It's really important to get a grip on your finances and learn to stick to budgets. That's why it's one of those things that I put on my bucket list to do before I turn 30--pay off my debt and stick to a budget. October 18th is National Get Smart About Credit Day and there are a few banks here in Minnesota that are helping to educate young people about the importance of using their credit wisely.

  • Center National Bank, Litchfield
  • U.S. Bank National Association, statewide
  • Wells Fargo Bank, statewide
  • Northwestern Bank, Ulen
  • Old National Bank, West Saint Paul

Participating banks will have volunteer bankers on-hand speaking with 8th grade classes about how credit works.

It's important to talk to your kids about how credit works and teach them good habits for the future. Some tips for using credit wisely include;

  • Create a budget of your monthly expenses. It's important to know how much money you're bringing in and how much needs to go out every month.
  • Borrow only what you can afford to pay back. Credit cards have limits...and that doesn't mean it's free money. It also isn't a challenge to try to spend up to the limit. You should treat your credit card like your debit card. Only spend what you have.
  • Pay your bills on time.
  • Carry credit card balances responsibly. If you have to put things on credit...make sure you can afford the monthly payments.
  • Check your credit report at a minimum of once per month. There are many free options online to check your score. Typically your bank should have a free option for you.