The only way to get what you want in this world is through hard work.– Tiana, The Princess and the Frog; Anika Noni Rose
There is an EXTENSIVE amount of information, opinions, and statistics about young adults and the use of credit cards. It is so controversial, that attempting to research the topic LITERALLY put me to sleep; and do not get me started on the crazy scary stats!
My Two Cents?
I love my credit card. I use it 98% of the time. It is usually the only card I carry with me; and if you could see it, you could tell that it has taken some serious swipes. But building that healthy relationship with my credit card was HARD WORK; and maintaining the relationship requires some serious self-awareness & dedication.
What Is the Secret?
You; and all young adults alike, need to RECOGNIZE THE PURPOSE of the credit card.
A credit cards’ purpose IS NOT TO:
- Buy items you have always wanted to buy
- Max out; take 3 years to pay off, and then max out again
- Flaunt your credit card limit to friends and family
- Use as “additional income”
A credit cards’ purpose IS TO:
- Provide a safer shopping experience – Some debit cards do not provide insurance protection on your money if your card fraudulently used; while most credit cards provide fraud protection and return the money that was used
- Have a safety net – Emergencies happen in life; especially as a young adult! I would ALWAYS advise having and using a savings account FIRST, but sometimes that balance just will not cover a new tire or an emergency root canal!
- Build your credit score – Your credit score is important as a young adult and in adulthood! You do not have to like the credit score structure and weight of importance, but it exists and requires attention. Credit cards are an excellent way to build up credit. The better your score, the better your rates on mortgages, auto-loans, etc. Your score is even used to determine whether you can RENT AN APARTMENT!
My Tips & Tricks
- BUDGET (blog coming soon): I know how much money I have to spend on all aspects of my life. Being aware of my spending capabilities, I can use my credit card as my primary card and continuously pay off the amounts used by moving money from my debit card to my credit card for a 0 balance. I avoid interest payments & gain…
- REWARDS!!!: My credit card gives me 3% back on various expenditures and then 1.5% off everything else. I can earn $3.00 back on my $100.00 grocery trip. I know the amount seems insignificant, but if your using your card every time your buying anything or paying SOME bills, the rewards start adding up.
Time to Ponder…
Take your time when considering whether a credit card is for you. It is NOT something that is required. It is also NOT a “right of passage” into adulthood. Having a credit card is a responsibility and requires serious self-control; no one wants to be part of a dreary statistic.
Until next time, subscribe to this blog, comment your thoughts, questions, and any other topic suggestions! You can always reach me on any of my social media platforms and continue to join me on this journey to adulthood.