuse.

Finally, have an agreement with your partner to limit all credit card usage and to design a budget for paying them down. Eventually, be sure you are clearly on target for reaching your goal. Finally, free yourself of credit card usage; use them only when you know how you will pay the bill when it comes.

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