Of course you are giddy with excitement. Of course you are excited to use your very own credit card. Why, credit cards do work like magic, and they are a lot easier to execute. The only spells you have to know are the strings of numbers and the only stroke you have to master is swiping it. With these two skills, you are all set to conquer the consumer world.
Imagine the endless possibilities. Without a single paper bill in your wallet, you could walk into a boutique and buy a whole new set of wardrobe. Without any cash on you, you could get a month’s groceries on the way home from your college campus. You could do fine dining every night too, because you can afford it! How about a Paris tour package in the summer? That would be a great reward for a strenuous college life. After all, it just takes a swipe of the magic credit card and you’ll live the good life.
If you agree about everything with all that, boy, are you in big trouble.
Having your first credit card could be intoxicating, but could also be precarious if you have even the littlest streak of ‘good life’ thinking. Uncle Ben was right when he told Peter Parker that “with great power comes great responsibility.” Your card, the very one you are stroking right now with such love and pleasure, comes with a set of responsibilities.
First Three Rules to Live By
First rule to remember is that your magic plastic is a c-r-e-d-i-t card. Yes, credit. A pay-later system, which means you have to pay up eventually, after you make your purchase. Your wardrobe shopping is not free, my dear. That European package tour is tempting, but also insanely expensive, and absolutely not free of charge. Are you sure you can pay for such luxuries by the end of the month?
Second rule to note down is to never be an impulsive buyer. Most first-time credit card holders fall into this trap and it would be wise not to be part of this statistic. Do you really need the silk skirt you discovered at that high-end boutique? Think, and think some more before making a purchase. Impulsive buying is dangerous especially for card holders because it is so easy to do with plastic.
Third most important rule for credit card beginners is to mind one’s credit rating. Your credit rating is the measure of your credibility and your creditworthiness as a consumer. Your credit rating is an important indication of your profile, as most decisions on employment, tenancy, and even insurance, is based on how good or bad your credit score is.