From overseas trips to home renovations and school fees, there are many expenses that women often fund with a credit card.
But with so many things being charged, it seems that it only takes $3,605 before women start to become anxious about their debt.
New research by finder.com.au asked 2,031 Australians “At what amount of credit card debt do you start to worry?” The study found that women start to stress out at this balance, while men panic once their balance hits nearly $5000.
The average credit card balance in Australia is currently at $3,149 per card and women are becoming anxious at just $456 above the average balance.
Interestingly, women from South Australia aged 18-34 were the biggest stress heads, with just $1,629 of debt sending them into worry-mode.
At the other end of the spectrum, generation y women from Western Australia only worry when their debt reaches a balance of $5,087, which is a staggering $1,938 above the national average.
To remain in control of your debt, and to avoid the emotional stress related to your credit card account, follow these strategies:
Consider your need for credit
If you have existing credit card debt and you’re contemplating taking out a second card, reconsider your need for credit.
Take a look at your household budget and consider whether there are any ways you can cut back to create surplus cash that could cover the expense.
Spending less on dining out, negotiating a better deal on your electricity or insurance bill, or even opting for second-hand school uniforms may boost your savings, which you can then put towards your other expenses.
Take out a balance transfer credit card
Applying for a balance transfer card is an effective way to take control of your plastic debt.
This involves transferring your existing debt onto a new card that has a lower or zero per cent interest rate.
Doing this can help you minimise your interest payments, especially if you pay off your entire debt during the balance transfer period.
Just keep an eye on the revert rate because once the promotional period is over, your balance will be charged at a much higher rate.
Apply for a $0 annual fee card
If you’re in the market for a new credit card, consider a product with a $0 annual fee or low account-keeping fees to cut down on product costs.
Just make sure to watch out for the purchase rate.
These cards often come with higher purchase rates, which can outweigh the savings of the $0 annual fee.
These cards may also come with fewer additional features such as rewards programs.
Make overpayments on your account
Don’t fall into the trap of only making the minimum repayment on your account each month.
Instead, take a proactive approach and put any extra cash you have towards your credit card bill.
This will help you fast-track your way out of debt.
If your credit card account makes you feel uneasy, you’re not alone. It’s only natural to worry about getting into too much debt, but if you take measures to manage your debt properly, you can reduce your chances of encountering financial stress.