Are expensive habits hurting your credit card?

Are expensive habits hurting your credit card?
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It's nice to splurge once in a while. But while you might get some gratification from using your credit card to purchase a coveted item, getting into a habit of pulling out the plastic can hurt your savings goals. 

The price of beauty

According to Roy Morgan Research, 22.4 percent of Australians aged 14 years or older named "value for money" as an important feature when buying skin care products.

"When it comes to shopping for skincare products, more Australians nominate moisturising benefits and value for money as important features than any other qualities," explained Angela Smith, Roy Morgan Research Group Account Director.

But what about those who aren't focussed on value for money? If you've developed a love affair with luxury lotions and potions, there's a chance your savings account balance isn't looking at beautiful as it could! Consider buying products online to snap up deals, and always use up old products before buying new ones.

Some beauty counters offer professional makeup services and the cost is redeemable on products. Consider timing your next foundation or powder purchase to a special event to make the most of such offers.

Wining and dining

Three-course meals are a real treat for your taste buds, but not so much for your credit card.

If you've slipped into the habit of wining and dining at expensive restaurants or never settle for less than three courses when you head out with family and friends, it might be time to pull back on your spending. Go through your transaction account and credit card statements from the last three months to see how much you're spending on meals out — the amount might surprise you!

Why not check out local night markets for a fun, but less expensive evening out? You can sample an array of food without paying the three-course price. When relatives and friends want to catch up, consider hosting a barbecue rather than heading out for a pricey meal.

The cost of fitness

Gym memberships are smart if you use them — less so if you intend to jump on the cross trainer or pump iron, but never actually get around to it. 

Personal training can be a great way to get motivated, but if you're paying big bucks for a service that you're not getting much out of, it might be time to rethink it.

Consider signing up to a short-term plan rather than a 12- or 24-month watertight gym contract. When the term's up, evaluate whether it's worth renewing it.

Driving your way to debt

Do you drive to work each morning? Not only will you fork out for petrol, you may also have to pay through the nose for inner-city parking. 

Consider switching up your morning commute and jumping on a train, bus or tram.

Finally, no matter where your spending needs to be curbed, be sure to address your existing credit card balance. You might like to set up automatic payments to push down your debt or make extra repayments each week.

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