On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter of a point. That's the sixth rate hike since it began raising rates from when they were at near-zero in December 2015, and there are three more increases predicted for 2018.
Why does this matter outside of the finance world? Because, simply put, when interest rates rise, the price of money rises too, Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, tells CNBC Make It: "That ripples out to every business, every consumer, every municipality, even other governments all over the world."
For the average consumer, it means that lots of things can become more expensive. And especially for those saddled with variable-rate debt, like credit-card debt, it can seem alarming. But don't panic.
"At this point, a rate hike is a vote of confidence in the economy and reflection of the fact that the economy is doing better," McBride explains.
Plus, there's plenty you can do to protect your own finances. Right now, "worry is not the right word," McBride says. Instead: "Take action."
Here are four ways you can insulate yourself from rising interest rates.