Do I Use Credit Cards Now?

One question I get asked a lot is do I use credit cards now that we’ve changed our financial ways.  It’s a good question in the context of “we were broke and credit cards screwed us…but having credit cards isn’t always a bad thing for everyone…”

It’s a fair question.  Some are curious to know if I am of the Dave Ramsey mentality about credit cards or if I’m ok with them.  Others want to justify their “manageable” balance.  The bottom line is I’m perfectly fine with couples who say they’re comfortable carrying a balance on their credit card, as long as they plan on carrying it for only about 25 days before paying it off.  I don’t agree with Dave that credit cards are an absolutely don’t do, but I do have Dave’s attitude about carrying a balance – it’s stupid.

Personally – Shawna and I even to this day don’t have credit cards.  First of all, we still use cash for our discretionary categories because that is the most surefire way to keep overspending under control (you can’t overspend cash).  Second, we have not seen a credit card rewards program that is any better than our checking account rewards at Perkstreet.  (Cash rewards are my favorite.)

So my answer for people when they ask about credit cards is “If I were in your shoes I wouldn’t use them.”  But for those who are still attached to the rewards and they’re already really good at controlling their spending and paying it off every month – I’m ok with that… as long as they’re being real about it and truly living according to a plan.

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