When it comes to credit cards, I think we all know we're not always getting what we pay for — or rather, we're paying for a lot more than we get. Factor in interest rates, APR, and how long it takes us to pay off our charges, and we're really looking at spending a whole lot more than we planned on. Still, with item — and card — in hand at the checkout, we're rarely calculating the real damage.
What if it were easier? With the help of The Real Damage, it actually is. The site's tool does the scary math for you. Simply enter in the amount you plan on spending for an item, say a blouse for $75, but "with an APR of 15 and a balance of $1,200 with the minimum payment calculated by 'Interest + 1% Balance' gives a Real Damage value of $168.75." Now, if you're paying off your card in full every month, this may not apply, but if you're not, it may be in your best interest to see exactly how much that interest is costing you. No, you may not check up on every purchase, but certainly checking in on the real damage every so often is bound to give you a reality check that might actually curb spending. What do you think?