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Once upon a time, the topic of money was considered highly taboo. One simply did not discuss such things. Money matters were a very private thing, kept between the likes of your spouse (maybe) and your financial adviser (if you had one).
NOT ANYMORE! Finances are now an open book; plastered across social media, personal blogs, finance articles, a plethora of how to’s and do not’s. Nowadays, it is fairly safe to say that money matters are fair game.
For most of my formative years, there was no internet. There was certainly no social media. There were no online blogs and no wikiHow. I learned about finances from my parents mostly, and also on my own. There were no classes in school on credit management or balancing a checkbook – although there should have been!! I know a lot of people that would have benefited from this!
The first time I was exposed to the wonderful (sometimes terrible) world of credit cards was on my college campus. They were practically giving them away! Booths set up in the student center and in the quad, pamphlets being waved in your face. ‘Sign up for a student credit card’! It’s easy’!
And it was …. easy. I was not given any instruction manual, no ‘how to’ or ‘do not’ guide. My parents always told me not to go into debt. But they never really explained credit card management. This was something I had to learn on my own. The Hard Way.
Fast forward many years and welcome Credit Karma.
This is a free site that lets you view your credit score without affecting it! They also offer tips and suggestions on debt management and what factors influence your score. This site helped me learn how to improve my score. The biggest factor being PAY ON TIME. Duh. This is (or at least should be) a no-brainer. Other factors include debt-to-credit ratios and overall number and types of credit. All in all, this is a very useful site and a terrific tool for managing your credit.
The other great thing I learned to utilize, was the debt transfer perk that some credit cards afford you – provided you have good credit. If I start to accumulate too much debt, I transfer it to another of my cards that offer a 0% interest rate for 12 months. There is a small fee associated with this depending on your card issuer. There is usually a zero fee option too, but this may include a low-interest rate. I have used this feature before as a way to manage and pay down debt without creating more.
Whether you have a lot or a little, in this day and age … Money Matters. Subscribe to my blog and I will email you with new posts. I will offer my very sage advice, funny anecdotes and some tips and tidbits I have learned over the years to help manage debt, save money and enjoy life more! After all, isn’t that just about everyone’s goal?