Why NOT Cut Up Your Credit Cards???

You hear it all the time. If you can’t manage your money, cut up your cards and pay off your credit card debt.

Well credit cards are so much fun, why would you want to do that? I’ll tell you why, they will ruin your life!

Actually, I have the answer for you, and it’s not cutting up your credit cards. It’s learning how to manage your money better. Credit Cards are simply a tool. They can be used for good or evil. Personally, I have my credit cards paid off and I still love to use them. Let me tell you why…

For one, they are simply handy dandy and make my life oh so much easier. I don’t have to worry about carrying cash, or writing out checks, or even balancing my checking account when I make purchases with a credit card. I just buy!

I can see where this would get people in trouble though. Major Trouble! You see, people love to buy, and love the convenience of credit cards as much as I do. What they lack is disciplined money management. But before you think I’m some great money manager, let me tell you how I got here.

To begin with, I never had a credit card till college. Oh, do they ever sucker college students into getting one of those shiny pieces of plastic. I did fairly well in college, but still ended up coming out with a little debt. Luckily I only had a $500 dollar limit.

After I graduated I started to upgrade my lifestyle. I started putting more and more purchases on my credit card. I even helped partly finance a new vehicle with a credit card. Crazy, huh? At one point my credit card debt was close to about $7,000. I know, some of you had it a lot worse, but some of you had it a lot better. And some of you never even got into this mess in the first place. To make a long story short, It took me 4 years to pay all that off. Not fun at all!

So here I am today with my credit cards paid off. I’m still using them, and still loving it. Haven’t I learned my lesson? Well that’s just it. I have…

I manage my money a lot better now. Part of my money management system includes credit card use. Here is a short list of my reasons for using credit.

  • I hate carrying cash. Makes my wallet too big, and it is big enough as it is.
  • Checks are a no go. Who wants to break a check out every time they want to buy?
  • Debit Cards are cool like credit cards, but you gotta watch your bank account. I have some friends who are afraid to use credit cards and instead bounce their accounts by using debit cards. Silly!
  • I buy a lot of stuff online. Credit Cards or Paypal are the best for me. Paypal is just one more step you have to worry about though.
  • I manage most of my accounts online. That way I don’t waste time running to the bank.
  • I have only three payments a month. Mortgage, Car, Credit Card. This sure simplifies things for me.
  • Rewards! By putting all my purchases on a credit card I get back at least $250 a year in rebates. I pay off my credit card every month now so this is like FREE money.
  • Protection. I am protected from fraud in every way, shape, and form with the company I currently use.
  • Plus credit cards are the only way you can buy such things as rental vehicles.

And that’s my short list. I know credit cards can be horrible for a lot of people, but managed correctly, they can be a great asset in your overall money management system.

And you know what? Before everyone starts telling me of the evils of credit cards I have one more thing to say. If you are at a point in your life where you have to cut up your credit cards, then do it. If you can’t control your spending, then do it. If it’s the only way, then do it.

But have some fun while you are at it! 😉

* This was featured in the Carnival of Personal Finance @ Money Ning.

Comments

  1. I’m all for managing money better rather than cutting up credit cards! They are really important as a “back up” last resort for emergencies, and the real problem is mismanagement rather than not needing them. I’m putting my hand up here also for being guilty of mis-managing credit cards, but I totally agree with your post. Being accountable for every dollar is a good place to start.

    Ross’s last blog post..How to stay inspired in tough times

  2. Hi Ross,

    Thanks for visiting. You are right, we need to be accountable for every dollar spent. Although credit cards are good to have for emergencies I would still recommend having a cash emergency fund that you can use of at least $1000 and up to 6 months of your living expenses. Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover is a good book to read on the subject.

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

  3. Hi there, I just found your blog whilst I’m hunting on online as I am seeking some material on debt relief!. It’s a very interesting website so I bookmarked you and intend to return another day to enjoy a more indepth look when I’m more free.

  4. Yup, you hit the nail right on its head and told it as it is. Keep up the great posts. BTW, getting into a large amount of debt is a nightmare and I learned it the hard way. I’ve since then almost paid up all of my debt though and wrote about it at http://HowToGetRidOfCreditCardDebt.org

  5. Great site! Nice post, I’ll stop by again.

  6. It’s unusual to read an article that talks about the good uses of credit cards. But I have to agree with the points that you made.

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