consulting tip

A Credit Card is Not Free Money

A credit card is a useful tool in your finance toolkit, but it's not free money. When you purchase something with your credit card, you are borrowing money from the bank. If you don't give that money back in time, the bank is going to start charging interest on your balance. This debt can build up and become a monster if you don't pay off your balance every month. However, if you use a credit card responsibly and pay off the balance every month, it's a good way to start building credit. Most credit cards also have other benefits such as rewards points, cash back, or travel points. So, should you have a credit card? Well, it depends. If you're capable of paying off the balance in full every month, then you should have no problem managing a credit card and staying out of debt. PS: If you are going to use a credit card, you should monitor your credit score & credit report regularly with a free tool like Credit Sesame (or Borrowell if you're in Canada). One last tip: Treat your credit card like a debit card. Pay it off in full every day if you have to. I try to pay off my balance every couple of weeks so that I don't forget. I also use Trim to remind me when payment is due. If you want to take it further, use a prepaid reloadable card instead of a credit card. These cards work just like debit cards, but they have the perks of credit cards. For example, read my Koho Review – Koho is a prepaid card with cashback, budgeting, savings goals, and more. Note that prepaid reloadable cards won't help you build credit though.