- 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.
Are you in the market for a new credit card? Check out our list of best credit cards to find your next card.
Alert: highest cash back card we've seen now has 0% intro APR until nearly 2025
If you're using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money. Our experts love this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR for 15 months, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee.
In fact, this card is so good that our experts even use it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.
Our Research Expert
We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2023 The Ascent. All rights reserved.