This post is sponsored by American Express
End of Summer Update:
Well, here we are. Another summer has come and is on its way out. We’ve had a lot of fun being on a houseboat at Lake Mead, getting soaked during water fights, and gazing up at fireworks in the night sky. BUT! We still have a few weeks left…so, our little family is trying to make the most of it.
In our little part of Utah, we are lucky to have many “end of summer” carnivals, parades, and concerts in every town. This year we decided to check them out and use our Amex EveryDay Card at some of the family-friendly games and petting zoo during the American Fork Steel Days carnival! It was fun seeing Eli’s reaction to all of the animals and see his enthusiasm during the games. Now, I get it. Some of you may be thinking, “why spend money on dumb carnival games where you never win?” And you may be right. But it creates those memories that last a lifetime.
Over time, I’m starting to see more and more the importance of spending our money on experiences instead of things. Spending these waning summer weeks supporting local events have been a blast for our family and is something we will cherish for years. Yes, an iPhone or a new toy might last longer physically; but, it will eventually fade and get lost. The many experiences I’ve had this summer have been some of my favorites thus far in my life. Thankfully, the Amex EveryDay Card has helped me earn Membership Reward points on eligible purchases, which can be later applied to eligible charges I make on my Card *.
I hope you and your family were able to make some amazing memories this summer as well.
Share your new memories in the comments below!
As many of you may know, Melanie and I recently made one of the biggest decisions of our lives. You know, besides falling madly in love with one another and choosing to have our crazy little tornado of a child…WE BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOUSE! The moment we were done nervously signing those loan papers (and the next 30 years of our lives away), we felt at peace that we had made the right decision. We were also super excited to fulfill our New Year’s resolution of buying a home (Double win!).
But, this whole process, and the ultimate success of our buying a home, wouldn’t have been possible without three things:
Being smart with our money: we didn’t spend more than we earned, and we SAVED.
Building up credit: we wanted to show banks that we were people that could be trusted to manage money properly. I’ve had a credit card since I was 16 (shows long-time credit history), I have always paid off my cards before the end of the month, and I avoid spending more than 50% of my credit limit before paying off the card.
Keeping a pulse on your credit: knowing what our credit score was helped us make decisions years before we ever thought of buying a house. Knowing what actions help or hurt your score will ultimately affect what you do in the short term for your long-term goals.
The last point I shared I believe is one of the unsung heroes in the preparation to a large purchase such as a home or vehicle. Tools like the new American Express MyCredit Guide that are open to consumers whether or not they are a Card Member, can be key for your success. MyCredit Guide not only provides your current VantageScore® credit score by TransUnion® but it also offers insight about what actions positively or negatively affect your score, provides access to a credit score simulator, gives you the details with a TransUnion credit report, and helps you to identify possible identity fraud through alert emails.
At the end of the day, my wife and I have had to make a lot of little financial choices in order to make this HUGE financial decision. Having a tool like MyCredit Guide is a game changer for us to make sure we had the best credit to get the lowest rate for our home (because who wants to give more money to someone else than you have to, am I right??).
Visit www.AmericanExpress.com/MyCreditGuide for terms and to learn more.
Summer Prep Update:
Life for my family has been crazy with me changing jobs, buying a new house, and all of the other plans coming our way the last month or so. BUT! Now that we are settling into our new home, we can finally start to prepare for the upcoming summer season.
As I’m sure some of you know, going from the apartment lifestyle to a new home means you have a lot of empty space. We still aren’t sure what we are supposed to do with it all, but Melanie and I figured we could start with fixing up the yard and then move to the inside. So, we made our way to the local garden center to find what we need while also racking up some points on our Amex EveryDay Card as well.
Doing so has been super helpful because once you make 20 or more purchases on the Card in a billing period, you can earn 20% extra points on those purchases*. For example, instead of just 2x points on purchases at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 a year in purchases), you could be getting 2.4x – so they add up even faster!
We’re excited to have the extra points so we can prepare our home to comfortably entertain our guests and new neighbors. Our points have allowed us to treat ourselves a couple extra items on our shopping list. We’ve been able to redeem our points for gift cards to some of our favorite retail stores*, apply them to eligible charges on our statement*, or even shop for some products directly*. Read more about all the ways you can redeem points here.
With summer just around the corner, we’ve still got a lot to tackle! Thankfully, our Amex EveryDay Card helps make the financial side of things a little bit easier.
We are super excited about getting ready for all of the activities that this season brings. What are you doing to get ready for your summer? Let me know in the comments below!
Spring is finally here! Well, kind of… we still had snow just the other week, and it seems like Mother Nature can’t make up her mind about the temperature either. But, nonetheless, the calendar says it’s spring, so I’m sticking to it! And, as spring represents starting anew, we are gearing up for a major cleaning and checkup in our house.
However, this year isn’t just your typical spring cleaning for us…we’re also using this time to reevaluate our fitness goals, relationship goals, and finances. Reviewing our personal finances every so often has proved to be super beneficial. When we reviewed our financial situation 3-4 months ago, we realized there were some opportunities to improve our credit score (as I noted below). Taking out another credit card helped add another financial account to show banks that we are able to handle debt properly, which, in turn, helped us score higher as we get pre-qualified for buying our first home!
BUT… that’s not all…opening the Amex EveryDay Credit Card also opened us to a world of benefits even beyond the welcome offers I mentioned previously. We particularly love that you can earn 2x points at US supermarkets* on up to $6,000 in purchases per year and that you get 1x points for every eligible dollar you spend!* (Which can be quite a bit as it seems our life is full of expenses these days!) And since the point of this is ultimately the benefits of “everyday” use, if you make 20 or more purchases on the Card in a billing period, you can earn 20% more points on those purchases.*
All in all, this could be a great time to make sure your finances and personal health are in check so you can fully enjoy the change of the season with your family.
So, we did it. My wife and I furthered our journey into adulthood by getting a new credit card. BUT, before all of the Dave Ramsey-ites get up in a tizzy, we did it for a couple reasons.
We were looking for another credit card to open. Why? We have been doing great with our credit score in pretty much all areas but one… the total number of accounts (i.e. total number of credit cards/loan accounts). We’ve been hesitant with credit cards in the past and have stuck to one or two. The end goal is to build up our credit score so that banks like us when it comes time to buy a house.
The Amex EveryDay Credit Card just rolled out a new welcome offer that’s too good to pass up. The $0 balance transfer fee** on transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening and the 0% intro APR** on purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months (then the rate varies 14.49-25.49%) are great, and after we spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months, we can earn 10,000 Membership Rewards points* that we can put towards something for our new house. And let’s not forget to mention — NO annual Fee**!
Basically, this is a win across the board. If you are working to pay down a balance, this might be a saving grace for you to catch up and not worry about extra interest costs or balance transfer fees. If you don’t have a current balance, it’s still a great way to continue to build credit and take advantage of an awesome rewards program.
Stayed tuned over the next couple months as I will be giving you more tips about this card as I continue to use it!
Learn more about this card here.
**NOTE: Although I work professionally as a financial analyst in the corporate world, I am not a professional financial advisor. If you are struggling with debt or financial management, please consult with a personal finance professional for any individual needs specific to your situation.