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