"You shouldn't think of your credit card statement as a bill." Simple and to the point. It's just another way of saying that you should pay off your credit card bill at the end of the month but the mentality behind it is what counts the most -- money that you put on your credit card should be treated NO differently than cash in your pocket. The only difference is that instead of having to fumble for a check or a paper money every time you make a purchase, you conveniently pay it all off a little under a month after making the purchase. That is, credit cards should be a convenience and nothing more. It should be used for ONLY, I repeat, ONLY, the following four things. 1) It's easier to carry, there's no need to bother writing checks or using cash, and you usually get added purchase protections. 2) A simple, itemized statement of your expenses to make your checkbook balancing easier. 3) Rewards that give you EXTRA money so you can buy things you like. 4) An extremely serious medical/lifestyle emergency -- and ONLY if you have a single-digit APR and do not own a home (so that the equity loan option isn't available to you). That's all. I would bet that the great majority of troubles with credit cards take place when people think of their credit cards as being able to do more than the above things. An extension of these rules is that you should never pay for a cent of interest. Preaching to the choir, I'm sure, but I guess it doesn't hurt to say this from time to time. And I'm not trying to lecture anyone either, it's just that it took me a long time to realize this myself and maybe saying it clearly will help someone. I sure wish I'd heard that a few years back. Please comment.