Why No Credit Cards? A Financial Friday Thought

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I used to love credit cards: it seems so magical that, if I only spent what I could pay off each month, a credit card would give me a perk that was totally free – cash back, points for a rewards program, or other positives. Even signing up for the cards gave me bonuses, and because I didn’t carry a balance and I avoided cards with annual fees, I got something for what I saw as nothing.

My husband felt differently though. In our dating time together, we discussed extensively what he saw as the downsides of credit cards. He knew people who had been seduced into over-spending by having that card available to them, and he told me that credit card companies charge businesses a higher fee than debit card businesses do. I countered with points I had heard about fraud prevention being easier with a credit card than a debit card, and having a credit card was a great idea for short-term large purchases so that you could move money around and pay it off quickly.

When things settled out, I had two options. My husband didn’t mind me having a credit card, but it was a matter of principle for him to not have one himself. I decided, however, that if he wanted to take a stand against deceptive marketing that traps people with a lot of debt, I was okay with joining him! I waved to my 2% cash back as it went away, but I also noticed something: my cash back promise had made me more willing, even just a little, to spend money. Not having it actually made me avoid certain purchases, and even just one of those purchases was more value than all the cash back I’d ever received.

I also liked the idea of daring to be a little different in a monetary system that has caused so much stress, pressure, and pain for people. I have no problem with credit cards personally, and they are really useful, especially at times of life when unexpected expenses come up all of a sudden. However, for me and for my husband, it made sense to try something else, and so far… it’s really working for us.

Is there any money or finance choice you’ve made that you know is unpopular or uncommon, but which has turned out well for you? I’d love to hear your success stories, even if they are successes that are specifically about having credit cards and loving them!

6 Comments, RSS

  1. teacherturnedmommyblog October 20, 2017 @ 1:11 pm

    my sons have been taught in school that debit cards are better than credit cards. I actually am of the other camp of thinking. I have credit cards and pay them off in full every month. We are pretty frugal which helps, but I like that they are not removing the money directly from my bank account. I feel like I have more control when I can see the bill come in, check it over for what I purchased and then pay it. But, I see both sides of the equation

  2. tiffanyintennessee October 20, 2017 @ 2:20 pm

    I agree with you all about avoiding credit cards, but my hubby likes to have one! I’m working on him. We pay it off every month, but I’d prefer we just use out debit card for all purchases. Thanks for the insight!

  3. Ravi Kashyap October 20, 2017 @ 2:53 pm

    I am with you for the perks that credit cards have to offer. Self control is the key though – there is a school of thought that says if you want to buy something, check it out and wait for few days. If it’s not really needed you won’t feel compelled about buying it.

  4. jackcollier7 October 20, 2017 @ 5:49 pm

    Since I travel a lot, I just could not do without my credit cards. However, I always pay off the whole balance each month ~ it makes sense for me <3

  5. Nicola October 24, 2017 @ 3:40 pm

    I used to avoid them like the plague .. things changed a bit when I came to Portugal where your basic account comes with a debit card and a fixed limit credit card equivalent to the minimum wage salary for a month. The main reason being that the debit cards cannot be used on-line and the credit card with its verification number can. As I live in the middle of nowhere being able to use a credit card to get printer supplies, without a 200km round trip it is money saving in itself. Then of course there is my travel habit – reserving hotels and flights without a credit card is a nightmare. I am very happy with the limit I have – it stops overspending, and where you need it for more can be easily topped up on line from my bank account.

  6. jasonlikestotravel October 26, 2017 @ 8:21 am

    Never owned a credit card, don’t know if that’ll ever change but I like knowing I can only spend what I have. Hope you can continue to thrive without one 🙂

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