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The typical credit card charges about 16 percent interest per year on balances, effectively adding $16 to each $100 in expenses that are left on a credit card. Some charge as much as 29 percent if youre late on a payment and have to pay penalty interest.

Avoiding a credit card balance by paying the bill before the due date each month is the best way to avoid such extra charges"but thats rare. For every five credit card accounts, more than three carry a balance from one month to the next, according to a Federal Reserve payments study.

Here are some ways to avoid paying credit card interest:

Know the Grace Period
Most people think they only have a month to pay off a credit card bill. By knowing their cards grace period, they can see how much more time they have. A grace period is the time allotted to pay off your credit card bill without incurring any interest. It starts on the last day of your billing cycle and runs through the due date for that cycle.

Knowing what your credit cards billing cycle is can give you about three more weeks to pay off purchases. The key, however, is not forgetting what the payment due date is and paying the full amount by that due date.

For example, a credit cards billing cycle may start on the twenty-third of one month and end on the same day a month later, such as May 23 " June 23. The payment due date could be July 17. In this case, the grace period might be June 24 to July 17"about three weeks long. Instead of having a month to pay the bill off, you now have about seven weeks.

Pay as You Buy
If you really want to be diligent about avoiding interest charges, pay off charges on your credit card as soon as you make them.

Credit card companies are happy to accept payment at any time, even multiple times in a month. So, every time you make a purchase with your credit card, immediately transfer money from your bank to the credit card company for the same amount. You can often do this through your credit cards app on your phone, or you can set up weekly payments of a certain amount if you expect to make a certain number of purchases per week.

Pay in Full Each Month
Paying off the credit card bill in full each month is the best way to avoid interest charges. Do whatever it takes to pay it by the due date. Send yourself email and other alerts, keep track of purchases to ensure you have enough money in your checking account to pay the bill, and stick to a budget.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

A bold and beautiful combination of Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern, heres how to infuse the Hollywood Regency Style into your home.

Bold Patterns and Palettes

Contrasting color combinations and simple patterns are used to create visual drama throughout.

Go Big on Lavish Details

Bring out the lacquered furniture and metallic finishes. This is a style for those who want to put grandeur on full display.

Plush Textures

It wouldnt be glamorous without a few sumptuous layers, like silk window treatments and velvet throw pillows.

Embrace Your Eclectic Side

Juxtaposing modern and traditional elements is a hallmark of Hollywood Regency.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Building good credit in college is one of the best financial moves students can make. Having good credit allows them to qualify for loans, rental applications, auto insurance, phone plans and can help them get a job.

Being responsible with credit is the best way to establish and improve a credit score. For college students without much credit history, there are small but important steps they can take to build up their score.

Obtaining a Student Credit Card

Some credit cards are marketed to students and others who dont have much borrowing history. Federal laws restrict issuing credit cards to anyone under 21 unless the applicant has the independent ability to repay debt or has an adult co-signer who accepts joint liability for the account.

Student credit cards may have low credit limits, such as $1,000, but they are otherwise indistinguishable from other credit cards. They may even have features such as cash back, no annual fees and budget management tools.

Using Credit Cards Wisely

After getting a credit card, students can start using it slowly and for occasional, small purchases that can be paid for on time. This will help build credit history and help them stay out of debt.

Students shouldn’t let a new card sit in their wallet. They must use it or risk the bank closing it due to inactivity. Putting small, recurring charges on it, such as a Netflix account or other website subscription, is an easy way to maintain use at a low cost.

Students shouldn’t make any big purchases unless its an emergency. Having low debt levels on their credit card will allow them to have enough of a credit line available in an emergency, and will increase the credit utilization part of their credit score.

Building Credit With Student Loans

One of the last things college students want is to default on their student loans, as this affects credit.

Borrowers should make at least the minimum payment each month and do it on time. They should borrow only what they need to go to school, instead of using the funds to buy a car or dine out. Once they graduate, they may want to consolidate their student loans to get a better interest rate.

On-time payments and paying off student loans will improve the credit score over time. If students run into problems making payments, they should contact their student loan provider and ask for forbearance. Federal student loans also offer Income-Driven Repayment plans that base payments on a borrowers income.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Having all of your familys money in one bank account can make keeping track of your money easier, but it might not help your family meet its financial goals.

Instead of one big fund for everything " such as a checking account " you might be better equipped to meet several small financial goals with multiple bank accounts. If youre smart about them, you might also save on fees and make more money off of your money.

Here are five bank accounts every family should have:

1. Regular savings. This is an account to hold money in and only use when needed. You can attach a goal to it, such as saving for a down payment on a house or a family vacation, or it can just sit around for lifes unexpected expenses. Try to save up to three months of living expenses in this fund in case of a short-term emergency.

2. Emergency savings. This account should be used as a last resort and is for big emergencies, such as losing a job and having enough money set aside for 6 – 12 months of living expenses.

3. Joint checking account. This is used to pay your regular bills and other family expenses, though not medical bills, which well get to soon. Its an account you probably already have and is where most of your income should go before its used to pay bills or moved to other accounts. This account should at least cover your monthly expenses.

4. Spousal checking accounts. Each spouse should have their own checking account so that they can buy something however they see fit. The amount shouldnt be a secret from the other spouse, and it can be used as fun money. If everything else in your budget has been paid for, the money in this account is each persons spot to use as theyd like to.

5. Health Savings Account. Also called an HSA, this is a tax-free account to hold money for medical expenses, from prescriptions to hospital stays. There are some rules to understand before using an HSA, so ask your Human Resources department at work or search online for details. If youre spending a few thousand dollars a year on your familys medical costs, a tax-free HSA can make it less expensive.

How much money you put into these accounts is up to you, but do yourself a favor and make it easy by using direct deposit so that a specified amount of money is automatically deposited into each account each month.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

If you plan to repaint your interiors this year, don’t forget to pick a hue that will positively impact your mood. While bright red or neon green may be fun, they can subconsciously create stress in the body. Below are five peaceful paint colors to up the “ahhh” factor of your favorite spaces.

Violet
A dusty purple can promote balance and inner peace. Make sure to pick a shade with more blue tones and less black for a relaxing vibe.

Green
While a neon green can be alarming, a less bright shade (think forest or grass) can be calming and refreshing.

Gray
While some may think gray is dull, it actually has been shown to be a soothing, stress-free color. Plus, it goes with nearly any accent hue, so you can get creative with accompanying colors.

Blue
Choose a gentle ocean blue in the bedroom for a restful night’s sleep. Known to reduce tension, opt for a lighter shade when choosing your blue.

Yellow
A rich, buttery yellow can brighten your spirits. Perfect for bathrooms and kitchens, paint your whole space or a singular accent wall and soak up that sunny disposition.

Published with permission from RISMedia.