RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — With inflation still taking a huge bite out of our paychecks — people need to get their finances on track, as well as, try to improve their credit in 2023.
Even as the the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve, inflation continued rising, and that affects everyone’s finances.
“Even if you keep things the same as last year, you might be spending more in the long run,’’ said Nathan Grant, a senior financial industry analyst with Moneytips.
Although you can’t control inflation, you can control how much you are spending, so be careful of those credit cards. They have higher than average interest rates compared to other forms of debt because credit-card interest is compounded.
“If you don’t pay off your balances in full, the interest you’re paying next month is almost interest on interest,’’ said Grant.
Instead of using that credit card, look for other options for purchases.
“A lot of times there are buy-now. pay-later options which might give you the flexibility to pay over several weeks or months with no interest,” said Grant.
Your credit score also affects the interest rates on your credit card as well as how much it’ll cost you to buy a home, a car, or even obtain a contract on a phone.
CBS 17 Consumer Investigator Steve Sbraccia asked Grant how does one improve their credit score.
“There’s a lot of factors that go into it,” he said. “Payment history and the amount owed are two of the biggest factors.”
When it comes to paying off those bills, adding an extra $5 or $10 above the minimum payment will go a long way toward erasing that debt.
Balance transfers are another way to save money — if you can move it to an account that gives you a break on the interest.
“By moving them to a credit card with a zero percent introductory APR period, which sometimes lasts a year or more, not having to worry about the strain of interest will help your payment situation as you pay off your debt,” said Grant.
You should also make a budget and prioritize your debt, working to pay off your highest interest debt as soon as you can to keep more money in your pocket.