A credit card has always been one of those tricky items in my life. I’ve never been a great planner for an oh shit moment so, credit cards were used. I’ve spent my entire life finessing this credit dance. Keep in mind I’ve always paid on time and have amazing credit but that didn’t stop the burden feeling from debit. If you are like my sister Tracy, who has never had any debt (even school debt, fricken amazing) then skip down to how credit card miles help me travel.
Reducing Dept First Tips
So the tip and techniques, I recommend to you is only suggested when you are at a place in your life when you are in control of your finances. As a business coach, I help a business get profitable and these steps can help you as well.
- Get money in the bank! Make sure you have the Oh Shit moment prepared for. Rule of thumb, 3 months of expenses in your savings, and YES I now practice this rule. I just recently had to use some of it (I don’t take from this account lightly) and now I’m in the payback mode.
- Understand your monthly needs! Duh right, but you will be amazed at how many people have no clue how much money they spend every month.
- Pay off your credit card debt! Do this in a manageable way. I used to pay off big chunks at a time leaving me low on my monthly cash and back on a credit card it would go. You can see the ugly cycle it was.
- Pay off any small loans or IOU next. Don’t go after the big loans first, go after the small ones. This is true for credit cards too. You get a sense of accomplishment and renewed energy to keep going on to the next debt.
- Don’t feel ashamed or beat yourself up about debt. So many people hate their financial situation and don’t know how to change it. The easiest way, UNDERSTAND IT and remove emotions you have around money. Money carries emotions, good or bad. Instead, we should think more logically about our finances. It tells us a story and shows us where we are in our understanding of our financial situation. Please remember I’m a highly emotionally driven person who has to have learned this. Remember my sister Tracy, this was natural for her and she has to be reminded sometimes that money can also bring fun into her life. I love her drive and not sure how we ended up so opposite.
Remember you want to be in control of your finances and be in a position to pay off the balances each month before working towards getting free airfare by using credit card miles. I am not a financial advisor this is a system that has worked for me.
How credit card Miles help me travel
I got a better credit card, one that had great travel rewards. My favorite, CHASE Sapphire Preferred. I got this card about a year ago and got the 60,000 bonus points and now have almost 100,000 points on this card! Avery and I will be using these points for our 20-year anniversary trip.
How did I do that?
You need to spend $4,000 within 3 months. Best strategy? Have a large purchase you already need to make. Something like new tires for your car or a class you’re going to take. It can be anything. Make sure you already have this money in the bank. So when you get this really large bill you just pay it off.
What I did, is I knew I wanted to be a certified Pumpkin Plan Strategy Business Coach so before I signed up I got the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card and used it to pay for my certification course. It wasn’t enough to hit my $4000 spending so the remainder, I used the credit card on everyday bills and charges. I put that amount in my saving accounts so when that bill came, I was ready and it was paid in full. Points and NO debt! This is the only way of getting these bonuses makes sense.
Example: If you’re paying interest on the balance and over the year you pay $400 in interest that year but you were able to get $350 free flight you have lost $50 and the point benefit is just wasted. You only move your expenses around! Plus, that trip has additional expenses. If you missed it, please read the above information again if you need help with debt.
What do I get out of this?
I want to be very clear that any credit card referral there is a kickback to that person, just like any referral program. Below is that Chase Sapphire Preferred ad you will go to by clicking this LINK or image.
What I get is a 15,000 extra bonus points for anyone who uses my link and signs up. Now I don’t take the referral lightly that is why I’ve used this card, used the benefits, read the emails from CHASE and waited to offer this promotion to my readers.
There is no additional fee to you and I do not get any cash for promoting this card. I only wanted to share my knowledge and my love of traveling to you as well as the possibilities for more future travel. Bonus for both you and me.