Avoid The Credit Card Trap
Are you one of those people who simply look at whether or not you can afford the monthly payment when you are deciding to make a credit card purchase?
Have you ever figured out how long it will take you to pay off something you’ve bought on credit? And how much it will actually cost you over time?
Example: Spending $2,000 on a big-screen TV doesn’t seem like a big deal when your minimum payment is only $40 a month. You can work that $40 a month into your budget, right? It’s no big deal, right? And, if that was the only purchase you ever made on credit, it would be fine. However, the problem is once you start using credit, it’s easy to justify making more purchases, and you fall into the credit card trap.
Consider the following 2022 sobering statistics:
• U.S. families have an average credit card debt of $6,270.
• The average household has 2.15 credit cards.
• The average credit card interest rate is 16.17%.
• Total credit card debt in the US is $841 billion
• Almost half the households in the US report having difficulty paying their minimum monthly payments.
• Percent of credit card balances with 90+ days delinquency: 8.4%
• 71% of American families are living from paycheck to paycheck
And here are the real kickers! If your credit card balance is $8,000, and you make the minimum payment of $127 per month, at 18.9% interest it will take you approximately 24 years to pay off the debt. You will also pay $28,576 in interest charges, almost four times the balance, bringing your total to $36,576.
If you didn’t have a credit card payment of $127 a month, and you put that money into a savings vehicle earning a meager 5% return! In 24 years, you could have an additional $70,465 in savings that could generate $3,500 more per year of income in retirement. Your credit card payment is not only costing you thousands in interest – but is stopping you from saving for your retirement.
Ben Franklin understood the harmful effects of debt! He firmly believed that it’s better to cut expenses to the bone rather than to incur debt to afford a lifestyle that is well beyond our means. Hopefully, cutting back on basic needs such as food is a choice that you won’t have to make, to survive the coming recession.
Here are 4 Tips to help you avoid the ‘Credit Card Trap’…
Do not use credit cards. The easiest way to avoid the credit card trap is to simply not use credit cards at all. If you do not have a credit card, then you cannot fall into the trap.
Do not carry a credit card with you. If you want a credit card for trips or emergencies, then take it with you on trips or when you think you may need it. Otherwise, leave it at home. This can help you to stop using it for impulse purchases.
Pay off the balance every month. If you cannot pay off the full balance in one month, stop using the card until it is paid off.
Set up an Emergency Fund. Start putting money aside each month to build an emergency fund.
Once you have an emergency fund, you will not need to rely on your credit cards anymore. Build an emergency fund that will cover a year’s worth of expenses.
Have you already fallen into the ‘Credit Card Trap?’ Want help getting out? Then give us a call!
-The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland. It was apparently chosen because of its connection with dominance and chivalry as well as purity and innocence in Celtic mythology.
-Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable. They’re technically considered a single-seeded berry, believe it or not.
-Human teeth are the only part of the body that cannot heal themselves. Teeth are coated in enamel which is not a living tissue.
-It’s illegal to own just one guinea pig in Switzerland. It’s considered animal abuse because they’re social beings and get lonely.
-The Ancient Romans used to drop a piece of toast into their wine for good health – hence why we ‘raise a toast’.
-People are more creative in the shower. When we take a warm shower, we experience an increased dopamine flow that makes us more creative.
-A chef’s hat has 100 pleats. Apparently, it’s meant to represent the 100 ways you can cook an egg. Wonder if Gordon Ramsay knows that.
You Wish You Could Stop
Life is so hectic these days, work, kids, shopping, cleaning, doctor appointments, etc. Don’t you just wish you had time to stop and smell the roses? Everyone, whether you are still working or retired, needs to take a little time for themselves to rejuvenate. It is so important to get away from all the stresses that everyday life brings us.
My husband and I try to get away once a month, even if it is just for one night. We’ve been doing it for over 40 years. And, it’s probably one of the reasons we have made it 40 years.
We are fortunate to live in Georgia, where there is so much local history and so much to do. (We used to say that about Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Texas and Florida) We love to go to antique malls (you can get some great bargains), wineries, State Parks, up to the mountains to take a walk, local festivals or fairs, etc. Sometimes, I will surf the Internet for all kinds of local attractions, such as museums or botanical garden sites. (Most libraries have a computer you can use, if you don’t have one) if you do your homework, which is really fun, you do not have to spend a lot of money or go very far to just be together and relax away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In fact, most weekends we go less than 100 miles and spend less than $250.
We love Bed and Breakfasts. They are fun, because you get to meet new people from all walks of life. Everyone is there for the same reason, to rest and rejuvenate. The rooms are all different, with different amenities at each one. This past weekend we were in the Georgia mountains and were fortunate to get a room for just one night with our own private entrance with a nice front porch with rocking chairs. It is so relaxing to sit outside and see the hummingbirds, butterflies and all kinds of animals. And of course, we can’t forget the breakfasts! They serve anything from egg, cheese, and sausage casseroles to Eggs Benedict, and everything in between! Most will work with you if you have any dietary issues.
If you would like more information on Bed and Breakfasts, go to: www.bbonline.com, click on the state you are interested in, and you will find a great list.
There are many more places to stay besides a Bed and Breakfast, there are campgrounds especially in state parks, and some state parks have lodging at very reasonable rates. Of course, there are all sorts of hotels and motels with swimming pools and/or golf courses.
The most important thing is to get away and have fun! It will really change the way you wake up on a Monday morning! By Rosemary Nason
July 4 is just a around the corner! Every year I write about the importance of the July 4th Holiday.
But there is more in July than just Independence Day.
Did you know:
July is Deshaun Watson’s favorite Week… International Massage Week! Bad Joke…
Back to Independence Day!
The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues. The Fourth of July 2022 is on…
Monday, July 4, 2022.