(Editor’s Note: This post is part one of a three-part series about credit cards. Given the topic of these posts, I want to offer a disclaimer: I am not a financial expert. I am simply sharing what has worked with us. If you’re looking for actual advice on credit cards – or anything financial – I recommend speaking to an expert. Personal finance is personal, meaning what works for us might not work for you. Now, on to the post)
We use credit cards all the time.
There. Now you know.
Not that it was a secret. If you’ve been following along for a while, you know I don’t think credit cards are evil.
On the contrary: I have had a credit card for 10 years now and I have used it, regularly, for all of those years (I wrote about it here).
I have never accumulated large balances due to reckless spending. And I have never paid a cent of interest on a credit card.
Still, when we started our debt-free journey, one of the first changes I made was to shift to a cash budget. This is a popular piece of advice for those beginning the journey and there’s a reason for it: it’s a good idea! It’s especially good if you are struggling with credit card debt – ditching the cards means you don’t add any more to your outstanding balance. A cash budget is a great idea for most people working to pay off their debt.
But while we certainly saw some benefits, a year later, we’re back to swiping cards.
Here’s why.Continue Reading