3 basics of budgeting with your first credit card

by | Sep 1, 2023 | Finance and Business

Whether you’re a newcomer getting your life established or a student getting your first credit card, learning how to use and leverage credit as a financial management tool will go a long way to set you up for success.

“By managing a credit card well you’ll be able to keep finances in check, and you’ll also reap the benefits of increasing your credit score,” says Amit Brahme, senior director of newcomer and cultural client segment at Royal Bank of Canada. “And, with many credit cards today, you can take advantage of rewards points or cash back that the card offers.”

Here are three top tips for managing your expenses with your credit card:

  • Track your spending. Your monthly credit card statements list every purchase you’ve made using your card, which can be helpful for tracking where and how you spend your money. You can use these insights to see where you need to cut down on spending and how much money you need to put towards certain purchases each month, such as groceries or gas.
  • Pay your balance in full each month. As long as you pay off your balance in full each month, you won’t need to pay any interest, so your credit card can be a way to stay within your budget.
  • Use your card wisely. Consider whether an item is a “need” or a “want” before making large purchases. Monitor how much of your credit limit you’re using. The amount of your available credit that you use is called your credit utilization ratio. The rule of thumb is to keep your ratio below 30 per cent. The lower your ratio, the better you’re managing your credit, and the better it looks on your credit history.

Find more information at rbc.com/newcomers

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