These tips are for those who are having trouble controlling their credit card spending but do not want to cancel their credit cards. (Cancelling your credit cards can lower your credit score and reduces your leverage if you need to negotiate with the credit card company.)
- Don’t carry your cards-If you have to return home and grab your credit card before you make a purchase it should give you time to reflect on whether you really need to make that purchase. I only carry my credit card(s) if I’m traveling or am going to use it for a specific purchase. I’ve found this method very effective in reducing impulse purchases.
- Freeze your cards-This is an old trick. Just put your cards in a large plastic bowl or glass filled with water and place it in the freezer. Since it will take a while to thaw you’ll have plenty of time to think about your potential purchase.
- Give away your cards-Give your cards to a trusted friend or relative. Having to ask for your card back and possibly explain what you are purchasing should make you think twice before making an impulsive purchase.
- Cut up your cards-With your cards cut up you shouldn’t be able to use them, except possibly online. Once you’re confident that you can control your spending you can ask for a replacement card.
- Wrap up your cards-Wrap your cards up in a piece of paper like a birthday present. As an added measure write a financial goal on the outside of the paper.
Bonus method-This method is probably not a good idea for those who are having trouble controlling their controlling their credit card spending. Put a large 0% balance transfer on your card. You won’t want to make a purchase after that because you will usually have to pay off your entire 0% balance before you can pay off the purchase and stop the interest charges.
I’ve used a couple of these methods and found them very helpful. If anyone has any other suggestions let me know and I’ll add them to the list.