Browse Category: Personal Finance Tips

10 reasons to LOVE not loathe your credit card

Millennials are different. Skinnier jeans than other generations? Probably. Credit card users? Probably not. According to a Bankrate survey, about two thirds of millennials don’t own one.

This makes the “good with money” crowd howl. They know how to work credit cards. Like how to avoid debt and pesky late fees. You should too.

Trick one — only buy what you can already afford. Then pay your bill in full and on time. Bingo, you are treating your plastic like real money. Not brain surgery, but maybe not as easy it sounds (quick plug — until Debitize came along!).

So here are the top 10 reasons why millennials should squeeze a credit card into their jean pockets:

 

1. Cash back & Rewards

Take what you spend and multiply it by 2%. That’s how much cash you are throwing away by using debit instead of cash-back credit cards. Plus that debit card earns you zero rewards. Zilch. No free flights, hotel rooms, gift cards, Amazon credit, absolutely no cool stuff. Debit 0, Credit 1.

 

2. Build credit

Mortgages, rental agreements, and car leases all require a credit score. Good luck if you one of the 56% of US consumers with subprime credit scores or a limited credit history. You could be on the hook for tens of thousands of additional dollars. All very silly when all it takes is using a credit card responsibly and paying your bill on to improve your credit. Read our blog series about understanding your credit score to see how your FICO score is calculated. Rather watch the Bachelor? Bad move. Building your credit is more important (but admittedly not as cringe-worthy). It takes time, so step back from the remote and start now.

 

3. Better security

Lost a debit card or had it stolen? In all likelihood, it’s adios to your dinero. Your bank will probably not help you if you don’t report it right away. Plus, you won’t have access to your funds until the bank rectifies things. Not the case with a credit card. Your bank should have you covered.

 

4. Extended warranties

That 1 year warranty on your MacBook? Could be two years if you purchase it with a credit card. Many credit card companies extend the manufacturer’s warranty by another year – one of the lesser known and underutilized benefits of credit cards.

 

5. Purchase protection

Similarly, you may be reimbursed if a purchase you made with the card is lost or stolen within 90 days. It saved my bacon when a new laptop was stolen from my doorstep. Or, if you’re having second thoughts about the cashmere doggie sweater you bought on a whim, but the store won’t take it back? Many credit cards offer return protection. Even for pooch indulgences.

 

6. Holds on your account don’t tie up your funds

Most gas stations, hotels, and car rental agencies put a hold on your account for longer than just your purchase. If you use debit, those are funds you won’t have access to until the hold clears. That’s usually a few days.

 

7. Rental car protection

That expensive collision insurance rental car companies try to sell you is likely already covered, for free, if you use your credit card to pay for the rental.

 

8. Travel protection

Many credit cards also offer protection if you have to cancel your trip, if your baggage is lost or delayed, or your flight is delayed or canceled – even in situations due to weather where the airline will not reimburse you. You can even get free emergency roadside car assistance. Debit cards? Afraid not.

 

9. Price protection

See that brand new TV you just bought on sale somewhere else for less? Your credit card may reimburse you the difference.

 

10. Exclusive invites and perks

Your card may offer other perks, including concert ticket pre-sales, special discounts and offers, or access to exclusive events just for cardholders. Also, many travel cards come with perks such as elite status for a hotel chain, or early boarding privileges with the airline.

Each credit card is different. Make sure you check the terms and conditions (boring but well worthwhile) and find one that is good for you. Try to avoid ones with annual fees (unless you plan to take full advantage of other perks).

 

Christmas lights draped over piggy bank

How To Save Big While Budgeting For The Holidays

Although we see it coming every single year, the holidays always seem to catch us- and our wallets-by surprise. In fact, this year alone, Americans plan to spend about $983 on holiday shopping alone- not including expenses like travel and time off work. For most of us, this can make or break our budget for the year. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Holidays can be expensive, but they don’t have to be!

Here are a few ways to still have an amazing holiday- without breaking the bank.

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Millennials: Afraid of Paying with Plastic? Think Again

Millennials—like any other generation—are wary of a number of things… like cable and sketchy Tinder dates. And, as it turns out, also credit cards.

 

In fact, a 2016 Bankrate survey found that only 33 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds own a credit card, which is an alarmingly low percentage. As a 24-year-old, I understand why younger adults who are still trying to get a good grasp on their finances are hesitant to really utilize that piece of plastic. After hearing horror stories of how unpaid bills destroyed someone’s credit score and cautionary tales of drowning in debt, how can you blame us?

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Eating Out

How to Save Big When It Comes to: Eating Out

Here’s the first entry in our new How to Save Big series. With this series, we show you how to curate big savings in all aspects of budget without changing up your lifestyle. We start with showing you how to save when it comes to eating out.

Would you believe that the average American spends over 4.5% of their annual stated income on prepared food, such as restaurants and takeout? Translated that to an annual salary of $55,000 – this constitutes almost $2500 spent on eating out! Though dinner prices seem like they are what they are, there are actually several ways you can save. Here are a few tips.   Continue Reading

6 Ways to Stay Within your Wedding Budget

Weddings are an occasion many people dream about for years. Let’s fast forward to the big day. You’ve finally found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. You’ve diligently planned your wedding budget, only to realize that – you’ve overspent significantly. This is the case with 74% of American couples, all of whom go over their wedding budget by an average of $12,000 dollars.

We’ll show you six ways to stick to your budget and avoid this common wedding mishap.  Continue Reading

saving money

An Intern’s Guide to Saving Money

I thought my financial woes would go away with my first paycheck. Boy was I wrong.

If, like me, you’re fresh out of school and find yourself suddenly swamped with grown-up matters — disposable income, rental fees and striking a balance between living comfortably and sufficiently saving — you probably also thought: I need a strategy to save more money. Read on and find out how I do it!
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tips for budgeting as a couple

4 Tips for Budgeting as a Couple

When tying the knot, you’re committing yourself to a shared life and financial responsibilities.

Financial problems, if left unchecked, can ruin marriages. It is important that you and your plus one have a common understanding about each other’s attitude and values about money, agreement on financial responsibilities, and how you want to budget and plan your finances. When it comes to managing a household together, it is important to work as a team. Here are some helpful tips:

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Do You Know the Difference between Current Balance and Statement Balance? (You Should)

It’s one of the more confusing things when it comes to your credit card – the difference between current balance and statement balance.

When you check your credit card balance, you’ll typically see two different numbers – a current balance and a statement balance. What’s the difference? And how much do you actually need to pay to avoid interest fees? 53 percent of Americans don’t “completely understand” their credit card terms – don’t be one of them!

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