Before you whip out your credit cards this year, consider this: more than 70 percent of divorces in America are brought about due to financial problems. It’s so easy to use your credit cards to buy items you want. But stop and think first.
Overwhelming debt is stressful from a financial standpoint, but financial stress can also damage your relationship. More lovers fight over spending money than any other issue. In fact, the average American consumer carries so much credit card debt that they’re only three paychecks away from having to declare bankruptcy.
Understand that when you charge something, you will pay, on average, more than 130 percent for that item than if you pay cash for it. And, if you only make minimum payments, you’re only paying ten percent towards the charged item and ninety percent interest. If you are one of the millions of Americans who are only paying the minimum amount on your charge cards, start paying MORE each month. Even if it’s only a little more. Reducing the principal balance will shorten your overall payment schedule–sometimes by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Stop charging consumables such as
- Gasoline. It just burns up!
- Children’s clothes. If you pay over six months, you’re paying for outgrown or worn out clothes.
- Food. You don’t want your credit in the same place food ends up.
- Entertainment. Is a night out worth a possible fight about money?
- Gifts. Think about making a gift instead of charging an expensive present.
Use your credit wisely. Pay cash whenever possible, and try to live within your means, even if it means doing without some things. Don’t risk your marriage with unnecessary credit card debt. Include monitoring your credit card use in your New Year’s Resolutions.