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Giving up credit cards, returning to cash

  • hrm we have credit cards but what we actually use daily are the bank check/debit cards so the money comes out of the account. i rarely have or use cash! i am not sure if i would spend less since i tend to have the problem of 'if i have the cash i spend it' problem... where as if i have the plastic i actually think about it more and plan it out. i know, i am so backwards!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 6th February 2008
  • I'm trying to give them up as well. My family and I have gone from two income to just one and I'm trying to live within the new means. Giving up the credit is just one way to do it. I do the debit card too instead of the cash it works out better for me this way. We just refinanced our home and they told us we have great credit but the news just gave me the urge to splurge
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by malena on 6th February 2008
  • I applaud everyone who can stick to a budget using cards! I guess I just find it too easy to forget about the numbers when I use cards. Whereas with cash...well, let's just say it's terrifying how quickly it disappears and there's something about physically seeing it dwindle that forces me to limit what I buy.

    Malena - I'm with you. I have had to adjust to living on a greatly reduced income in the last couple of years. In our pre-baby days, wow, I didn't really have to budget very much. I just bought whatever groceries I wanted and just about every month I'd buy clothes for work and play (always full price - never thought about buying on sale). Nothing very extravagant, but fact was I didn't have to worry too much. Hmm. Those were the days!!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 7th February 2008
  • Like monawea, we use an envelope system and only spend the money in our envelopes each month. My feeling is that it really does "hurt" to use the cash. I hardly even look at the grocery total when I use my card. But when I have to fork over 70 bucks in cash....yikes. I hate that. We also have a small emergency fund so that we don't have to resort to paying with a credit card. I think we proved that we can't pay the card off each month, so it had to go.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 7th February 2008
  • I no longer use credit cards. They aren't a deal...they suck money out of you at every turn. It just doesn't pay.

    I use cash. I will use a debit card for groceries and the like, but money for major purchases like furniture and cars, I keep in a money market account...and just write a check or use the debit card linked to it.

    At the end of the bills. No pain. No regrets.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 7th February 2008
  • Part of me would LOVE to get to a cash only system, but part of me also loves the freedom that comes with credit cards. My husband is currently disabled but in the state of limbo that exists between being on workmen's comp and actually disabled. So we are learning to live on just my salary and it is so hard. We're at a point where we can't stop using the card - not because we charge more than we can pay off (okay in january we did, but before that and this month we're doing good) but because if we switched to cash, we don't have enough cash to pay off last month's credit card and also pay this month's bills with cash.

    And honestly, I've had a credit card since I was 15. My mom co-signed with me to teach me how to use it responsibly. My husband's mom did not do anything like that with him and he has a real hard time with using credit responsibly. And for a long time he was responsible for himself and that was it, he lived with his parents so there was no rent, he didn't have any other bills, he didn't even HAVE a checking or savings account, so he was using a cash only system, but he spent it all and had no clue where it all went.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jenni on 7th February 2008
  • Hey there Jenni! I have a similar situation, only I am the disabled one, waiting since '07 to receive SSDI.

    I am fortunate that my husband has a job with good insurance, but we have had to spend a ridiculous amount of money on my health, creating unwanted debt, big time. This is why I handed over my cards. I shrugged my shoulders and zipped up my coat through this continual stormy economy.

    I know we aren't the only family to feel the pain from our current administration, but this time it got up close and personal and kicked me in the you know where

    I voted yesterday, so there! I have hopes for the groundswell of better things to come.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 8th February 2008
  • We haven't used credit cards for years. They are all paid up and closed. We use our debt card from our checking for everything. You can use it for reservations and what ever you need it for. We have some much more money. We don't inpulse shop. The kids have learned so much from this.

    After 9/11 my husband didn't work for almost 2 years because of the job market on the east coast was so bad for his field. Because we didn't have the extra bills of credit cards. We made it with flying colors. It was tight and sometimes I didn't think we could do it but we did. Now a few years later. My savings is back to were it was before 9/11 and everything is great.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by crazymomof04 on 27th February 2008

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