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Kristin McGrath

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Kristin McGrath

In her career as an editor and writer, Kristin McGrath has covered everything from personal finance, to politics, to arts and entertainment. She most recently worked as an editor for Bankrate Insurance, tackling topics like coverage questions and complex policy clauses.

Previously, she worked as managing editor of Louie, a small monthly magazine in St. Louis. She also spent a year covering entertainment for USA Today's Life section, interviewing actors, musicians and American Idols.

Kristin holds a master's degree in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University in Washington, D.C. She has had the same credit card for nearly 10 years and admits she's sometimes afraid to use it.

 
 

Kristin McGrath's blog posts at CreditCardGuide.com

Could you go a year without spending? These roommates are trying

“Spending fasts” and no-spend challenges are a staple of the personal finance advice world. The idea is to cut down on discretionary spending for a certain amount of time (often as little as a day) except for  necessary bills. When done regularly, no-spend challenges can give your wallet a break, help you bulk up your [...]

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How much is lunch costing you?

As I’ve tried to cut my living expenses in various ways over the years, there remains one stubborn habit that’s hard to kick — going out to eat for lunch. At my worst, I was buying lunch every day (my workplace had a cafeteria) to the tune of about $7 per day. Now, I buy [...]

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Is financial independence a requirement for adulthood?

At what age did you become financially independent? If you’re a part of the millennial generation (between 18 and 31 years of age), research suggests you’re more likely to answer that question with, “Oh, I’m still working on that.” Actually, if you’re like a lot of millennials I know, you might answer, “Hey, do YOU [...]

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Study: Being poor hijacks your brain

Think about how well you function after a night of no sleep. Chances are, your day will be filled with slip-ups, forgotten tasks and an inability to concentrate on more than one thing at a time. Being poor, new research from Princeton University has found, affects you the same way. The paper, “Poverty impedes cognitive [...]

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I turned down car rental insurance at the counter. Bad idea?

I don’t rent cars often, but when I have, I’ve always responded “sign me up!” when the agent got to the part about insurance. But when I picked up my rental early this morning, I said, “Thanks, but I’ll pass.” The reason? My new credit card’s rental insurance protections. The story My boyfriend and I [...]

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My rewards card plan

As I mentioned last week, I applied for the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage card. And I’m glad to report that I was accepted. The card is in my wallet, it’s linked to my AAdvantage rewards account, and I’m ready to start charging. I’ve got a sign-up bonus of 30,000 miles to earn and $1,000 to [...]

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How I picked the rewards card that (I think) is right for me

I’ve been in the market for a new credit card for a while. My credit history suggests I can probably get a pretty good card, so I’ve been scoping out rewards cards for the past few months. I’m an extreme comparison shopper at heart, and found myself oscillating between cash-back cards and travel rewards cards. [...]

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“I Can’t Believe I Charged That:” Our contest winners

Last week marked the end of our “I Can’t Believe I Charged That” Facebook essay contest. We asked contestants to share their story of an unbelievable credit card purchase — and we’re thrilled to announce our Top 3 winners and honorable mentions. Thanks so much to all who entered. Our panel had fun reading (and [...]

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Shopping to cure loneliness? It may actually work

Ever turned to retail therapy to cure a bout of loneliness? If you fit the right personality profile, it may be a pretty effective cure, new research says. The most expensive article of clothing in my closet was purchased right after I moved to a new city. With no local friends yet and a week [...]

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The Rules I Made as an Underemployed, Freaked-Out College Grad

Did you graduate from college in May? If you’re like a lot of new grads, this summer has been a tough one of job searches and inconsistent (or non-existent) work. According to a July 6 article in the Miami Herald, recent grads are learning the hardest lesson that personal finance courses can’t convey: How much [...]

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