Cash or credit?
Many experts will tell you that using credit whenever possible is your best bet. However, if you have difficulty staying out of debt, credit cards can be a burden.
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An easy way to get control of your finances is to reduce the number of credit cards you have, according to Sandra Campos, CEO of fashion brand Diane von Furstenberg.
The first step is to realize how much you are spending and how much money you are taking home. Making a budget will help, however, it is important to keep in mind that several open lines of credit may make you think you can spend more than your earn. Incentive programs that card companies offer, such as credit card points and cashback, can also lead to overspending.
Advice from her mother has been a guiding principle for Campos: “Reduce the amount of credit cards you have and really focus on cash.”
Cash and debit cards are good ways to spend if you don’t have great credit or are trying to get a handle on your finances. According to one study, paying with cash not only leads to better choices, it also increases the emotional attachment to that purchase.
Campos herself uses one credit card, opting to use cash and debit for her spending, though there are times when it may make more sense to use a credit card, such as online purchases, traveling and for record-keeping.
Disclosure: Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow. is a financial wellness and education initiative from CNBC and Acorns, the micro-investing app. NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.