We Use TikTok’s ‘Scary Hour’ Hack to Build Responsible Credit Card Habits

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Girl in a white coat and pink beanie holding a travel cup of coffee

I used ‘scary hour’ to budget shop for the holiday.

Tessa Campbell/photo library



  • My partner and I took inspiration from Laur Wheeler’s TikTok on the “scary hour” hack to make our own weekly ritual.
  • By implementing scary hour, we were able to stop overspending and prevent future credit card debt.
  • Here’s how this simple trick for approaching intimidating topics gave my partner and me the tools to conquer financial anxiety and establish more responsible credit card habits.
  • Here’s Insider’s guide to the best rewards credit cards.

After graduating from college and moving into my first apartment with my partner, I struggled to apply my learned credit card habits to my new financial situation. Between juggling multiple cards and learning how to budget, I was up to my knees in stress.

Both my partner and I felt defeated as we sat on the sidelines and helplessly watched our credit card balances increase each week. Despite attempts to establish a strict budget, our debt kept rising. We were at a loss.

But after taking inspiration from Laur Wheeler’s TikTok on “scary hour,” my partner and I established a weekly ritual that saved us from overspending and prevented us from incurring debt on our cards. Finally, I had a solution for discussing less-than-exciting topics that had previously never seemed to fit into my schedule.

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Here’s how this simple trick for approaching intimidating topics gave me the tools to conquer my financial anxiety and prevented me from accruing interest on my credit card.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Developing our own version of the ‘scary hour’ hack

Scary hour is a productivity hack created by Laur Wheeler (who goes by classiclaur on TikTok) to assist folks who struggle with tackling difficult tasks (like scheduling a dentist appointment or paying the electric bill) in an efficient way. Wheeler’s idea was that folks could designate 60 minutes every day to do all the tasks they had been avoiding.

My partner and I were instantly inspired by Wheeler’s TikTok and have now been implementing our own version of scary hour in order to pay off our credit cards. Instead of setting a 60-minute timer every day, we decided to schedule a weekly sit-down. Now, every Sunday morning we brew coffee, get out a pen and paper, and break down our credit card purchases.

Using the Amazon Prime Rewards Card for joint purchases

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Intro offer

$150 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval

rewards

Earn 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases with an eligible Prime membership. Earn 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores. Earn 1% back on all other purchases. Earn 10% back or more on a rotating selection of Amazon products and categories.

Chase Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Intro offer

$150 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval

rewards

Earn 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases with an eligible Prime membership. Earn 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores. Earn 1% back on all other purchases. Earn 10% back or more on a rotating selection of Amazon products and categories.

rewards

Earn 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases with an eligible Prime membership. Earn 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores. Earn 1% back on all other purchases. Earn 10% back or more on a rotating selection of Amazon products and categories.

Intro offer

$150 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval

Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

17.24% – 25.24% variables

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The majority of our joint expenses are charged to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

, on which my partner is the primary cardholder and I am an authorized user. In doing so, we were able to calculate, on average, how much we spend on purchases like groceries, gas, and home essentials.

In the first few months of owning the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, we hadn’t been paying off your purchases every week and actually ended up overspending. The problem was that we weren’t taking our existing card balance into account when budgeting for groceries, as we were only referencing the balance we saw in our joint checking account.

With the recent rise in prices (especially at the supermarket), being on top of how much we were spending was a must. And by paying off the entire week’s charges, no lingering payments could sneak up on us.

Since implementing scary hour in our weekly routine, neither my partner nor I have been late on a card payment. We’re able to pay our balances in full every month with little to no stress.

Establishing a budget based on last week’s expenses

By writing down all our purchases, my partner and I were able to track spending trends that we hadn’t taken into consideration in our current budget. Takeout and food delivery, for example, was a luxury we couldn’t always afford and, unfortunately, had been spending too much on.

So we cut back on ordering takeout and decided to cook more home meals instead. Almost immediately, we started saving an extra few hundred bucks every month. We used that money to either help pay off our cards or move it into our savings account.

Scary hour helped us budget our holiday shopping

Both my partner and I are givers. But as much as we want to gift all our friends and family with expensive presents this holiday season, it wasn’t a luxury we could afford. Instead, we used scary hour to analyze our holiday shopping budget to prevent overspending.

Instead of buying all my presents in one go, I took my time shopping around for the best deals and discounts. Then during scary hour, I was able to strategize my next shopping excursion and track how much I was spending on gifts in smaller increments.

Also, since we use the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card for most of our joint expenses, we were able to rack up a bunch of point rewards that we could cash in on Amazon.com as gifts. So not only were able to afford gifts for everyone on our list, but we were able to do so without the additional stress of lingering debt that can often precede the festive season.

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