Using credit cards can be a major temptation. Some people, in order to avoid debt, freeze or cut up their credit cards. It is better to get rid of the temptation, than live with it – in their eyes. Yet, as you know, I don’t think that’s the best idea. While everyone has to find what works for them, I think it just avoids the true cause of going into debt. Understanding how to be debt free is not about fixing the surface-level issues. Instead, it is about the deeper issues. After all, if you go to the root of the issue – what is causing you to go into debt – you will save yourself a lot of pain and hassle in the future.

How to Use Credit Cards and Not Go into Debt

If you are looking to avoid debt¬†AND still use credit cards, you have to follow this basic rule. That is – always pay off your credit card each month. Along with that, never use your credit card to pay for something that you can’t afford. We all know that life is not always this easy. As I mentioned, it’s not just a matter of applying this principle. It’s about understanding WHY because that will help you stick to this principle no matter what.

Let’s imagine that an emergency comes up and you can’t afford to pay for it – whatever it is. Whether it is car repairs or dentist bill. Paying for this emergency is more than you can afford. You don’t have the cash. One solution is to pay for it on your credit card and hope that you find money later to pay it off. This is what many people choose. The downside is that this continues to pile up, especially if you can’t find any extra money. If you were counting on a promotion or yearly raise and you don’t get it, what are you going to do. Before you know it, more and more things come up and you are further in debt.

Instead of paying for this bill on your credit card, let’s say that you are determined to stay debt free. This means that you have to come up with this money before it comes due otherwise you are in trouble. Paying for it with your credit card, in this situation, is not an option. Thus, you are forced to be resourceful and find extra money. This doesn’t imply digging through dumpsters, but it could mean cutting your cable in order to save money. It could also mean babysitting on the weekends or mowing your neighbor’s yard. Whatever you have to do to stay in the positive. While it may mean a little more hard work now, it ultimately provides financial freedom in your future.

Staying committed to paying off your credit card each month can be summarized in one simple rule, but it often implies so much more when life gets difficult. It is these times that show our commitment to staying debt free.

Are you committed to stay debt free?