Credit cards can be a great tool. They’re convenient, help build your credit history, and come with benefits like cashback and travel rewards. For all their virtues, however, credit cards can come with a big downside when they’re not used wisely. They can tempt us to spend more than we normally would and things can quickly spiral out of control before we even realize.
At 22, I was professionally flailing. I’d spent my three years since dropping out of college working at a hardware chain and then at a clothing store, finally realizing after too much managerial drama that I didn’t want a future in folding jeans. So, after too many shifts spent crying over the cash register and educating my 17-year-old employees on the symptoms of a quarter-life crisis, I asked a friend for an in at the bank across the street. She worked there, she liked it, and she thought I would too. So I bought a fancy interview outfit, updated my resume, and found myself hired for a new branch about 20 minutes away.