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2009-02-06 04:42:59

Credit Cards: How to Survive the Recession?

The idea of an economic recession brings worries to millions of people all over the globe. The world that used to be so solid now feels like thin ice and no one knows what comes tomorrow. Financial crisis has instantly become the most burning issue, and even those personals, who never got interested in economics, try to keep track of economic events.

Consumers are affected so much because it is a massive group situation. Financial crisis is emotionally contagious, and we can hardly ignore it, but we can cope with it and, what's more, we can even change our lives for the better.

The old good proverb says, the worth of a thing is best known by the want of it. This proverb is especially true now that consumers start value things that they've paid no attention before. After carefree years of buy now and pay later, holders have to face big challenges - stricter terms, slashed spending limits, higher rates, problems with approval and less beneficial balance transfer deals. Even borrowers with excellent payment records have been hit by credit squeeze, not to speak about holders with low FICO scores.

According to psychologists, the state of tension makes humans very productive. When everything goes well and we have no challenges, we get trapped by routine experiences. Life without challenges becomes stagnant and so do our minds. So, maybe, it's high time to reconsider our attitude to credit card deals and money?

Most consumers have no clue about where their money actually goes and how much they spend for the stuff every day. Back in the old days, personal budgeting was considered as a good financial habit. Nowadays, money and credit management is crucial for surviving in the brutal economy.

How can you capture your spending habits? Simple as it may sound, but the solution can be found right in your wallet. It is your credit card. Besides convenience, protection, and perks, a credit card can become an effective device for tracking and analyzing the way you spend your money.

First and foremost, you need to pick the right plastic. Determine the features you could benefit from, like no annual fee or a cash back program, and see which plastic in your wallet suits these requirements best.

Start tracking your monthly expenses, it's very important amid the recession. You can group them in spending categories to simplify the money management process, plus, you can use your monthly credit statements, they will be of great help.

If you are one of those holders who carry balances over time, you may resolve to pay more than the required minimum. When paying the minimum, our money goes to paying interest, and only a small portion goes toward the debt. Let your money work for you not against you.

There's no harm in borrowing, but you should not forget about savings. When we have good jobs and steady income, we do not pay much attention to the importance of saving money. But even little daily savings can add up to big savings. Try to do without some insignificant luxuries, if you can do this yourself. The key step when creating the budget is to find the balance, i.e. to match your expenses and revenues. By doing this, you will surely feel more confident and less exposed to financial woes.

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