The meaning of the term frugal is to be “prudent or thrifty”. In order to be frugal with your credit card, you must begin to think of your credit card as you do your paycheck. There is only so much money to spend and you cannot go above that amount.
The limit on the credit card should not be the level at which you spend on the card. Set a limit that is lower than the actual credit line available on the card. When shopping, behave as though that is all the money available on the line of credit. Setting a budget for individual credit cards will help keep things in check and make you a frugal credit card user.
There are other ways to be frugal with your credit card as well. Compare interest rates to make sure you are getting the best rates available. If you are not getting the lowest interest rate you can obtain, consider changing credit cards. Transfer higher interest credit card balances to the lower interest rate credit card. This is a common practice today and should be considered by anyone who uses credit cards.
Use credit cards only when necessary. Emergency situations may require the use of a credit card, but consider saving for other items that are not necessary to purchase right away. For instance, if your refrigerator goes on the fritz, it is an emergency and you need a new one in order to keep your food from spoiling. If you want to update the kitchen with a new refrigerator, it is not necessary and you can be better served by saving for a new updated refrigerator.
The most important way to be frugal with your credit cards is to assure that payments are made on time. Making late payments on a credit card can cost hundreds of dollars a year, depending on the total balance used on the credit line. Late fees and interest raise the total amount you will have to pay the credit card company. It is a waste of precious money that could be used to pay the debt down or to put into a savings account.
Be frugal with your credit cards. Never use them for unnecessary purchases and limit the number of credit cards you keep. Credit cards can help your credit rating, but they can also be a detriment to it if it is not handled properly.