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ICYMI #7 → Inflation Slightly Improves While Credit Card Balances Jump 15%

November 17, 2022

Illustration of ICYMI

Welcome back for another edition of ICYMI: A weekly-ish roundup of finance-related news that matters for you and your money.

😬 Inflation is slightly better

Inflation. It’s the dreaded word that seems to be in headlines everywhere (including this article). But we received good news with the latest data released from the US Dept of Labor – inflation fell slightly! The inflation rate is currently 7.7% compared to 8.2% last month. To put that into perspective, $100 in September of this year had the same buying power as $100.41 in October. While those numbers are still not great, they are headed in the right direction. We’ll keep you posted on how this impacts future announcements from the Fed in December.  

Pro tip: Keep your head up and your promo codes handy. It looks like inflation may be getting “better” with all of the rate hikes implemented by the Fed, but it’s not smooth sailing yet. Be sure to keep sticking to your budget and finding ways to save where you can.  

📈 Credit card balances jump 15%

According to the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data, credit card balances are up $38 billion from the previous quarter. On a year-over-year basis, this marked a 15 percent increase, the largest in more than twenty years.

Pro tip: If you’re feeling the crunch of additional charges on your credit card, take a look at your overall financial picture. Are these necessary purchases? If so, make a plan to try and pay more than the minimum each month to avoid additional interest accruing. If the purchases are something that you can either cut back on or use cash for, try taking that approach. But if you’re just overwhelmed and in need of more help, consider if The Payoff Loan might be a good option to get rid of your credit card debt. 

🎁 Don’t let holiday expectations create financial burdens

According to a recent Credit Karma survey, “38% of Americans want to cry when they think about how much the holidays will cost them this year.” That’s rough. But let us offer a gentle reminder that you don’t have to do all the holiday things to have a fulfilling holiday experience. While there may be expenses that you just can’t forgo, consider what you can remove from your list now to create less of a burden on your budget (and credit card statement) in 2023.  

Pro tip:
1. Set clear boundaries and expectations for yourself
2. Seek out family, friends, or partners who can help you stay accountable to your goals

💰 Write down 5 things you’re thankful for in your finances

During times of economic uncertainty, it’s easy to let it weigh you down. And that’s a very understandable reaction. However, your financial wellness could get a notable boost just by taking the time to write down five things that you’re thankful for in your financial journey. It could be anything from starting a budget to adding to your savings to swiping your credit card less these days. Whatever it is, take the time to think about it (or even jot it down somewhere!) to remind yourself of your progress.  

Pro tip: Consider adding a gratitude journal to your financial journey. According to research, “After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives.” It’s a free activity that is likely to have great returns in happiness. 

Data featured as of November 15, 2022