ALL THINGS FRUGAL, Home of The Pennypincher Ezine and Tightwad Tidbits Daily


Frugal Articles



























Category:  Money

Related Links | BudgetingCreditDebt |
| Identity Theft
| Investing | Retirement |

Credit Cards

 Can You Do Without Them?

By Terry Rigg

As we all know credit card debt is out of control. The credit card debt is currently $8400 per household at an average annual percentage rate of 14.7 percent. In fact, about 18% of all consumer spending is on credit cards and is expected to reach 30% by 2006.

If you pay your credit cards off each month or don't mind paying the interest they charge, by all means use them. However, entirely too many households are experiencing serious problems paying their bills because of their credit card debt.

Why do most people have credit cards? I believe that it provides a buffer just in case something comes up that they don't have the cash to cover. At least that's the original thinking.

In reality, once you have a credit card it is much easier to use than it is turning loose of your cash, even if you have the cash to pay for it. Also, we buy a lot of stuff with credit cards that we wouldn't normally buy if we had to use real money.

I have nothing against credit cards. They are handy and can provide some very valuable rewards like frequent flyer miles. However, in many cases the rewards are over shadowed by the interest charged.

I like cash much better. You don't have to sign anything and when you pay for something that's all it will cost you. No interest, no bills, no late fees and no penalties.

There are no special secrets to saving money to use for the things you need, however, there are a few tricks that many use.

Two of the best known, but underestimated, is saving your change or the dollar bill savings plan. Most people don't believe that these will provide enough money to do any good.

When my wife and I first started saving our change we were surprised that we could save about $75 a month just by emptying our pockets and purse at the end of the day. Believe me, at the time, I wasn't making much money and $75 seemed like a lot especially because we didn't miss it at all.

The dollar bills savings plan is just as simple. You never spend a dollar bill. If you buy something you simply use a larger bill. At the end of the day take all of your dollar bills and put them in a jar or box. It adds up quick.

There are a lot of ways to save money to avoid the need to use your credit cards but the key is to make it as simple as possible. Another important element is to think of that money as your "Crisis Fund" and not to be used to pay for your pizza on Saturday night.

The answer to the question posed in the title of this article is "Yes, you can do without your credit cards."

You need to remember, when you use your credit cards you are using your future income not only to pay for the items you buy but also the interest and other charges. Since these charges can add up quickly you need to think long and hard before you buy anything with a credit card.

Terry Rigg is the author of Living Within Your Means - The Easy Way and editor of The FREE Budget Stretcher Newsletter and Budget Stretcher web site He has 25 years of experience counseling individuals and families concerning their personal finances.

What other people are reading:

Get Cycling for Under $100

7 Easy Ways to Save Money on a Thanksgiving Feast

7 MORE Ways to Use Egg Cartons to Keep Kids Entertained

How to Be a Smart Electronics Shopper

Creating a Simple Teacup Birdfeeder




| Back to Top |

Category:  Money

Related Links | BudgetingCreditDebt |
| Identity Theft
| Investing | Retirement |

| Home |     Contact Info             Zero Tolerance for Spam      Privacy Policy