Have you ever had your credit frozen? Ever get that panicky feeling in your chest when you whip out the plastic and say the "I hope this isn't denied" prayer? Ever tried to apply for a loan only to hear "I'm sorry, we can't help you!" (which is the polite form of "No way Jose!")? Would you like to stop worrying about these kinds of situations? Then grab a Perrier, hon, and let's have a little chat about how to use credit wisely.

First things first. Though it may not seem like it, 25% of American households do not have credit cards. Amazing, right? So it IS possible to give up your cards though I don't recommend that if you, like many people these days, routinely order things on the phone or internet.

You can, however, have a credit card and use it wisely. If you're in the 75% who do own cards, the first step you must take is to get rid of all but one or two of them. Make sure the ones you keep are the ones that don't have an annual charge, unless they accumulate airline miles for you. (Those cards always have an annual charge but it may be worth it if you love to travel and use your card carefully, namely just for large purchases you plan to pay off before the end of your credit card cycle.)

The second thing you must NEVER do is use your cards for routine expenses such as gas, groceries, electricity, and other regular expenses. If you are using your credit card to pay for the essential things like gas, food, utilities, or even taxes, then you are most likely in financial trouble! These expenditures need to be paid out of your bank account or cash, not on credit.

The best thing you can do to not get eaten up by credit is this: Do NOT use your credit card for anything except larger purchases that you have planned and saved for IN ADVANCE, such as car repairs, airline tickets, theater tickets, and online purchases of electronics, etc.

I know--You're probably inundated with those credit card offers in the mail that offer 0% interest for a limited time, but that's just it. It's for a LIMITED time. Getting such a card may be a good way to finance a short-term "loan" when you need cash fast; this is how we paid for thousands of dollars of extra expenses for our wedding without paying one red cent in interest. But (and this is a big big BUT) if you routinely run up expenses on these 0% interest cards, you will quickly dig a deep hole chock full of credit quicksand. And doll, I'll be sad to see you sinking in that trap!

Tune in for my next article on a creative, fun way to freeze your credit and you'll be on the way to transforming debt into wealth and achieving the abundant life you deserve.

Author's Bio: 

Professional speaker and coach Dr. Barnsley Brown loves helping people like you save thousands of dollars and start living the life of their dreams! Check out Dr. Barnsley's exciting e-book and audio package, Get Out of Debt and Get On With Your Life, at http://spirited-solutions.com/products/books/