Tori Dunlap's Top Tips for Using a Credit Card Responsibly

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  • Financial expert Tori Dunlap shares her favorite tips for using credit cards responsibly.
  • Paying your balance in full and using credit cards like debit cards are two of her suggestions.

Credit cards can be a beneficial personal finance tool when used carefully.

Credit cards can be a beneficial financial tool. They can help you build credit, they're convenient, and you could earn valuable rewards. But you need to use credit cards with care. Otherwise, you could fall into credit card debt or hurt your credit.

As a financial expert, social media influencer, and founder of Her First 100K, Tori Dunlap shares tips and tricks to help women make smart financial moves. She uses TikTok and other social media platforms to share her ideas in a fun and approachable way.

In one of her TikTok videos, she shares tips on how to use credit cards wisely. Find out what you need to know so you can avoid overspending with credit cards.

Have an emergency fund first

It's always a good idea to have an emergency fund. You never know when an unexpected event will happen where you'll need a significant amount of money. An expensive emergency could put you in a difficult financial situation if you don't have money set aside.

Tori suggests building an emergency fund before using credit cards. If you don't yet have an emergency fund, you can start building it now. Regular contributions will add up over time. Take a look at our list of best high-yield savings accounts to find the best place to keep your cash.

Pay off your balance in full

Tori's next tip is to pay your balance off in full. Credit cards are convenient but can cost you money if you're not careful. If you don't pay off your balance in full every month, your credit card issuer will charge you interest. The good news is you can avoid being charged interest by paying off your entire credit card balance monthly.

Never spend more than you can afford to pay in cash

Before charging your credit card, you should consider whether you can afford to pay off the purchase right away. If you can't, you may risk accumulating debt. Tori recommends never spending more than you can afford to pay in cash when using credit cards.

Use your credit card like a debit card, NOT an emergency fund

While unexpected costs can come up, using a credit card to cover those costs can be dangerous. Unless you're using a 0% APR credit card, interest can accrue quickly if you don't pay off the entire debt immediately.

For this reason, Tori suggests using credit cards like a debit card -- for regular, everyday purchases. Don't rely on credit cards for expensive, emergency purchases. Instead, use your emergency fund savings to cover these costs.

If you're anxious about overspending, use your credit card for small bills and pay off the balance right away

If you're new to using credit cards or have battled credit card debt in the past, you may be nervous about overspending with your cards. Tori's final tip is to use your credit card for small bills and then pay off the balance. Doing this will help you avoid overspending.

Credit cards aren't bad. However, they need to be used with care. If you want to use credit cards responsibly, use the above tips to guide you as you use your cards to make purchases.

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