myth: carrying a balance on my credit card helps me build credit

NOPE. The only thing carrying a balance does for you is cost you money in unnecessary interest. It's a (sadly) common misconception that every month, when your statement period closes, you should pay off some of the money, but carry a small balance over to the next month, ensuring that you pay a small amount of interest. People believe this helps improve your credit score.

Well sorry, it definitely doesn't. In fact, there is no difference as far as credit score goes with either approach of keeping a balance or paying in full. If you choose to keep a balance, the only thing you're doing  is tossing your money out the window. Making your payments, be it minimum or in full, is the ONLY thing that will have any effect on your credit score.

Since I have the Sallie Mae Rewards Master Card, I use my credit card every month for gas and groceries, which I budget for to ensure I can pay off the full amount each month, avoid interest, but also reap the $25/mo cash back rewards I get for using the card. It's a win/win, plus, my score is only improving with the responsible use of my card.

So stop being dumb and paying interest every month on your cards. Pay it off in full.