This post was made in collaboration with Chase Freedom Unlimited. All opinions are my own.
It’s been seven months since I started my journey to take figure skating more seriously. It’s also been seven months since I got my Chase Freedom Unlimited card. I want to share an update on my figure skating goal, including what was easy and what was hard. After all, it’s not a journey without ups and downs! Plus, I want to share five credit card tips you should know. Financial responsibility is something everyone should take seriously. Having an honest and open conversation with yourself about money is critical.
While Johnny usually takes these photos for me, I wanted to share something special about this shoot. My good friend Jordan Cowan of On Ice Perspectives snapped these incredible shots for me. He’s a former Team USA Ice Dancer and truly brings a unique perspective to viewing figure skating because he’s on the ice with you.
Figure Skating Update
Let’s start with the hard stuff. Earlier this year, I injured myself doing the spin above without properly warming up. Since then, my hamstring has really been bothering me. I definitely can’t do the same spin. Not to mention, I feel it when I do certain workouts. It affects me on and off the ice. Thankfully, it doesn’t affect my day-to-day life and for that, I’m so thankful. Every night I’ve been working to stretch my leg more and more. Yes, it’s time-consuming and a little bit painful, but no pain, no gain. It was definitely a hard lesson to learn and has been even harder overcoming the injury but I’m glad I did sooner, rather than later.
The good? My skating skills have gotten so much better. I feel more in tune and comfortable on the ice, which is something that just takes time and repetition. I’m skating faster, bending my knees more and have better flow over the ice. Plus, I’ve gotten to spend even more time with Johnny since we always go skating together.
One reason I love skating is progress is never always an upward trend. There are ups and downs. Just because you’ve taken a step back doesn’t mean you’re doomed forever or not making daily progress. Sometimes you do have to take a step back in order to go forward.
Five Greatest Credit Card Tips
Let’s talk money. Credit cards can be a little scary but if you use them correctly, they can be a powerful financial tool. I want to share 5 greatest credit card tips you should know, so you can take advantage of what your credit card has to offer.
1. Pay Your Balance in Full
I always pay off my balance in full and on time. Resist spending more than you can afford. This way you avoid accruing debt. If I know I can afford it by the due date, but not this very second, I put it on the credit card. That way you don’t lose out on a good sale or something you need because you can’t afford it that very second but will be able to in a few weeks. There is a reason this is the first on my list of 5 greatest credit card tips you should know.
2. Use a Rewards Card
I got my first Chase credit card in 2016 and this year got the Chase Freedom Unlimited. When choosing a credit card, the perks are important. I love how I earn 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase. This means I’m always earning points on every purchase and not just select ones. If there are one or two cards where the perks are fantastic, try to make all of your purchases with those cards so you can really rack up points or in this case, earn cash back.
3. Spend 30% or Less of your Limit
It may be tempting to use up what you can, especially in a month when you need to make a lot of purchases. However, the best way to build up your credit score is to spend less than 30% of your limit. Also, if you get a raise, make sure you update your salary, so your limit is raised. That way, it’s easier to spend less than 30%.
4. Change Your Due Date
If the due date on your credit card comes at a very inconvenient time of the month, you can usually call and ask for it to be changed. Missing a payment is really bad for your FICO credit score. While it is better to pay the minimum payment than to not pay at all, it’s preferred to pay in full, per my first tip.
5. Set Balance Alerts
To avoid going over your budget, set an alert for when you reach a certain balance. I recommend 20 percent. That way you’re aware of how much you’re spending and can take it slow the rest of the month if it’s been a heavy spending period. Keeping yourself in check is key and sometimes all we need is a little reminder.