Credit card management is something many people don’t put a lot of time into doing. Let’s face it–the majority of the world is carrying credit card debt. And the majority of those carrying credit card debt are lousy at managing their own finances.
This is why so many companies have been formed to try and help people manage their credit card debt for them (often at an expense). These credit card management services often help cardholders consolidate debt, reduce interest charges, and other services.
While credit card management companies can do a lot to help those who have butchered their finances, the average credit card user can learn some ways to manage their own credit cards–no company needed! Here are some tips below to help you manage your credit card accounts more efficiently.
Credit Card Management Tips
- Create a simple spreadsheet using Microsoft Excel (or the free OpenOffice). Create at least 4 or 5 columns, and enough rows for the whole page.
- Print the spreadsheet out. I never like to keep digital files on my computer of passwords, account numbers, and so forth. I recommend you print a blank spreadsheet (with the gridlines), and fill in the sections with a pen or pencil.
- Record your account information–Write down details on each credit card account in your spreadsheet. Include details such as the account name (e.g. Visa), the card number, the card’s expiration date, the credit card verification code, and the
- customer service number (and website of the company). This will be a very handy sheet, as you can reference when cards expire, and in the event you lost your credit card, you would know exactly who to call (and have the numbers) to cancel it.
- Record your credit card terms–Leave some columns/rows in the spreadsheet to include information such as your current interest rate, your balance, any annual fees, and so forth. This will help you keep track of each card.
- Print another blank spreadsheet (or use a paper ledger account), and keep track of each payment and balance. This will help you know exactly how much you have been paying in interest charges, and more. In fact, when I actually saw how much I was paying in interest (when I had credit card debt), it made me sick to my stomach!
- Pay off credit cards with the highest interest rates first. This is a no-brainer, but you need to get rid of credit cards with sky high interest rates.
- Consider Doing a Balance Transfer–if you have balances on several different cards, consider doing a balance transfer to consolidate your credit card debt, and possibly reduce your interest charges.
Credit Card Management Conclusion
Just those tips alone will probably help you a lot. Every single person who owns a credit card should absolutely keep track of their rates, their cards, and so forth. It may seem like a hassle, but this is very easy to do once you have your speadsheet. It takes only a few minutes to create and record, yet it may be a life saver (or, at least a money saver).