I want to get a credit card

Tips for keeping your credit card spending under control

With a credit card in your pocket, it seems easy to have it all. However, you need to keep in mind that you will have to pay for the items you charge to your card, sometimes, with interest. Here are a few tips to help you keep a cool head and avoid facing bills... that you really can't afford to pay!

Easy tips

1. Think twice before you buy something: do you really need it, or do you just want to have it?

2. Imagine the moment when you receive your credit card statement at the end of the month. Will you still feel like paying for your purchase? Remember that the more you buy on credit, the more you will have to pay... plus interest if you do not pay the balance owing in full.

3. Often, we may be tempted by something one day, but if we wait a bit, then the next day we find that, after all, we don't even think about it anymore!

4. Sometimes we want to keep up with our friends, current trends ans the latest technologies. But your friends are not the ones who will receive your credit card bill at the end of the month: you are! Propose cheaper activities to your friends. Find a way to enjoy the latest gadgets without buying them, such as by playing the latest video game at your friend's place, or borrowing it.

Advantages of credit cards

  • Buy now and pay a little later, at the end of the month
  • Deal with unforeseen expenses
  • Build up a credit history
  • Shop on the Internet

Disadvantages of credit cards

  • They may lead you to spend more than you can afford, and to put yourself in a difficult financial situation
  • Your purchases can cost you more than the initial purchase price if you let interest add up
  • They may damage your credit record, tie up your income and jeopardize your future plans

Having trouble making your payments?

Consult an association coopérative d'économie familiale (ACEF), a budget counseling organization or a Carrefour jeunesse emploi.