Credit cards and loans can feel like free money, and consumers may quickly forget how much they can actually afford to spend. Even though taking out loans and using credit cards are often necessary, there are strategies to minimize debt.
ACCC offers seven tips on how to avoid debt:
1. Set a monthly budget
Divide your monthly budget between three categories – necessities, wants, and pending debt.
2. Pay with cash
Use cash whenever possible to avoid overspending with a credit card.
3. Avoid “buy now, pay later deals”
This type of payment option is a way for consumers to postpone debt, but you may not be able to afford the entire cost.
4. Track credit card payments
Keep track of all your credit card payments to avoid accidental overspending. Also look out for fraudulent activity.
5. Have emergency savings
Debt is often created due to unexpected expenses, like medical bills or home repairs. An emergency fund is helpful to fall back on to avoid debt.
6. Stay up to date on loan payments
If you pay late, you risk accumulating late fees on top of your debt.
7. Limit amount of credit cards
Limiting the credit available to you should hopefully decrease your chances of falling into debt.