Last week, 40 million Target shoppers, myself included, had their payment data stolen. Whether you used a credit or debit card, if you paid with anything but cash at a Target store, your data may have been stolen.
This past weekend, I spent four days at the Financial Blogger Conference to get ideas for making this site better for all of you. While there, I was interviewed by credit reporting agency Experian. They asked me about starting out with credit for college students and young professionals.
You all know that I think credit cards are awesome. Credit card rewards have helped me travel the world for almost nothing, and they can be the doorway to great travel benefits. However, credit card debt can be crippling financially and should be avoided at all costs.
I would imagine that many of us have either dealt with credit card debt, or at least know someone who has. The fact that the average household has more than $15,000 of credit card debt (of those that have credit card debt) tells me that many are intimately acquainted with such debt.
If you have dealt with it, then you can relate to how unbearable the feeling might be, but the good thing to remember is that it is possible to slay the beast of credit card debt. While I am disciplined with my credit cards now, and use them to leverage free money for vacations I was not always that way. I discovered the lure of the credit card in college and graduated with almost $25,000 in consumer debt. The tips I’ll share are not so much action-oriented, rather, they’re ways to wrap your mind around the debt so you can start to work on paying it off.
Everyone doesn't follow the advice to have an emergency fund for times when you need cash in a pinch. Other people get stuck needing more than they saved for. Whether your car breaks down or your water heater blows up, sometimes you need cash in a hurry. Here are some ideas to get the cash you need right away.
Almost every new credit card I sign up for comes with a large, up-front miles or points bonus for spending a certain amount in a certain time frame. Some cards require thousands of dollars of purchases that you may not regularly make. Other times, you may be trying to hit the minimum spend for a churn. Here are some ideas to help you get over the minimum spend hump.