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2/17/10

cash or credit?

Due to the economy over the past few years, most of us have been re-thinking our priorities in terms of how we handle our money. What we buy, new or used, and how much can we save. What can we do without. How to pay for the things we do need.

There's a new way (not really new, just revived) of thinking these days. It's about buying ONLY what you can afford with what you have right now, in your wallet (or savings)! Of course that doesn't work for everything, but think about how much you could really be paying for with the cash you have instead of using credit or debit cards. And how much less it will really cost you!

Which leads me to: Move Your Money! Please! Big banks have got the little guys (us) by the you-know-whats and are beating us while we're down. There is a movement to quit the mega banks and end your abusive relationship now. Move your hard earned dollars to your local main street bank or credit union.

My money (what there is of it) is now at a credit union 2 blocks down the street from where I live. I have free checking accounts, even for my jewelry business. They know who I am. Extra bonus-I don't even have to fill out deposit slips.

I moved my one credit card balance to the same credit union and now enjoy a very low rate while I work to pay it off. I refuse to add anymore purchases to my card. Once that is paid off - I'm saying NO to the credit card companies. Even with the new laws that just took effect this week, I do not feel protected enough from these money sucking giants.

If you need extra incentive, take a look at this PBS documentary "The Card Game".

What are you doing to stay out of credit card debt? If you don't use credit cards, please share your game plan!

6 comments:

  1. This is a HUGE key to simplicity.

    "It's about buying ONLY what you can afford with what you have right now, in your wallet (or savings)!"

    The only time I use my credit card is when I am transferring money from my savings (takes 3-4 days) and need the float, not because I couldn't afford something. It's very simple if you have to wait 2 paychecks to pay something off, you actually can't afford it now.

    Another one I go buy is 'buy just what you need'; we don't always stick exactly to it, but are trying harder each day.

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  2. Yes, these strategies work really well! Just think of the tracking that is eliminated by buying less, and less often. Added bennie is the checkbook balances smoothly!

    Another idea I just implemented for purchasing fuel for the car: Where I live I receive fuel points every time I buy groceries. As much as 20 cents per gallon!

    However, to be able to take advantage of the savings, I need to use a credit card. I found out cash doesn't work in this case...of course.

    So to take care of two issues at once, I use a dedicated credit card with no outstanding balances to pay for my fuel at the pump, get the savings, and keep a card active. I then pay off the charges right away.

    I save on fuel and the credit card company can't use the excuse that my account is inactive to shut it down or charge extra fees.

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  3. I have thought of that too. Using the CC for reduced gas fees and paying off immediately. My only worry was being limited to "X" brand of gas or not being able to find one. Have you had that problem or is it okay?

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  4. I can go to any King Soopers (my local grocery chain) or any Loaf n Jug for the discount, which is just down the street from me, and usually has some of the lowest gas prices. It has been very easy to have access to the discount. Might be different if I was traveling out of state!

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  5. As you travel east King Soopers turns into Dillions and further east it is Krogers, and they all take King Soopers card for gas and discount in store.

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  6. That's great to know! Thanks. It's even easier than I thought :-)

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