‘I don’t want the interest’: Borrowing money gets more expensive

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — “I don’t want the interest,” said 75-year-old Annie Knight, a grandmother who lives in Southeast Memphis.

She said it’s “extremely important” to pay off her card every month.

“I try not to spend what I can’t afford,” she explained.

The Federal Reserve once again increased interest rates this week to cool off inflation. By making it more expensive to borrow, economists hope Americans will spend less money, making the prices of everyday goods more affordable.

“People who have debt will be very negatively impacted,” explained Professor Elena Delavega, a University of Memphis professor who has dedicated her life’s work to studying poverty.

With inflated prices, she worries that Memphis families will take on more debt this holiday season.

“We have a lot of pressures around the holidays,” she explained. “We are bombarded with ads for more decorated houses and more gifts and more presents.”

The founder of Moore Financial Services encourages Memphis residents to prioritize how they spend their money.

“Do not allow the state of the economy to stress you out,” said LaTina Benson, the financial consultant. “It’s not permanent. It’s a cycle.”

She recommended that families stick to their budgets, take advantage of sales and buy groceries in bulk, when possible.

“I think the concentration should be on not overspending,” she said. “If you are accumulating a lot of debt, you’re going to pay more interest on it.”