Kat Tretina

Kat Tretina

Kat Tretina is a freelance writer in Orlando, Florida. She double majored in English and Communications at Elizabethtown College, before going on to earn a Masters in Communications from West Chester University. She specializes in personal finance and is dedicated to helping people improve their financial futures.

  1. 7 Ways to Make Money Over the Holidays

    Trying to buy thoughtful gifts for friends and family and finding just the right outfit for every holiday party can hurt your budget. If you’ve been working on paying down student loan debt or building an emergency fund, the holidays can be a serious setback.

    Read On
  2. Save This Holiday Season With Discounted Gift Cards

    Last year, Americans planned to spend $929 on holiday gifts. That number doesn’t even touch on decorations, holiday outfits, or travel expenses. To pay for those gifts, many people turn to credit cards. But, thanks to high interest rates, their credit card balance can grow over time and it can take months to pay it off.

    Read On
  3. What You Need to Know Before Black Friday

    Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, is noted as the biggest day for retailers of the year. Millions of people turn out in stores and online to score deals on electronics, clothes, and more. But before you camp out at the nearest department store at 2:00 a.m., it’s important to know that Black Friday isn’t always what it seems.

    Read On
  4. The Best Business Credit Cards for Your Side Hustle

    Getting a business credit card can not only help you keep your business and personal expenses separate, but some also offer rewards and other features that are specifically tailored to your business. They can help you save money on expenses so you can take home more profit.

    Read On
  5. 4 Factors to Consider Before Taking Out a Personal Loan

    I decided to take out a personal loan to wipe out my credit card debt. My new loan had a much lower interest rate, so more of my payments went towards the principal rather than interest. Taking out that loan helped me become debt-free much faster. While a personal loan was a smart choice for me, they’re not for everyone. Here’s what you need to consider before applying for a loan.

    Read On
  6. Do You Really Need Gap Insurance?

    If you’ve ever bought a car at a dealership, you may have felt pressured to add gap insurance to your contract. For some people, gap insurance may be a good deal. But for others, it can be a complete waste of money.

    Read On
  7. 5 Ways to Make Money With Your Car

    If your savings account is low and you need cash quickly, side hustles can be a smart way to make extra money. And, if you own a car, your earning potential can dramatically increase. Having access to a vehicle can help you earn more money in your spare time, so you can pay for unexpected expenses as they come up without using loans or credit cards.

    Read On
  8. How to Protect Yourself With Renter's Insurance

    35 percent of American households rent their homes. Renting makes sense for many reasons: you might not be financially ready to buy a home, are testing out a new city, or it might be cheaper to rent than to buy in your area. Renting can be a great solution, but there are some risks involved. If you are going to lease a home, you need to have an essential safeguard against damage or theft: renter’s insurance.

    Read On
  9. Free and Discounted Mental Health Resources

    According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 43 million adults in the United States have a mental illness. That number is approximately 18 percent of the nation’s population. Yet, mental illnesses are rarely talked about.

    Read On
  10. 6 Things to Do If Your Identity Was Stolen

    Finding out that someone has committed fraud in your name can be one of the most stressful moments of your life. You feel violated and anxious, not knowing what else the person might do in your name.

    Read On
  11. 5 Side Hustles That Pay $20/Hr and Up

    When you’re starting out and living in a studio apartment and eating ramen, the thought of having more money can seem like a distant dream. However, you can make that dream a reality by launching a side hustle.

    Read On
  12. Five Places Where Rent is Under $750

    One of the largest expenses you have is housing. Renting an apartment can eat up 30 percent or more of your income, leaving little left over for building an emergency fund or paying off debt. In fact, the median rent nationwide is $1,001.

    Read On
  13. 5 Questions to Ask Before Relocating

    Moving for a new job — or at the request of your current employer — can either be an exciting or terrifying prospect. For some, getting to know a new city and possibly getting a pay bump along the way are big incentives to say yes. For others, change and uncertainty can leave them feeling anxious.

    Read On
  14. Job Searching? How to Clean Up Your Web Presence

    If you’re a recent graduate, you likely have polished your resume, bought an interview suit, and spend huge chunks of your day scouring job boards. However, if you haven’t taken the time to check out your web presence, you could cost yourself that coveted first job.

    Read On
  15. Why Roth IRAs Are the Perfect Retirement Tool for New Grads

    When you have student loans, rent and an entry-level salary, saving for retirement is probably the last thing on your mind. However, it’s important for your future. Studies have found again and again that Americans are unprepared for retirement. That means it’s likely that many could be in desperate straits when they are older. Starting to save now, when you’re young and time is on your side, can ensure you’re comfortable throughout your lifetime.

    Read On
  16. Affected By Equifax’s Data Breach? Here’s What to Do Now

    On Thursday, credit reporting agency Equifax announced that a cyber security attack on their systems occurred. The company says that the data breach exposed customers’ personal information, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers and even driver’s license numbers. They also got a hold of thousands of credit card numbers.

    Read On
  17. New Job? Here’s How to Select a Healthcare Plan

    Starting a new job can be exciting, but it’s also easy to feel stressed out by meeting your new team and completing all of the necessary paperwork. When your employer hands you the information on your health insurance options, you might be tempted to just pick the cheapest plan and move on. But doing so can end up costing you in hefty medical bills later on.

    Read On
  18. How to Break the Paycheck to Paycheck Cycle

    A staggering 49 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, meaning they have no savings. They’re completely reliant on the next payday to manage their expenses; if a paycheck is late, or an unexpected emergency comes up, they have no way to handle it.

    Read On
  19. 5 Lessons You Can Learn From a Bad Entry-Level Job

    When I graduated from school, I worked for a small, privately-owned business. And it was awful. I was supposed to be a writer, but they insisted I also act as the janitor, cleaning the bathroom and storage areas. The owner literally screamed a lot and relished employees’ tears. It was a terrible experience, and I was miserable. However, I did learn a lot from that short period of employment. Those lessons helped me later in my career.

    Read On
  20. 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Take a 401(k) Loan

    When you need cash for a downpayment on a home or when you hit a financial emergency, your retirement nest egg can look pretty appealing. You might have thousands stashed away in a 401(k), so when you need money quickly, taking a loan from your own account can be tempting.

    Read On
  21. How to Build a Work Wardrobe (When You’re Broke)

    When I accepted the offer for my first job, I only had about $100 to create an entire work wardrobe. And when I walked into stores, I quickly found that my $100 wouldn’t buy a single dress. I was frustrated and panicking because my start date was just a few days away. Thankfully, I did some research and talked to friends, and got some smart ideas to find cheap work clothes. I was able to start work with many office-worthy outfits that looked great, without overextending my budget.

    Read On
  22. How to Get the Best Deal on a New Car

    If you’re a first-time car buyer, the process can be overwhelming and a little terrifying. The idea of going up against a tough car salesperson can feel like a losing proposition. However, there’s a way that even the shyest people can negotiate and get a great deal. Even better, you’ll be in an out of the dealership in under an hour.

    Read On
  23. 5 Best Places for a Summer Road Trip

    It’s already August, so there are just a few weeks left to summer. No more lazy days by the pool or trips to the beach. But before you start feeling down, there is still time to have one last adventure before returning to the regular grind. If you’re on a budget, you don’t need to spend a ton of money on hotels or airline tickets. With gas prices the lowest they’ve been in years, you can have an epic journey with family or friends with a summer road trip.

    Read On
  24. 5 Top-Paying Careers in 2017

    The average starting salary for new college graduates is $49,785. While that number is a healthy salary, financial demands can make it difficult to make ends meet. Graduates are leaving school with an average student loan balance of $37,172, which can eat up a significant part of their income.

    Read On
  25. How to Save Money on Textbooks

    While college tuition is expensive enough, coming up with the cash to pay for textbooks can be difficult. The cost of books has skyrocketed in recent years. Since 1978, the price of textbooks has risen 812 percent. The average undergraduate student will spend approximately $1,300 a year on books. That high cost can add thousands to your college education, or can prohibit you from buying necessary books.

    Read On
  26. 5 Best Cities For New College Graduates

    Graduating from college is an exciting time. You’re finally done with classes, term papers and exams. From starting a new job to moving out on your own, your life changes drastically after school. However, those changes can be expensive. With expenses like rent and student loan payments, making ends meet can be more challenging than you expected. In the United States, the average rental cost for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,021.

    Read On
  27. How to Score the Cheapest Flights

    When planning a vacation, your flight can be the most expensive part. It can be more than your hotel, car rental and food combined. A pricey flight can cut down on the number of things you can do on your trip, or even reduce how long your vacation can be.

    Read On
  28. 5 Surprisingly Affordable Tropical Destinations

    Traveling the world is the goal of many people. Visiting foreign countries, seeing landmarks, and sampling new cuisines can be an incredible experience. But the price can be prohibitive for many. If you dreamed of traveling the world but have been delaying take the plunge, you might be afraid of the cost. Planning a vacation when you’re on a budget can be difficult. However, there are some beautiful, tropical destinations that are shockingly affordable.

    Read On
  29. 5 Ways to Protect Your Credit When Traveling

    If you’re planning on traveling this summer, your credit cards are essential. You’ll need one to do everything from checking into a hotel to renting a car. While credit card theft and fraudulent charges are always a risk, it isn’t as big of a deal when you’re home. You can quickly cancel the cards, and your credit card company will send you new ones right away.

    Read On
  30. 3 Ways to Lower Your Credit Card Payment

    When it comes to credit cards, it’s easy to lose track of your budget and run up a balance. In fact, the average credit card debt per cardholder in the United States is $4,061. If you have a high-interest credit card, your balance can grow over time, increasing your minimum payment and making it difficult stay on track.

    Read On
  31. How Your Credit Score May Affect Your Job Search

    If you’re interviewing for a new job, you know the importance of a polished resume, personalized cover letter, professional interview attire, and preparedness. One of the most overlooked factors that can affect your chances of getting a job is your credit.

    Read On
  32. A New Grad’s Guide to Credit Cards

    If you’re a fresh graduate right out of college, life can feel overwhelming right now. You just finished four years (or more) of school and now have to face problems like finding a job, moving into your own apartment and paying down student loans. Getting a credit card is probably not a priority right now, but not having a credit card can make life more difficult.

    Read On
  33. How to Score Credit Card Incentives Without Going Broke

    When it comes to shopping for a new credit card, there are hundreds of bonus offers and sign-up incentives. Sometimes worth hundreds of dollars, credit card companies tempt thousands of airline miles or cash back rewards to convince you to apply for their card.

    Read On
  34. What You Should Know Before Doing a Balance Transfer

    Most Americans have credit card debt, and the average household has a balance of $5,700. With the mean interest rate on credit card debt rising to 13.6% percent, your balance can quickly balloon out of control. You can end up paying hundreds or even thousands in interest fees, making it difficult to ever get out of debt.

    Read On
  35. 6 Ways to Build Your Credit History

    When I graduated from college, apartment shopping was a nightmare. I had a good job, a decent entry-level salary and I was only looking for a small studio, yet I couldn’t get approved on my own. Because I had been starkly anti-debt and never had a credit card or car loan, I had something worse than a low credit score--I had no credit at all.

    Read On

Editorial Disclaimer: Information in these articles is brought to you by CreditSoup. Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles.