Since a young age, I’ve always wanted my own credit card. My parents gave me a card on one of their accounts because it was easier than having to lend me their actual card. I quickly got one on my own as an adult mainly to begin building credit but also as a safety measure as my debit card number had been recently stolen and I had been without money for five days.
Having a credit card is a big responsibility but can have some awesome perks. It’s kind of a balancing act. On one side it’s important to use it and carry minimal debt in order to build credit but on the other side you don’t want too much debt because it will negatively impact your credit score. While I do have a credit card, the card I use for 99% of my purchases is a charge card, meaning I have to pay it off in full every month. I love this because it just like I’m paying with my debit card, but with the perks and security of a credit card. It keeps me responsible for the inevitable times that I will wander into Target or J. Crew.
Since I’ve been building my credit since I was 18, the small credit history I do has had made an impact on my life. For my second car I was a co-signer on my lease, which helped boost my credit so that way when I sat down for my third car, not only was I able to be the only name on the lease but I was able to get a very affordable monthly payment.
A goal of mine is to be more financial savvy this year. At the beginning of the year I set a savings goal and now that I’m out of school for questionably* four months, I want to boost up my earning potential and making sure I’m making the most of my money (i.e. lowering student loans over buying another sweater). It’s tough keeping myself on track when I don’t have a salaried job, but this is one way that helps me build credit while still staying financially accountable.
“Credit card? You got it!”-Kevin McCallister, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York