From credit to debit - top tips to help you manage the way you pay

Does your credit card get too much of a work out? Making a few changes to your spending habits could help you could improve the state of your finances.

Here are a few tips to help get you started:

1. Set a budget

It can be all too easy to simply hand over your credit card when you're out shopping, but those impulsive purchases can often mean you're parting with more than you can afford. To get a clear idea of your disposable income, consider using a budget planner to work out how much you actually have available to spend.

2. Get a snapshot of your credit card spending

Take a look at your credit card statement for the previous quarter to analyse exactly what you're spending money on, and when. Make a list of all essential and non-essential purchases and consider whether there is room for improvement when it comes to your discretionary spending.

3. Set up automatic transfers from your bank account

Paying bills with your credit card? Check whether your suppliers charge fees when you pay via credit card rather than bank transfer. It may only be a small amount each time, but it could add up over the longer term - especially if you are paying bills from multiple suppliers.

Consider setting up automatic transfers directly from your everyday bank account instead, to go out as soon as you get paid.

4. Familiarise yourself with your debit card

Set some time aside to understand how your debit card works. Find out whether any ATM fees apply and check if any benefits, like cashback offers or other rewards, are available when you use your debit card or everyday bank account.

5. Reduce your debt

Due to the power of compound interest, it makes sense to pay down your debt as quickly as possible. If you can afford it, think about paying more than the minimum amount each month to clear your credit card debt sooner. You could save a lot in interest payments over the longer term.

If you no longer wish to use your credit card after your card debt is paid off, remember to contact the card issuer to cancel the credit card so you're not paying any annual fees.

In the meantime, download your mobile banking app onto your mobile device so you can access your bank balance while you're on the go and keep an eye on your spending habits.