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Allie Johnson

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Allie Johnson

Allie Johnson is an award-winning freelance writer and regular contributor to CreditCardGuide.com. She tracks down practical money advice consumers can use on topics like saving, finding deals, getting rid of debt and using debit and credit cards wisely. She has a journalism degree from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, and her work has appeared in a variety of magazines, newspapers and websites.

 
 

Allie Johnson's blog posts at CreditCardGuide.com

Why My Credit-Only Experiment Failed

My husband and I recently did an experiment: We switched from using a combination of a debit card and cash to using mostly credit. I’ve always loved the idea of racking up rewards, and I wanted to see if we could keep our spending about the same while earning enough miles for a nice vacation. [...]

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A Thief Swiped my Credit Card Information

In all of the years I’ve been using credit cards, I’ve never had a fraudulent charge on my account — until last weekend. I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner and swiped my rewards card: declined. I assumed it was a glitch with the grocery store’s card reader, [...]

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6 lessons I learned from the recession

Recovery from the recession has been a slog over the past few years. But lately, coming out on the other side, I am finally feeling optimistic about my own finances. Recently, though, I saw a May 2013 report from The Pew Charitable Trusts. It found that my generation — Generation X — was hardest hit [...]

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The Biggest Credit Lessons I Learned — the Hard Way

I use my credit cards responsibly, paying them off in full every month and earning rewards. But it hasn’t always been this way: credit cards and I have a long and rocky history. Looking back down credit card memory lane, though, I see that I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes. Lesson No. 1: Learn [...]

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‘Want’ Money Can Help You Stick to Your Budget

Some people call it “mad” money, others call it “fun” money, and I call it “want” money. Whatever term you use, many personal finance experts say it’s important to have some  money designated for splurges. I love the definition of “mad money” from FreeDictionary.com: “Money for frivolous purchases or little luxuries; money for a bit [...]

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When it’s OK to Splurge

When you’re trying to stick to a strict budget, a splurge can seem like a bad idea. But is it? Not always. In the middle of a big push to get out of debt, I recently bought a $500 Vitamix blender. I don’t normally drop that much cash on kitchen gadgets — in fact, I’m [...]

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What Dieting Can Teach You about Budgeting

I’ve been trying to lose a few pounds, so I’ve recently started tracking calories for the first time ever. Yes, really. In the past, I was drawn to those diets that advertise no calorie counting — even if I had to eat grapefruit or cabbage soup all day long, at least I didn’t have to [...]

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Cash Only vs. Credit Only: Which Saves You More Money?

For those looking to save money, some personal finance experts recommend a strict cash-only spending strategy, sometimes referred to as an “envelope system.” Others extol the virtues of credit cards — used responsibly of course. So, which is better? I’ve used both. When my husband was in grad school, at the height of the recession, [...]

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Should you Use an Inheritance to Pay off Debt?

Two weeks ago, we were staring down a $57,000-plus student loan. We had a plan to put most of our extra money toward this whopper of a debt to wipe it out over the next few years. But it was going to be a long haul. Today, we are debt free. This unexpected turn in [...]

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Forget Cash-Only: We Just Went Plastic-Only

My husband and I recently made a big change in the way we handle our finances: We’re now using an airline rewards card for almost all our monthly expenses. We used to pay bills right from our bank account via online banking and paid cash for almost everything else. Making the switch to credit was [...]

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