Don’t Waste Money with Credit Cards

Waste Money – Are you making these costly mistakes?

save money series 2

Isn’t it awful to use the words ‘waste’ and ‘money’ in the same sentence? Don’t you work WAY too hard and spend WAY to many hours earning your money to waste any? It is crazy but true. Most people actually waste  some of their money.

Are the bills from Christmas STILL coming in? Bummed about how there is never enough money left over for the fun stuff in life? Worried about how to have enough money left over for retirement? College tuition? Travel?

You are NOT alone!

This, 2018, is the year to take control over your finances. Save money! Stop wasting money! HAVE money left over for the finer things in life. Yes, you, too, can manage your finances.

Piggy bank standing on money

First, if you missed the first article in this series – Step  1, helps you find out where your money is going!

CLICK HERE to read the first step in the Save Money Series.

Are you *gasp* wasting money?

Are you wasting money? piggy bank cash

Examine these common money wasters to see if you need to make a few chances that can add up to BIG savings over this year!

Waste Money – Credit Cards

We all know that Credit cards are a necessary evil. We use them for all sorts of reasons and life would be a lot more complicated without them. However; if you don’t play your cards right (English teacher humor there – pun intended) those little credit card devils can cause you a lot of heartache.

You don’t need to break up with your credit cards, but you might want to take along hard look at them to make the best choices possible for your family’s financial security.

Waste Money – How much debt?

We all know the best interest rate is the one you don’t pay because you pay off your credit card bill in full each month. If you are able to do that – Yeah you! because you would be in the very small minority.

The average credit card holder has a lot of debt they carry from month to month. Interestingly this amount varies by state.

States with the MOST credit card debt per person:

  1. Alaska  $10,091
  2. Wyoming  $8,979
  3. California  $8,917

States with the LEAST credit card debt per person:

  1. South Carolina  $5,406
  2. Rhode Island $5,387
  3. Maine  $5,346

When you carry a credit card balance from month to month you do 2 things:

  1. ADD charges each month from your regular spending
  2. ADD fees from interest

If you carry a credit card balance you are basically digging yourself a debt hold and you are making that hole deeper and deeper each month. OUCH!!

Waste Money – Credit Card Interest

Talk about highway robbery! Take a look at how much interest your credit card is charging you. I highly recommend sitting down before reading because that number could really big BIG! An adult beverage might make that number easier to absorb.

The average credit card interest rate is 12.5%. What does that mean? Well ‘average’ means there are credit cards that have much higher rates – like 27% and there are credit cards that have lower rates. See out the lowest interest rate you can find!

Thankfully the highest interest rates credit card companies can legally charge is 29.99%.

There is a lot of nitty gritty information regarding credit card APRs and interest rates. If you are so inclined,

CLICK HERE to read the mind numbing info on credit card interest rates.

When you are looking at credit cards, interest rates is only one part of the puzzle.

Consider these three things when choosing a credit card.

  1. interest rate
  2. rewards for spending
  3. yearly fee

CLICK HERE  to find a list of low interest credit cards.

Chase Slate looks especially good. It costs $0 to transfer your balance from your current card, 0% interest rates for 15 months (and during that time you can pay down your balance) and $0 yearly fee. Check out Chase Slate here to get all the nitty gritty rules.

****I get NO money for this information.****

We love rewards! Pick and choose the best credit card rewards for you. My favorite is getting miles for each purchase which we then use for travel.

CLICK HERE tips for How to Afford Travel

I HATE yearly fees. I’m just personally offended by them. I mean, I already pay them interest and they want me to pay to carry the card around in my wallet? Um, no thank you.

BUT

If you do the math (OMG – hate math even more than cooking) some of the credit cards that have yearly fees are so worth it. Bite the bullet and do the math. It will be worth it!

Waste Money – Examine your credit card bill

One of the money and soul sucking ways credit cards can get the best of you is through automatic billing.

Remember that $7.99 a month membership you bought to help your 2nd grader with spelling? Even if you don’t….the credit card remembers and your 2nd grader is now 16 years old. Stop paying for things you don’t need anymore.

Take one evening to sit down and go over your credit card bill in detail to find out how much you are accidentally paying this way. Chances are good it will add up to more than you think. Don’t feel bad if this is you! It is really easy in our super busy world to let things like this slip. No biggie.

Make a list of things you want to cancel so you can start the process. I say process because companies love getting money every month – forever- and do NOT make it easy to stop. Be prepared to call, wait, and send emails – more than once.

It will be painful but worth it! Personally,l I have found it hardest to get out of gym memberships (even after leaving the state where the gym is located), alarm company contracts and cable memberships. We have moved quite a bit over the last 17 years so I’ve had more than once chance to go through this lovely process.

BUT – who are they to think they can just keep taking your money forever? Show them who is boss of YOUR money and be persistent. It will pay off.

Waste Money – Choose Wisely

Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up about it if you realize now that you’ve made some mistakes with your money. Just move forward doing a better job now.

I love this quote by Maya Angelou

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”

So, now you know better so you can spend 2018 doing better with your money!

We’d love to hear all about your credit card experiences so leave your story below in the comments.

If you want to hear more from us, check out our sister blogs!

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