The Gift Card Minefield: How To Get Your Money's Worth

The holiday season may seem far away, but if you’re like most people, by the time the urge (or necessity) to shop hits you, planning out and buying individual gifts for everyone on your list may not be a feasible, or at the very least pleasant, option. For many of us, that means taking a much too common shortcut: hitting the gift card stand.


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Minimum Payments: A Monster That Will Eat You Alive

Using credit cards comes with plenty of traps, but none is as deep — or easy to fall into — as minimum payments. Card issuers make it seem so easy: even if you owe thousands of dollars, you could settle that monthly bill with a minimum payment that’s just a small percentage of your actual balance. Minimum payments can be as low as 1.5%, so you could pay less than $100 on a balance that’s in the four digits!

This visualization of the disastrous effects of making minimum payments.