As the year reaches its halfway point, many people will look at their finances and ask how they can make changes that will help their families finances as Christmas and the New Year approaches. It may seem unusual, but this is where a credit card could come in handy.
Some people might associate their plastic with spending money they don’t have, but the truth is, with careful management, there is no reason you can’t use some of the credit card services available to you to save cash.
One way to do this is to look at the many credit card offers there are out there and see if you could be getting a better deal from a different provider. If, for example, you compare credit cards across some of the major high street lender, you’ll see some now offer rewards like £5 back when you spend over a certain amount – it may not seem much, but if it knocks a fiver off your family’s monthly outgoings, it could be worth considering.
But it isn’t just the extras you get with your credit card that you should be aware of, it’s also how you deal with your outstanding balance. The longer you leave your balance outstanding, the more interest you will accrue and many cards will charge interest from the exact time of purchase. If you clear the balance late, you may even see your credit card rate go up. Paying your credit card bill on the day it arrives, however, means less interest – and it also helps make sure you don’t forget!
Where possible, you should pay more than the minimum owed too, as card issuers will pick up extra interest from you if you pay as little as is asked of you. You may think you are spreading the cost and managing your budget better, but that interest is all money that would otherwise be in your pocket – so get that balance paid as quick as you can.
If you seek out a balance transfer credit card to get yourself a bargain-rate, try not to use that card when it arrives. You may be paying off your debt without incurring extra interest, but you’ll still be laying out for anything you spend on new purchases.
The right credit card can be great in making sure you and your family have everything you need over the course of the year, whether this is paying for a holiday, getting books and equipment when the kids go back to school or at Christmas. But, when it comes to saving money, just think carefully about how you use your plastic.
Guess post written by representing agent. Feel free to read more regarding my disclosure policy.