Need help resisting the urge to splurge?
A free online calculator at TheRealDamage.com may help you say no to new spending by demonstrating how much you could save by instead using the money to pay down your credit-card debt.
For instance, putting $100 toward your balance instead of spending it would reduce your overall debt costs by $225 if you have a $1,000 balance with a 15% APR and you make only the minimum monthly payment (which the site estimates to be the interest plus 1% of the balance).
Created by Kyle Reiach, a computer programmer in Ontario, the tool estimates what it would cost you to pay off your current credit-card balance, including interest charges. It then calculates how that cost would decrease if you put the money you're thinking of spending toward your balance instead of toward that new gadget or getaway.
The difference, or the "damage," is meant to show what the purchase is costing you in the long run, says Mr. Reiach
You can enter account details, including APR, balance and minimum payment, on up to five credit cards.
The tool also lets you factor in the impact of any additional monthly payments.