Ok, this might be a tip more for my 18-year-old self, but the lesson followed me into my 20’s. “YOLO” and “FOMO” weren’t actual acronyms when I was in college, but I sure lived by those mantras, “You Only Live Once” and “Fear Of Missing Out.” When asked if I wanted to go shopping… Heck yeah! When asked if I wanted to go out for dinner…You betcha! When asked if I wanted to take a trip to NYC…DUH! All of these “Yes” answers led me to over-extending myself and spending money I didn’t have. The $500 worth of parking tickets I racked up in NYC certainly didn’t help! I maxed out a credit card in a span of 6 months and spent the next 4 years paying it off.
If you don’t have the money now, don’t spend it! Learning smart credit card habits early on is crucial. Yes, you need to build your credit, so opening a credit card is a good way to do that. But you can just as easily destroy your credit if you’re not smart about using your credit card. Use it sparingly and pay it off every month. Think of it as a bank card and the only funds available to you are what you have in your bank account, this way you know you can pay the bill at the end of the month.
Stay tuned for Tip #3.