Credit cards often get a bad rap. In fact, with the right approach, you can integrate rewards credit cards into your spending plan.
I love my rewards credit cards. I use them every day to build toward what I want in life, getting the most bang for every buck I spend. In fact, I visited my sister for Christmas, and my son and I flew back East for free – and even stayed free at a hotel in New York City for part of the trip – using rewards points earned through my efforts to integrate rewards cards into my spending plan. Here’s how you can use credit card rewards in your own life:
Figure Out What Matters to You
The first step is figuring out what you want. According to a BuyPower Card survey from Capital One, 81% of parents are saving for a major purchase. There’s a good chance you have your eye on a major expense, whether it’s a vacation, car, or new furniture for your home.
Consider your priorities and make a spending plan based on your short-term and long-term goals. My priorities are few, and straightforward:
- Contribute to my Roth IRA
- Contribute to my HSA
- Contribute to my son’s 529
- Make charitable donations
- Pay my bills and cover the necessities of life
- Continue to build my long-term emergency fund
- Enjoy experiences (travel, spa visits, eating out, my son’s involvement in the sport of fencing and in 4-H, etc.)
I know what I want from life, and what matters most to me. I make sure my priorities are taken care of, and I integrate rewards credit cards in my daily spending to make it happen.
Use Rewards Credit Cards that Help You Toward Your Goals
Once you know what matters to you, it’s time to integrate rewards credit cards into your plan. If you know you want to buy a new car down the road, something like the BuyPower Card from Capital One can be a good choice. With this card, your purchases earn rewards that can be redeemed toward an eligible new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle. You can get that much closer to your goal a little bit faster.
I use travel rewards credit cards because that’s what matters most to me. My son and I love going on trips, and if paying for rent, groceries, gas, and other regular expenses with a credit card can help me save money on my next out-of-town experience, I’m all for it. These are things I would spend money on anyway, so I get more bang for my buck every time I make a purchase.
Don’t Go Overboard with Your Spending
Be careful when you integrate rewards credit cards into your spending plan. You don’t want to go overboard and end up with unmanageable debt. Make sure your spending is under control and you live within your means before implementing this plan. Additionally, make sure that you buy every day things that are already in your budget. As you go along, pay off your balances and avoid using the rewards as an excuse to spend beyond your means. If you are responsible and smart about how you use your rewards credit cards, you can reach your goals faster.
Thank you Capital One for sponsoring this post! This is a paid endorsement. All opinions are my own and were not directed by Capital One. To learn more about the BuyPower Card from Capital One visit www.BuyPowerCard.com.