A Millennial’s Guide to Using Credit Cards Wisely

Credit cards can seem scary and intimidating to own with its reputation for debt and high-interest rates. After the 2008 financial crisis, many millennials witnessed the damaging effects it had on family and friends. This negative stigma on credit cards meant it was easier to avoid opening one altogether. However, dependency on cash and debit cards can only take you so far. With proper knowledge and care, using credit card can be very advantageous. When used properly, you can end up saving more money in the long-run!

Pay off your credit card in full

While credit cards only require a minimum monthly payment, it is important to pay off your monthly bills in full. This prevents raised interest rates and a growing balance may become too unbearable. Avoid credit card purchases you cannot afford and check your account weekly!

Build Credit

If you thought extra guac was a splurge, what about purchasing your first car? Or renting your own place? Unless you have the cash upfront, without credit to take out a loan, this purchase is nearly impossible. Building good credit will open doors to bigger (responsible) purchases and even better employment opportunities!

Gain rewards from day-to-day purchases

The market for credit cards is extremely competitive. Companies are constantly releasing new reward programs that can help you save money and earn you tons of points! If you already spend a decent amount on travel, gas, groceries and restaurants, there are cards available that provide rewards specifically from these purchases.

Keep track of your spending and budget yourself

Gathering points and rewards from swiping your credit card can be addicting, but be sure not to over-spend! Manage and track your spending habits weekly and try not to make unnecessary purchases. For new credit card holders, try paying off your bill every Sunday and create a weekly or monthly spending limit.

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