Day 8: Stop Using Your Credit Cards
If you really want to get out of debt, you have to change your money management habits. Primary among these is the use of credit cards. I realize that credit cards are convenient and easy-to-use. I further realize that you, like most people, plan to pay your balance, in full, at the end of the month. But, I also know, from more than 2 years of writing about the subject, credit cards can be very, very dangerous.
So, instead of balking at the idea of not using your credit card, how about giving it a try? Try to go one week, or one month, or three months without using your credit card. Monitor your spending. Use cash, checks, or debit cards. I dare you to give it a try.
If you stop using your credit card, I believe that the following will happen:
- You will be forced to stay “on budget” and live below your means.
- You will have to plan for future expenses.
- You will spend less than you make.
- You will NOT increase the amount of debt that you have.
- You will be more “connected” to your money, living with what you have and not what you plan to have.
- You will analyze your grocery and restaurant bills. No more sign-and-go!
- You will actually feel the pain of a$4 cup of coffee.
- You will have to deal with your money
Imagine trying to fill in a hole. Now, imagine that after every three shovelfuls of dirt that you put INTO the hole, I scooped a shovelful out of the hole. So, you put in three, I scoop out one. Over and over, you have to work hard, not only to fill the hole in once, but twice, even three times.
I could go into the technical details about how credit card companies work, tacking on new balances to old balances, putting payments towards balances with lower rates first, or changing billing cycles, mid-contract – but I’m not here to convince you that credit cards are “evil”. I’m here to suggest that you put your credit card in your wallet and ‘forget that it’s there’. Try if for a few months, and I bet you’ll grow accustomed to the idea of not worrying about credit card debt.
Have you stopped using your credit cards?. Leave a comment and let us know. If you are a blogger, write a post about life without credit cards and contact me. I’ll be more than happy to link to your post.Click here to read all of the 33 Days And 33 Ways To Save Money And Reduce Debt posts