This week we’re sharing tips to pay off credit card debt, how to take advantage of a strengthening economy, and the tricks stores use to lure you into more spending. Here’s what you need to know now:

  • Credit card debt can be daunting, especially if you owe a balance on several different cards, but it is possible to pay them off.  The first step is to stop charging and adding to the card total, says Dan Rafter at Wise Bread.  He goes on to outline two methods that can eliminate credit card balances quickly. Using the snowball method, you pay the minimum balance on all your cards except for one. Use the majority of your monthly budget to pay debt on this last card, then repeat the process with another card, until all have been paid off. The second method is the debt ladder method. This is where you list your cards from highest interest rate to lowest, and then pay off debt on the card with the highest interest rate, while paying the minimum balance on the rest.
  • The economy is getting stronger and now is the time to take full advantage, writes Tim Lemke at Daily Finance.  To better position yourself, he recommends paying off as much debt as you can, adding more to your retirement fund, and locking in prices on long term bills, like cell phones and cable. He also suggests cutting back on spending, building up your savings account to prepare for emergencies, considering buying a new house while interest rates are at an all- time low, and possibly asking for a raise.*
  • The deadline for holiday shopping is fast approaching and retailers are using a variety of tactics to tempt you into spending more.  Kathleen Elkins at Business Insider explains that stores will use big, red “SALE” and “limited-time offer” signs to create an unnecessary urge to go inside and will put the priciest items at eye-level.  She recommends maintaining self-control while in the checkout line, where shelves are stocked with tempting treats, and to avoid sample stations, which can slow you down and persuade you to purchase more products.

*All investment information provided in this blog post is intended as a convenient source of information. This information is general in nature, is not complete, and may not apply to your specific situation. Please consult with your own investment advisor regarding your specific investment needs.

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