Tips to keep your credit card spending in check

It’s easy to feel like you can have it all after you get a credit card. But you need to remember you’ll have to pay for anything you put on your card, sometimes with interest. Here are a few tips to help you stay grounded and not end up owing money for things you can't actually afford.

Easy steps you can take

  1. Think twice before you put down your money: Is it a “need to have” or a “want to have”?
  2. Visualize receiving your credit card statement at the beginning of the next month. Will you still feel like paying for the item then?
  3. Wait until the next day. It’s possible to want something one day and not even think about it the next!
  4. Sometimes we do things just to keep up with our friends, current trends and the latest technology. Your credit card bill won’t pay itself off on its own, so if you start feeling you’re nearing the edge of your budget, suggest cheaper things to do with your friends. Instead of always buying new stuff, why not borrow from or trade with people you know? Your bank account will thank you for it.

Advantages of a credit card

  • Buy now, pay later
  • Cover unexpected expenses
  • Build a credit history
  • Shop online

Disadvantages of a credit card

  • You can end up living beyond your means and in financial difficulty
  • Purchases can cost you more than what you originally paid if you let the interest run up
  • It can negatively affect your credit report, income and future plans

Having trouble making your payments?

Consult an association coopérative d'économie familiale This link will open in a new window (ACEF), service budgétaire or a Carrefour jeunesse emploi.