What kinds of feelings come to mind when you hear the words “credit cards?” If you are like many other Americans, you probably feel anxious and nervous when you hear these two words put together. This fear and anxiety will pass, however, as soon as you arm yourself with proper information.

Take note of all your credit card expenditures, so that you are sure that you are spending within your means. It is easy to loose track of the money you spend when you use your card unless you make a commitment to keep track in a note book or spreadsheet.

When you are using your credit card at an ATM make sure that you swipe it and return it to a safe place as quickly as possible. There are many people that will look over your shoulder to try to see the information on the card and use it for fraudulent purposes.

When you are making a purchase with your credit card you, make sure that you check the receipt amount. Refuse to sign it if it is incorrect. Many people sign things too quickly, and then they realize that the charges are incorrect. It causes a lot of hassle.

It is important for people not to purchase items that they cannot afford with credit cards. Just because an item is within your credit card limit, does not mean you can afford it. Make sure anything you buy with your card can be paid off by the end of the month.

Avoid purchasing items out of your budget with your credit card. Just because you want a new flat-screen TV, doesn’t mean a credit card is the best way to buy it. You will be paying much more than the initial cost due to interest. Leave the item in the store and think about the purchase for at least a day or two before making a final decision. If you still want to purchase the item, the store’s financing typically provides the lowest interest rates.

Never write down your password or pin number, for any reason. Memorizing your password is the only way to ensure that nobody else is able to access it. Writing the pin number down, and having it in the same place as your card, will give anyone access to it if they want it.

It should be obvious, but many people fail to follow the simple tip of paying your credit card bill on time each month. Late payments can reflect poorly on your credit report, you may also be charged hefty penalty fees, if you don’t pay your bill on time.

A great way to save money on credit cards is to spend the time necessary to comparison shop for cards that offer the most advantageous terms. If you have a decent credit history, it is highly likely that you can obtain cards with no annual fee, low interest rates and perhaps, even incentives such as airline miles.

How do you feel about credit cards now? Do you feel more confident on how to use them? If so, then great, but if not, that simply means you need to continue educating yourself. By learning all that you can about credit cards, you will feel better about using them.