Saving Money: Credit Card Dependence - Avoid Using Your Credit Card As Your Crutch

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It is easy to lose track of spending, especially when it is done online and using a credit card. The convenience of using a credit card to make purchases can create "out of control" spending habits and have negative effects such as excessive debt and can affect credit scores. Consolidated Credit offers Canadians tips and advice on avoiding letting the credit card become a crutch.

It is easy to lose track of spending, especially when it is done online and using a credit card. Although essential to many of the purchases Canadians make, the ease and comfort of using a credit card may have negative effects on credit ratings, scores and debt-loads. Consolidated Credit offers Canadians advice on smart credit card use to avoid credit cards becoming a crutch.

Securing hotel reservations, booking vacations, online purchases and security deposits are commonly made using a credit card. With over 63 million credit cards in circulation, Canadians are not afraid to whip out the credit card or several credit cards if need be. The trend of overuse and misuse of credit has now put Canadians in a desperate and complex situation of major delinquency. 500,000 Canadians are late on payments by ninety days or more and personal bankruptcy has risen 51.6%.

With the holiday shopping season just around the corner it is especially important to develop responsible credit habits. The ease and availability of having a credit card can tempt Canadians into unnecessary spending and push them deeper into debt. " The best way to avoid incurring unmanageable credit card debt, especially during the holiday shopping season, is to plan ahead. Make a plan, a shopping list, a household budget and set your holiday shopping and spending goals. This will help Canadians keep track of spending and credit card debt under control." According to Jeffrey Schwartz, Executive Director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada Inc."

Consolidated Credit offers Canadians tips on avoiding letting the credit card be a crutch:

Put away the credit cards: hide all but one credit card, which you should use for emergency purposes only. Use cash instead of credit cards to make your purchases. If you don't have the money to make a purchase, don't buy it.

Assess your situation: Analyze your current situation. Find out where you stand financially (in terms of payments, credit, assets and liabilities).

Set goals: Set short (now to 1 year) and long (1 to 10 years) term goals that will encompass your career and financial goals.

Budget: Create a household budget that is true to your income. Include an income / expense / net worth sheets.

Seek help: utilize credit counselling services or those of a financial expert, to help you understand the implications of credit card use and misuse.

Educate your kids: if they see you using credit cards frequently, they will likely do the same when they grow-up. Show them how to be responsible and teach them by employing the steps above.

Plan ahead: set out personal guidelines of what an "emergency" is, and what is a good reason for a credit card purchase.

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada Inc.'s mission is to help people end financial crisis and solve money problems through debt management, financial education and professional counselling. For more information and resources on budgeting your personal finances, visit http://www.consolidatedcredit.ca

For interviews with Jeffrey Schwartz or inquiries about Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada please contact:

Galit Osadtsuk
Director of Community and Public Relations
PPhone: 416-915-7283 ×1014
Toll Free: 1-800-656-4120 ×1014
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. br /> 716 Gordon Baker Road, Suite 210
Toronto, Ontario M2H 3B4

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