Check your credit score, credit card debt and dollar store bargains.

1. When was the Last Time You Did a Credit Score Check?

Budgets are Sexy — The last time J. Money checked was a year and 10 months ago. But when he recently logged on to his USAA account he found his score waiting for him free of charge. The bottom line of this blog is — go get your free credit score check (if your bank now offers it) and credit report.

It’s important to analyze them and understand why your credit score is low, high, or in-between. I won’t go over all the reasons why because J. Money does it very nicely in this blog.

2. What to Do if You Are in Credit Card Debt

Young Adult Money — The first thing DC recommends is “seek help.” For selfish reasons I believe that’s a very good idea. Certified credit counselors are an excellent option and you are eligible for a free debt analysis if you call us at (855) 912-6620.

I also think his balance transfer to a 0% credit card is smart. But one warning, the best terms and most desirable offers usually require good to excellent credit. Read the comments section below the blog for additional advice.

3. 15 Things You Should Buy From the Dollar Store

Money mini blog — These things are specific to real dollar stores like Dollar Tree, not “maybe $1, maybe $3” similar stores like Dollar General. Kalen provides a bunch of really good deals. I like the spices, food containers and batteries. His favorite is the dollar greeting cards —especially when the original $3 or $4 price tag is on the back.

He also gives you 15 “Save More Money” tips after each Dollar Store deal.  If you’re worried about the quality of these products, remember — they only cost a dollar to test out.

4. Why I Can’t Throw My Kids a Birthday Party

Frugal Rules — Cat and her husband have one-year-old twins. They don’t think it’s necessary to throw a blowout, expensive party for them. I agree. (Especially since they’re too young to remember it.)  I also agree that birthday parties “have gotten completely 100 percent out of control.”

She also provides three other reasons why she doesn’t want to throw a big party. One reason is she just doesn’t want the stress. After throwing my share of birthday parties along with my wife, that’s a valid concern.

5. 7 Credit Cards That Offer Credit Scores for Free

Dough Roller — Since we brought up the importance of knowing your credit score, we’ll follow up with this helpful blog from Rob. Depending on the card, scores from FICO, Credit Tracker, Experian, Transunion or Equifax are used.

Rob also takes the time to explain credit score basics and how the credit card companies make the score available — via email alerts, statements and online. It seems like the Barclay card is the only one that offers the official FICO score. That’s the score “used by most banks for lending and mortgage purposes.”

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Brian Bienkowski

Brian Bienkowski


Bienkowski is a contributing writer and is the face of's 'By the Numbers' videos.

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Article last modified on August 30, 2018 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Around the Web: Credit Score Check - AMP.