Per the federal reserve, the outstanding consumer credit card debt as of October 2011 was 2457.5 BILLION dollars. I am afraid to even try to put the correct number of zeros on this but I’ll try…
That is (if my math is correct) $2.45 trillion dollars of debt carried by consumers. We are not talking the national debt where you may (sad to say) expect to see numbers in the trillions. Nope, this is the amount of money we, the people, owe lenders.
Everyone is aware of the economic crisis.
Everyone is bombarded with messages about the evils of credit card debt.
Everyone has seen at least
one ten shows where the talk show guest dramatically cuts up a person’s credit cards on stage in front of millions of viewers.
And while I’m extremely supportive of living within your means and am floored by the astronomical figure at the top of the page, the reality is that we need credit cards to function in this digital age. However, that does not mean buying things you can’t afford (a.k.a. credit card debt).
You need a credit card to rent a car, to reserve a hotel room, to buy tickets or gifts online, and any number of other situations that require a credit card. BUT while you do need to have access to a credit card, you also need to use it judiciously and make sure you are only using it for convenience and not using it to buy things that you want, but don’t need and can’t afford.
If you know that you have trouble limiting your spending when you have a credit card. If you get a notice from your credit card company that they are increasing your spending limit and think you just received free money. If you have credit card debt that you are currently trying to pay down. Then you may want to consider a prepaid credit card.
How it works:
Basically you give the credit card money, they put it on a credit card which you can use like any other credit card, but you can only spend what you’ve already paid. This helps eliminate the possibility of spending more than you can afford and accruing more credit card debt.
These would also be great for a teenager or college kid to learn how to use credit without racking up the bills that will follow them for years.
Have you ever considered this option?
*This post was sponsored by green dot prepaid credit card.