The 21 Day Financial Fast challenges you to not use your credit card. I failed because I used my credit card to pay for gas. I had no intentions on using my credit card but I left all my cash home and I needed to get home, so I swiped that card. But I haven’t used my credit card for anything outside of necessities (just gas that one time) so I’m still winning.
I use to be of the opinion that credit cards were not bad if you paid off your entire balance every month. I felt that credit cards helped boost your credit score and they provided great incentives so why not have and use them?! And they do, do all of those great things but they are also a catastrophe waiting to happen if you do not handle them properly.
I have realized that when I carry cash I am more aware of how much I spend. But when I’m in a restaurant, enjoying good company and food, I ain’t thinking about cost when I’m paying with my credit card. In fact, I’m more likely to buy a bottle of wine or pay the entire bill cause it’s just something about great company, ambiance and my damn platinum American Express card that makes me want to give. LOL!
When I can see the cash and feel the cash, I’m more protective of the cash.
Although there are some incentives to using credit cards you need to be extremely disciplined if you choose to use them. Yes, you can pay the balance off every month and that’s great but what this book has taught me is that
managing your debts is not the same as spending less.
Research has found that people are willing to spend 100% more with plastic. Just think about it, why do all stores offer their customers credit cards? Because they know that you will spend more if you don’t have to pay for it now.
We are living in a world where it’s okay to live out of your means.
Everyone can afford luxury items. Luxury isn’t exclusive to the wealthy anymore. You don’t have the cash right now? No problem! Someone will lend you the money. Good credit, bad credit or no credit – it does not matter!
The onus is on the consumer to be mature and wise enough to understand where they are financially and what they can afford.
I’m still trying to figure out how I want to deal with my credit card. I have an American Express credit card that has an annual fee and I’m really considering closing it. My Visa card gives me the same benefits plus more (cash back) and they don’t charge me an annual fee. I do have a lot of points on that card so I’m still debating what my next steps will be.
The temptation to use my cards have dwindled significantly since getting on this fast. I am more knowledgeable of my spending habits and what I need to do to curb my appetite. I have 5 more days to go and I am confident that I can finish strong.
Here’s to all my cash carrying chicas!