IT'S time to come clean about our dirty credit card habits and how we can avoid them eroding our wealth.
While we've all been slowly reducing our <a href="http://sett.com/sherricide21/corliss-online-group-financial-magazine-on-how-to-get-out-of-credit-card-debt-faster2">outstanding credit card balances</a>, with $34 billion still owing, they remain the scourge of most families.
It's fair to say credit cards are the most potent weapon of mass financial destruction since the loan shark. Their convenience and flexibility means it's so easy for them to get out of hand and lead to serious financial distress.
We need to be vigilant in ensuring our credit cards work for us and don't destroy our finances. To avoid getting into trouble in the first place, or get back in control of an existing debt, here are our five golden rules for using credit cards.
- Pay off the most expensive debt first
This is a basic part of <a href="http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1086108">financial management</a>, but still so many people put their money in different piles without realizing it's costing them in interest. When you have a high interest debt, such as an big credit card balance, paying it off must be your priority.
If that pile of expensive debt looks like it'll take a while to pay off, consider moving the balance on to your lowest interest rate loan. If this transfer carries a fee, you can use an online calculator to do some rough sums to make su...