Credit cards
Credit Cards

So you’ve paid off your credit card debt. Congratulations! Celebrate that zero balance and the fact that all those finance charges, long-ago fast food meals, and department store purchases you only used twice have been paid off. Also: You did something really hard. Congratulations again.

The next step from here is figuring out a pathway for staying out of credit card debt… after you’ve paid off your credit card debt. That’s because there are some very good reasons to pay for items with credit cards, as long as you pay off your balance in full each month. Do you get that?

Here’s the thing: Credit cards are extremely useful for cash back on purchase, frequent flyer miles, longer item return periods and perks ranging from free car rental insurance to discount hotel rooms. If you’re self-employed or a solopreneur, you should really have your own business credit card for your purchases.

So at Almost Millions, we’re nothing if not helpful. Here’s a quick, no-nonsense guide to how to avoid accumulating credit card debt after you’ve paid off your credit cards:

  1. Avoid overspending. Only purchase goods and services which you only have savings on hand to purchase–you’re only using your credit card for the benefits, remember?
  2. If you must run a balance, don’t use more than 30% of your total credit limit from across all your cards. Credit companies ding your rating once you cross the 30% threshold.
  3. Pay your credit cards on time each month, and pay off the entire balance.
  4. Mark your credit card due dates on a calendar, and pay ahead of time… or, better yet, initiate auto-debits from your bank account.

Do you have any suggestions on how to avoid running up credit card debt after you’ve paid off your credit cards? Let us know in the comments.