Monday Night Finance- Volume 50

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4 Credit Card Mistakes to Avoid

Credit cards are everywhere. When I was a kid I’d fantasize about the future. I thought we’d all be living in outer space. Instead of paper money, we’d just swipe our arm in front of a microchip reader. While we’re still on planet earth, I guess I had the money part right. When was the last time you pulled change out of your pocket to make a purchase? Credit cards are how we pay for nearly everything now. Credit cards are fast, convenient, safe, and frequently come with reward points that can be used to earn cash back or travel rewards. Despite their benefits, credit cards can have a downside. If you don’t know how to properly use a credit card, they can costs you thousands of dollars in interest. This article from breaks down mistakes you should avoid making with your credit card.

Let’s say your credit card has an interest rate of 21% and a balance of $4,000. Every month you pay the minimum payment. For this example, the minimum payment will be 1% of the balance plus interest every month. Paying this way will take 21 years to pay the debt off in full. ~TrueFees

One of the downsides to credit cards is that they charge a high rate of interest. According to this article, only paying your minimum balance is the biggest credit card mistake you can make. (Obviously if you’ve recently suffered a job loss, you may have no other choice.) Assuming you can pay more than your minimum balance, this is a fantastic way to drastically reduce how much credit card debt you have and how long it will take you to pay it off. Even worse than paying the minimum balance is missing a payment entirely. Not only will this cause your balance to grow, but it will also impact your credit score. The article has several more great tips; check it out if you want some ideas about how to use your credit cards wisely.

Hyatt Mattress Running During Covid-19 and Getting Globalist Status for Two Years

There’s nothing more exciting to read about than travel hacking stories. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, travel hacking involves using credit card bonuses and various promotions to travel for free (or nearly free). While this is commonly done for frequently flier statuses (or points), it can also be done for hotels. A “mattress run” is where you focus on booking and staying in hotels to rack up points to achieve a hotel status. In this article, Shannon and Sergio of Screw the Average break down how they were able to achieve Hyatt Globalist status for 2 years using special promotions.

We love the adventure of mattress runs and are frankly just excited to be at it again. However, it of course needs to make sense (e.g. financial, logistical, etc.). The main goal of this Hyatt mattress run is to earn Globalist status (Hyatt’s top tier) for two years. ~Screw The Average

The key to Shannon and Sergio’s successful mattress run was that Hyatt is offering many promotions to encourage people to stay at hotels as a result of COVID-19. The biggest promotion is that instead of needing 60 nights in a hotel to reach Globalist status, you only need 30 nights. While this cut the number of hotel nights in half, Shannon and Sergio were able to make the deal even sweeter with credit card reward points. By stacking deals, they were able to show that they only needed to stay in a hotel for 9 nights to achieve the status for 2 whole years. Want to replicate their success? Check out their blog for a Google Sheet template to track your progress and links to all of the promotions.

3 Smart Money Moves for the New Year

Although it seemed like 2020 would never end, we have now made it to 2021. January is a month when many people set resolutions to change their life for the better. Additionally, many New Year’s resolutions are about money. Did you set a New Year’s resolution about money? Is it a dream or do you have specific actions you want to take? If you’ve already fallen to the wayside of your money goal for 2021, check out this article by More Money Tips.

This step-by-step guide will show you exactly how to set SMART goals- goals that truly work, goals with specific examples you can use in your life to enjoy success. ~More Money Tips

Many people know that the acronym SMART goals stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. You may need to set SMART goals as part of your job. But do your New Year’s resolutions fit the criteria of SMART goals? If not, you might be setting yourself up for failure. While some people might make a New Year’s Resolution to “save more money”, it doesn’t meet the S,M, or T of SMART goals. If you’re having problem articulating your goals, the article walks through many of these common resolutions and turns them into SMART goals to help you achieve success!