Credit cards… they are little pieces of plastic that everyone loves to hate, but everyone loves to use. They are so convenient, and along with that convenience sometimes comes trouble. We all know someone who has used one credit card to pay off others, and ended up in a spiral of debt. They were misled by the easy gratification and did not pay attention to the long-term costs of that debt.
The Skinny on Credit Cards: How to Master the Credit Card Game is a book in “the skinny on” series that covers many of the basics of credit cards. This book is geared toward the person who does not have a lot of experience with credit cards or with debt; we were all newbies, once. I was once a credit card newbie, myself, and while it was very easy to see the great advantages of the card, the hidden costs were much more difficult to see, and it certainly wasn’t in the interests of the credit card company to make it easy for me!
The book lays out the lessons in a very easy to read form. The skinny on books are done in a comic style; the author, Jim Randel, says that he was inspired by Japanese Manga. This makes the book an easy and quick read, which can be easily understood by anyone at any age. The lessons are explained through the story of Beth and Billy, a couple who has gotten into some trouble with credit card debt. Although Billy is the one with the degree, Beth is obviously the smart one.
Some of the lessons include the following:
- Minimum payments mean minimum satisfaction and a lot of debt.
- Watch out for “rebate/rewards“, and don’t get suckered into using a card more than you need to.
- Learn and be aware of your FICO score.
- Learn the strategies for reducing debt.
- Take personal responsibility (and parents, take responsibility for your children and teach them well).
The book also covers the recently passed Credit Card Act.
One downside of the book is that you will be done reading it within an hour or two, and if you already know a thing or two about debt and budgeting, you probably won’t learn anything new here. However, we all start somewhere, and this book is meant for those people.
I would highly recommend The Skinny on Credit Cards: How to Master the Credit Card Game for young people just starting out in college or for anyone getting their first credit card, or anyone starting to get out of credit card trouble. The graphic novel concept helps to ensure that even people with A.D.D will be able to read through to the end.
If you would like to read more, you can order the title direct from Amazon:
So, reader, what are your stories about credit card debt, and have you read this book or any others in “the skinny on” series? If so, what did you think about them? I have carried credit card balances in the past, myself, but I was lucky to not wind up as far down this road as Billy and Beth did.