But credit card usage has a dark side. Just ask the thousands of people who have gotten into serious debt through unwise use of their cards. Most have no malice of intent (even though there are always a few swindlers). Most are ordinary folks who have too little money and too much to buy. It is easy to lose track of what we have charged until the bills come in. A few tanks of gas, a couple of meals with your friends, a new shirt, some CDs, a trip to a mega discount store and...suddenly the credit card bills are in the triple digits and your bank account is in double digits. What to do?
It is important, mandatory really, to limit your number of credit cards. One card is probably all you need, especially if you get one with a credit limit that is high enough to cover any emergencies that may arise. When you get that tempting 2.9% offer on a super exclusive card, throw it away.
The next rule is the most difficult: pay off that bill every month. It may take a while to pay down your existing credit card debt, but do it. Then pay off the charges on a monthly basis. If you don't have the money to do so, you are outspending your income.
Some say our culture is one of immediate gratification, but unless you have the spending power of a billionaire, it is important to purchase carefully and wisely. Only when your spending is under control is it okay to say, "Charge it!"