Impulse Control and Credit Cards
Credit cards are often required for certain types of transactions, such as booking a hotel room, renting a car, and conducting safe online transactions. So even for people who are easily tempted to charge more than they can afford, it’s not always possible to simply avoid the risk by not having any credit cards at all.
If this sounds like you, there are a few tips you can use to help avoid falling into the trap of credit cards and instead learn to use them responsibly.
Don’t Keep Your Credit Card with You
Instead of taking your credit card with you wherever you shop, opt to keep it at home instead. If you really need help with some self control, store your card where it’s inconvenient to grab, like a safe, or taped to the top of the junk drawer in your kitchen.
If you need a credit card for only a few necessities, you shouldn’t need to have it so easily accessible anyways. After all, it’s designed to be a safety net – not a go-to when you’re feeling impulsive! When you need your card for a trip that requires credit card reservations, you’ll know exactly where to find it.
Never Save Your Card Information
It’s so tempting to store your card information for every online store you shop from, ensuring a hassle-free transaction next time. However, that extra layer of inconvenience can help you avoid impulsively checking out a huge Amazon cart each week.
Consult a Friend or Loved One
Before you buy something with your credit card, bring up the purchase idea to someone you trust and (ideally) someone who can hold you back. It takes a little control on your own part to avoid buying something while talking to someone – specifically, someone who will help your impulse control. However, getting into the habit of delaying a purchase or transaction itself can help you avoid rash decisions.
Additionally, talking out a purchase with someone can help you go over the reasons why you actually want the purchase. Maybe you only like the idea of having it or can recognize that it’s not as useful as you think it will be. This can apply to hotel rooms and car rentals too, in selecting which options you can afford.