Living without Credit Cards
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated August 23, 2013)
Have you ever thought of living without credit cards? Many in today's society would say that this is impossible, or close enough to make little difference. The truth is that it is actually quite easy to do so. All you really need to do is keep in mind a few guidelines, and you should have relatively little trouble. Best of all, by living without credit cards you can very easily find yourself either on your way out of debt, or completely debt free.
- Create a budget. Simply creating a budget can go a very long way to helping you live without credit cards. The reason for this is that by creating a monthly budget, you will know exactly how much you have to spend each month, and where your money goes. This kind of information is a very powerful tool that can help you spend purposefully instead of impulsively.
- Use a debit card. There are some things that you simply need something like a credit card to do. Some examples of this are things like purchasing an airplane ticket, hiring a rental car, and so forth. Instead of getting a credit car to do this, get a debit card from your bank. In many ways, and to most places, there is virtually no difference between the two. The benefit of using a debit card is that you will be only using money that you have, and not money that you don't have.
- Use cash. Try to pay for everything with cash as much as you possibly can. Not only will you avoid using credit cards this way, you will be amazed at how quickly you stop spending when you actually see the money leave your hands.
- Need vs. want. Try to lean the difference between needing something, and only wanting it. Often times in today's society we have confused the two of these things. Avoid purchasing things that you want in favor of the things that you need. For example, when faced with the choice of going on vacation, or buying groceries you really should get the food.
- Layaway. Take advantage of stores that have layaway programs for the things that you want. This will also allow you to slowly, but surely, get the items that you want in an more affordable manner. Also, this is a great method for getting birthday, anniversary, and holiday presents without letting your loved ones know what you are getting, or that you have even gotten them something.
- If you must. If you feel that you absolutely must have a credit card (and frankly it is a good way to help build or repair your credit) then use it very sparingly. In fact, it would be best if you used your credit card in the case of extreme emergencies. This will necessitate that you know the difference between an emergency and something that you really, really, want.