Understanding Credit Cards

Understanding Credit Cards
According to USA Today, 60 percent of average Americans live pay check to pay check according to USA Today. Many of those feel like they have no choice but to continue down this path. Maybe this is you or maybe it’s someone you know. I’m here to tell you there is, in fact, a way to break this cycle. The question is are you ready to change?
Financial Freedom is not a pipe dream. Nor is it a fictional novel written by James Patterson. Financial Freedom is having the ability to live the lifestyle you want or need to live without having to worry about finances. I believe we can achieve Financial Freedom through a process that is built upon accountability, honesty, willingness to learn and the desire to change.
Hi, my name is Tully and I am a Financial Coach at Pate Financial Coaching, LLC. I work with individuals like you every day to help them realize there is a better financial life for them. You are probably thinking what is a Financial Coach? Well, that is a great question. A Financial Coach is pretty much what it sounds like. An individual or team of individuals who coach clients through their personal financial issues to achieve financial freedom. Financial Coaches take each situation and work with the client to understand where that individual is currently and where they want to be in the future.
One of the issues society seems to deal with is debt; particularly credit card debt. Many of us have credit cards but we do not understand how to use them for our benefit. We tend to use credit cards and accumulate mounds of debt by purchasing big items like furniture, appliances, expensive dinners, etc. and then fail to pay off our debt. When we choose not to pay or fail to pay off the debt our credit score is affected. Of course, the effect is not positive. This ultimately decreases our purchasing power, negotiating power, and could cause interest rates to increase. It could also lead to potential denial of loans or credit in the future. Here are a few things that may help increase your credit score and purchasing power (assuming you have no other outstanding debt).
Use Your Credit Cards
It sounds simple, but so many people have credit cards and don’t use them. The lack of activity on your cards does not build confidence with your bank or lender. Banks and lenders like to see regular activity and the responsibility to pay off your balances in a timely, consistent manner. So, use those cards, but use them wisely.
Pay Off Your Credit Card Bill
Many credit card owners make purchases monthly or even daily. However, it is rare that you pay the full balance off each month. Get into the habit of paying off your balance each month regardless if the balance is $5 or $5000. If you can’t pay it off each month, then you need to evaluate your spending.
Limit the Amount You Purchase
When using credit cards, try to limit your purchases to an amount you know you can afford to pay off every month. This will create healthy spending habits and keep your balances low. Once you realize how easy it is to pay off the balance monthly, you will gain confidence and continue this smart practice.
Accountability
A good way to pay credit card balances monthly and limit monthly purchases is to hold yourself accountable for every purchase you make. Create a log or budget to track your spending. This will also help you save money. If you are not disciplined enough to hold yourself accountable, find someone you really trust to hold you accountable. This will create spending boundaries while allowing a trusted friend, partner, or spouse to be the gate keeper to some degree.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
I know it is difficult to share personal information, especially when it deals with your finances. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This may be a trusted family member, friend, or financial professional that can keep you on track. It helps to have someone else support you.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Tully at (843) 861-0946 or email patefinancialcoaching@gmail.com.

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