Made a decision one day about 10 years ago not to use credit cards. I discussed it with my husband and prayed. As soon as the decision, came the test. Both cars needed repairs. They say (whoever they are) you need credit cards for emergencies, but what did people do before? They prayed, they improvised. The cars got fixed without the cards. We got stronger in our resolve.
Then we went on a mission to get rid of debt….all of it. Little by little. Still owed money on those cards we cancelled. So each time we had money we paid one down. Then the bigger things. The cars got paid off. Finally sold the house. No more 1st & 2nd mortgages. It was very freeing to go to the RV place and say we are paying cash for that one.
This past year I applied for cards and got a couple, but I don’t like them. They require extra tracking by me. Because I fully intend to keep them at zero balance.
Credit Card Myths:
- You cannot rent a car without one….yes, you can.
- You need them to help your credit rating…no you don’t, just pay your bills on time.
- You need them for overdraft protection- no just don’t over write your account. I don’t recommend overdraft protection at all because, if it is caused by fraud you may be out more money before it is resolved. I would rather have the check bounce or the debit not go through, if someone is trying to hack my account. A thief won’t get very much from me before I am aware there is a problem. I check my bank balance daily with my morning coffee.
- Credit cards are safer to protect against fraud…don’t think so. A thief put an erroneous charge on my debit, I notified the bank, canceled the card and got my money back. It took longer to get a similar issue resolved on a credit card.
- You need credit cards for emergencies….the problem here is one must first define the word emergency. Is someone dying or a building on fire? That’s my definition of an emergency. Most other things are planning issues. Save money, so when the car needs repair you have it. Having a car down is an inconvenience, in most cases, not a real emergency. Use Uber or a taxi. For a real emergency, it is better to have cash. So keep some cash in your firesafe at home, then if you are evacuated you won’t need to wait for a bank to open to get gas.
There are times when it may be necessary to borrow money, but a fixed amount with a fixed interest is in my best interest. Then I can plan in my budget to pay it back in a fixed amount of time. If I must have a credit card, I must also budget to pay it off every month or I am not really budgeting at all.
My Dad used to call one card which was know as “revolving” credit, revolting. My depression era parents knew credit cards were not a good thing. I wish I had heeded their advice sooner. It would have saved me a lot of struggle. They lived into their 80’s and enjoyed retirement with no debt and a good nest egg. I hope to follow in their footsteps as my hair begins to gray. Thanks, Mom & Dad for your example. I will be doing tributes to them on Mother’s and Father’s Day.
If I can help you make a budget plan to pay off your cards, ring my bell!