Follow This One-Size-Fits-All Financial Advice

One of the underlying principles of Lifehacker is that not every hack works for every person. This is especially true of money advice, because everyone’s individual situation and goals will vary dramatically from everyone else’s. You might overspend when using a credit card, for example, so advice on the best rewards card doesn’t work for you. But there are some rules-of-thumb that make sense for pretty much everyone to follow. Those include:Don’t Accrue Credit Card DebtThis one is obvious, but it bears repeating: If you’re using a card to “pay” for something because you don’t have the money in your bank account, you’re digging yourself into debt, and you’ll end up paying significantly more in the longterm. On a similar note, you shouldn’t spend more than you earn, and you should always pay your bill on time, even if you can only make the minimum payment. But those go without saying, er, writing, right?You might think that this applies to all debt, but that’s not the case. There’s a difference between “good” debt and bad debt. To put it simply: Good debt, like a mortgage or car loan, will typically help your credit score because it is secured by something tangible, while bad debt, like credit card debt, will harm your credit score because it is not.What Is ‘Good’ Debt?Each Monday we’re tackling one of your pressing personal finance questions by asking a handful of…Read more ReadStudent loan debt is a trickier topic—it can be good debt for many people, in that it might help boost a credit score and open up more opportunities. But it can also be bad if it oppressively overshadows every financial and career decision you make. As with all things, there are shades of gray and variations between the two extremes.Exceptions: You’re in the midst
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