When you’re doing everything you can to make the most of your retirement, it’s easy to get caught up in the convenience of having a little extra spending power at your fingertips. Fancy vacations, nice gifts for the family, expanding the house, or finally getting that nice boat or new Porsche you’ve always wanted- it’s all too easy to throw them on the credit cards or take out a small loan to cover the costs. Here are some tips to stay responsible and make sure the spending doesn’t get out of hand.
Having the convenience of credit is fantastic, but gone unchecked for too long and your interest rate could end up costing you way more than you ever intended to spend. Take extra time to find credit cards that are the right fit for you, much like finding the right Medicare supplement plans.
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The most important thing to consider is a low interest rate. If you plan on being super responsible and paying them off each month, then the interest rate isn’t really an issue. If that’s not the case, however, a high interest rate can wreak havoc on your bank account if you allow your credit card balance to pile up. Some consider compound interest to be the 8th wonder of the world, but it can make you rich or make you poor. It doesn’t discriminate.
The next thing to look for are cards that offer you some sort of reward for using them. Who doesn’t love rewards? Rewards could be in the form of cash back from purchases, or points that accumulate and eventually earn you special perks towards things you like. You might find one that saves you money each time you fill up at the gas station, or perhaps you love to travel and want to earn nights or entire stays at the nicest hotels wherever you go. Some can earn you gift certificates to your favorite retail stores or restaurants.
Regardless of your interests, what’s important is to make sure your credit cards are actually working for you each time you use them and aren’t just a placeholder for charging you interest on your biggest purchases. You want to use them to your advantage and keep the balances under control. If you do it right, you can spend less time worrying about debt and more time enjoying retirement with your loved ones.