Empty Nest Finances: Don?t Forget the Credit Card

You?ve accomplished a lot with your money and your life. As you transition to an empty nest, don?t forget to include credit cards in your calculations.

My son recently turned 13. As a result, I?ve thought a lot about what I will do in five to six years when he leaves home for college. We?ve had an interesting time of it lately, recently moving across the country and setting up a new home. And, because I?m recently divorced, I know that once my son is gone I?ll really have an empty nest.

Retirement

As I consider what?s next, I?ve thought about my finances, and what I want from life. Just thinking about it, even though it?s still half a decade away, makes me a little sad. But it also excites me. I?ll be 42 and I?ll have a lot of time to figure out what I want to be ? and to enjoy watching my son become who he wants to be.

I?ve come to the conclusion that I?d probably like to travel more (although my son and I travel a few times a year as it is). I?m not alone in this. According to a BuyPower Card Survey from Capital One, 50% of respondents said they would like to splurge on a dream vacation. Of course, I plan to make it more of a lifestyle than a splurge, so I?ll need to plan my finances accordingly.

Use Credit Card Rewards for Your Empty Nest Financial Goals

While you?re planning for the next stage of your life, don?t forget to use credit cards. One of the cool things about credit card rewards is that you can earn toward even more goals. If you are among the 50% of soon-to-be-empty-nesters that want a dream vacation, use a rewards card to pay for that vacation.

The BuyPower Card from Capital One is a good example of using rewards to work toward another goal. Pay for your vacation with the BuyPower Card, and you can earn rewards that can be redeemed toward an eligible new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle. If you?re one of the 55% of Americans who want a luxury sedan or a new SUV, this can be the perfect way to use your vacation to help you get a little closer to your dream car.

Other credit card rewards can also be valuable for you in rejiggering your empty nest finances. Cashback cards and travel rewards card can help you make the most of whatever you spend your money on. This is a good habit to get into even if you aren?t approaching the empty nest stage.

Create a financial plan that allows you to save for your priorities. (I automate my finances so that my retirement contributions, emergency fund efforts, charitable donations, and bills are taken care of without my attention.) Then, let your money sit in your bank account for a month while you make your payments with credit cards. My checking account is a money market account that earns interest. I pay for everything ? even my rent! ? with a rewards credit card and then pay off the balance each month. It?s a good way to rack up rewards that I can redeem for things I want.

However, this approach isn?t for everyone. You might not be comfortable with using a credit card for everything, so it makes sense to pick and choose what you can already pay for before you pull out the plastic. Additionally, you have to watch out for the possibility that you will overspend and wind up in debt. The most important thing is to avoid debt spending.

You have a chance to get to know yourself again when the kids are out of the house, and a responsible credit card plan can help you reap the benefits associated with enjoying life.

Thank you Capital One for sponsoring this post! This is a paid endorsement. All opinions are my own and were not directed by Capital One. To learn more about the BuyPower Card from Capital One visit?www.BuyPowerCard.com.

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