Christmas and Valentine’s have just gone by and Easter is coming up, there’s always things to buy for family and friends and the cost of living just keeps on shooting up. Now we are living once again in a time of rising inflation, high interest rates and high oil prices – all of this comes at the end of a very good economic period for Australia and most Australians.
How is all of this usually financed in Australia? Plastic credit or credit cards or revolving unsecured personal loans (store cards also fall into this category) …everyone uses to a greater or lesser extent and now many Australians are once again getting sucked into the trap of spending a lot to maintain a costly lifestyle and paying for it with future earnings using credit cards.
Things you should be looking to do to keep the plastic credit monster at bay included both looking at better sources of funding and keeping a tight control of you expenses. Here are some things you can do now to help yourself:
- Start using the credit cards that offer low interest rates on purchases with an interest free period
- Keep a weekly budget so you know what are the essential items you need to spend on and what’s a luxury
- Plan ahead for special purchasers and check out the sales (remember as we possibly start heading into an economic downturn retailer begin to discount!)
- Consolidate multiple credit cards. In particular get rid of those very expensive store cards that give you some side perks e.g. free fuel but charge you through the nose on purchases
- Pay off those credit cards each month on time, this way you won’t have to pay interest fees each month on top of your regular credit card bill
There are also other ways to live to reduce your dependency on plastic credit, how about paying in cash once again? You’ll see the cash line dwindle at the ATM every-time you make a withdrawal which can help discourage spending.
Hopefully these tips will help you get through the Easter holiday period in financial health.
‘Til next time.