KEEPING YOUR CREDIT ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE TRACKS
Tips for Using Credit Cards
- If you get a credit card, get one – two max. Too many credit cards can damage your credit.
- Use your credit card for emergencies only.
- Only open a credit card because you need it, not because the credit card company is offering a free t-shirt (or koozie).
- Set your credit card limit for how much you have in your savings account. That way, even if you max out your credit card, you'll have the money to cover it.
Tips for Keeping Good Credit
- Pay all your bills on time, and pay off your debt as quickly as possible.
- Set up your bills on an automatic bill payment system so you always know they'll be paid by the due date.
- Even if you don't have much money to put toward paying off your credit card bill, at least make the minimum payment each month.
- Credit mistakes stay on your credit report for seven years, so make good decisions now to avoid having that long-term drag on your credit.
BUDGETING AND SAVING CAN HELP YOU REACH
YOUR GOALS – BIG AND SMALL.
Tips for Saving Money
- Don't wait. The worst thing you can do is wait to start saving.
- Spend money on what you actually need, not on what you think you need.
- When you reach a savings milestone, reward yourself with something like a music download.
- Clip out a picture of your goal, and keep it where you'll see it all the time – your bathroom mirror, fridge or your wallet!
- Set up automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account. It doesn't have to be much at first. The most important thing is to get started so it becomes a habit.
- Don't over-use credit cards.
Tips for Budgeting
- Only spend the money you have.
- Keep your cash – or your debit card usage – in check and track of all your spending.
- Set aside money you can spend each week for everyday expenses and entertainment, then stick to it. If you can't stick to it when you use your debit card, then consider switching to cash.
- Set aside enough money every month to make sure you have 3-6 months' worth of expenses in savings.
- Try borrowing movies from the library, instead of renting.
- Save on postage by paying all your bills online.
- Resolve to go at least one day a week where you don't spend a penny.