Living with credit

More breaches and more credit card news to know this week

Taylor Tompkins

This week’s (un)lucky number is: 43.9

That’s the percent of households with a credit card balance, typically one of $2,300. So do you want the good news or the bad news about that first? I will give the bad (better to rip the Band-Aid) – $2,300 is no chump change for the average household. That’s nearly two-and-a-half months’ worth of moderately priced groceries for a family of four, according to USDA estimates. The good news is, that’s down from last year, but only by $100. So maybe it’s more like bad and not as bad news.

This week

These are the things to look forward to this week.

Puerto Rico and the hurricane’s aftermath: More than 3.5 million Americans are still in dire situations a week after Hurricane Maria left most of Puerto Rico without electricity, water or communication lines. The lack of electricity has left the island to completely rely on cash for the coming weeks and maybe months as ATMs and card processing machines are down. You can donate with your credit or debit card to a vetted relief fund here.



What you might have missed last week.

Veggie Tales: If you’re considering a stop at Whole Foods to celebrate World Vegetarian Day or National Kale Day this week, you’re probably considered a crunch granola hippy by the rest of your family. But more to the point, maybe skip the in-store taproom or full-service restaurants. If you have already fallen to the allure of these parts of the superstore, maybe check out these tips on what to do after a data breach.

The gift of bankruptcy: Maybe steer clear of getting a gift card to Sears or Kmart for your sister’s birthday. If you have a gift card for a store on shaky financial ground, or worse, going through bankruptcy, you should spend it as soon as you get a whiff of it. But if that’s not possible, here’s a couple tips on what you can do if a retailer goes bankrupt while you still have a gift card. We can’t help you though if your sister insists Kmart is going to make a comeback.


Tangled in the web

Here are things from around the internet the staff are reading.

Here’s something in case you need your credit card to match your outfit.-Mashable

Oh, I forgot to mention the Sonic hack, too. –Fast Company

Some college football players stole credit cards to buy the most freshman grocery list ever. –SB Nation


Reach out to us

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If you think you see me at Whole Foods on my lunch break, email me at or catch me at @taylor_paige13 on Twitter just to be sure.

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