Credit Cards

Responsible Spending Tips for new Credit Card Owners

Anyone who is planning on getting a new credit card or already has one will definitely want to get as many tips as possible for responsible spending. It can be extremely easy to get deep into debt with credit cards, which is why it’s so important that you make a point of getting this information from the start. A credit card can be incredibly helpful in certain situations, but you need to know how to use it responsibly. As long as you follow these tips, you shouldn’t experience many problems going forward with using your cards.

Establish your budget

One of the most important things that you can do when it comes to being a responsible credit card owner is to first establish your budget and do your best to stick with it. You will absolutely need to know how much you can afford to spend on your card to begin with, because otherwise it can be very tempting to spend too much. Those who know exactly what their monthly budget is are less likely to go overboard with spending.

Pay off your entire balance every single month

The importance of paying off your monthly credit card balance can simply not be overstated. You do not want to get behind with your credit card payments, because this can lead to years of crippling debt. Make sure that you take care of the money you owe on all of your cards by the due date so that you aren’t hit with any interest or other fees. This is an extremely simple but effective way to stay debt free.

Treat credit limit increases with respect

If you are fortunate enough to get an increase in your credit limit, you will need to treat it with great reverence. In other words, you don’t want to go on a spending spree just because you have more credit available to you. Those who use their credit cards responsibly for a period of time typically get a bump in their credit limit, which can be very helpful in emergency situations. A bigger credit limit will make it possible for you to afford more when you really need it.
Take note of things you receive from your card issuer

A lot of people tend to just disregard the things they receive in the mail from their credit card issuers, but this is a big mistake that you’ll want to avoid altogether. The best way to stay current on all the terms and conditions of your card is to closely look at all of the things that your credit card issuer sends you via email or snail mail. While some of these things may not be very important at all, it is still a good idea to take a look nonetheless.

Guard your credit card info

Make sure that you keep all of your credit card information under wraps so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Credit card fraud is still a major problem even today, so you will need to be aware of this at all times. It is also a good idea to get a file shredded at home so that you can thoroughly destroy any paper documents with sensitive information, such as your credit card details. If you want to avoid becoming the victim of credit card fraud, this is what you will need to do.

Try to only use it for emergencies

As a general rule, it is a good idea to only use your credit card when you really need to. One of the things that gets a lot of people in trouble is using their credit cards for fun purchases. The last thing you want to do is go shopping with your credit card for clothes, electronics or other non-necessities. A credit card can be immensely helpful for emergencies, and you definitely don’t want to get into the habit of using it for other things.

Final Thoughts

The fact is that a credit card is a lot of responsibility, so you will need to make a point of keeping these things in mind. If you want to avoid going deep into debt, the best thing you can do is to establish a budget for yourself and keep to it at all times. It can be very tempting to use credit cards for non-emergencies because it seems like free money, but you will need to pay the bill eventually. As long as you are responsible with your credit card, it will work for you instead of against you.

Bank Accounts

The Different Types of Banking Accounts available to you

Because there are a wide variety of banking accounts that you can open, you will want to know what your options are like. Not all bank accounts are the same, which is why it’s so important that you make a point of doing this research. A lot of people tend to just open up a standard checking account (which can be fine), but you will definitely want to know what there is to choose from before making a final decision. The type of bank account you have will affect your overall banking experience.

Standard checking account

There is of course the standard checking account, which is what most people go for. Some basic checking accounts come with a monthly or annual fee while others do not. You can typically avoid maintenance fees altogether by simply keeping up with the minimum required balance, which varies depending on the bank. If you want to avoid paying more than you have to, it is a good idea to keep this in mind.

Free checking accounts

You may want to also look into free checking accounts, which do not come with any sort of fees whatsoever. There are no monthly service charges or anything else that you will need to worry about. You will however have to pay fees if you overdraft your account, which is standard for all different types of checking accounts. This can be a good choice for college students and those who do not plan on keeping a ton of money in their accounts at any given time.

Joint checking accounts

You always have the option of opening up a joint checking account, which is commonly done with married couples. This type of account is owned by everyone whose name is associated with it, so there is no one person whom the money in it belongs to. A majority of banking accounts will allow multiple people to have ownership of it. It is always important to be financially organized with any type of checking account, but it’s particularly important with one that is jointly owned.

Interest-bearing checking accounts

An interest-bearing account will require a certain amount of money just to open it, so you will want to keep that in mind. The money that you deposit into this type of account will accumulate interest over time, so you are actually making money on your money. Interest on the money in your account will be paid each month, but the rates are usually very low. Most people find that having this type of account just isn’t worth it because they need to maintain a minimum balance (which is usually fairly high).

Express checking accounts

An express checking account is best for those who bank via computer or ATM, as you won’t have any limitations when it comes to how many cheques you can write. These accounts typically have low monthly fees or none at all, and you won’t have to worry about maintaining a very high minimum balance. Express checking accounts are also a good option for students and younger people in general.

Student checking accounts

A student checking account usually comes with quite a few perks, including free checks and ATM use. If you are trying to save as much money as possible because you are going to school, you will certainly be interested in this option. If you have one of these accounts you will also be able to get pretty good rates on credit cards and various types of loans. You will find that most banks offer student accounts, though you may want to do a bit shopping around so you can get the most perks possible.

Final Thoughts

When you are trying to choose the right type of checking account to get, it is important that you closely review your options. The account you have at a bank can affect your banking experience in a number of ways, which is all the more reason for you to do your research before landing on a certain option. Some types of accounts are better than others for people, so you will need to keep that in mind.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you are trying to find the right checking account to match your needs, including how frequently you write cheques as well as how comfortable you are with online banking. When you take these things into consideration, you should be able to make the right overall choice.