One thing you can do is to reduce your credit limit. This can usually done simply by contacting the bank or financial institution which you are associated with an asking them to reduce your limit. You don’t always have to accept the suggested credit limit increases. The bank makes its profits from the times when you incur interest on your credit card, so naturally they will always want you to increase your credit limit and you may even feel pressured by the bank’s sales people to do so but ultimately its your choice and you should just set the credit limit level that you are comfortable with.
Sometimes you can also think about replacing your credit card with a charge card. A good example is the American Express charge card. It requires you to pay your balance back in full in each billing period. There are therefore no credit or interest charges. Spending more than you can afford to pay when the bill comes due is possible but you’ll be much less likely to do so if you know that you have to pay the bill every month.
A point that many people overlook is that you should never buy anything on credit if it is going to decrease in value. Going out for a meal, buying clothes or shoes, furniture and electronics all go down in value when purchased using credit. The only types of purchases which are justified when using credit are investments in the future such as education, real estate or your own small business for example.
Its also good to be aware of the total costs of things. One technique that sales people use is to phrase the cost of something in terms of monthly repayments. It’s how you can be enticed into buying something that you can’t really afford. If it helps when you go to a store, take a calculator and add up the price, interest charges and maintenance costs of a purchase and then assess whether it is really cheaper.
Direct marketing is so pervasive now that some people’s mail is up to 90% junk mail. Simply ignoring all of this junk mail that fails to add any value to your life is just a waste of your time because all it is encouraging you to do is to spend money which you could spend on something which you actually want or need. There are also organizations such as the direct marketing association that you can contact in order to have your name removed from direct marketing campaigns.