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ChristyJ
09-02-2008, 07:02 AM
Except for gas and medical co-pays that pop up, as of Sept. 1st we've put away the credit cards.

Any tips from those of you who don't use credit cards?

This is gonna be slightly tough for me as I'm used to using them on a regular basis (although we pay the bill off each month). I know it will feel good to see minimal amounts on the bills that come in though!;)

tinkerlisa
09-02-2008, 07:13 AM
I put mine in our safe. My husband to be has the ONLY KEY!!!:rotfl2:
We use only one credit card and that is the DISNEY VISA! It is tempting to use especially with X-mas around the corner but we are really trying to scrimp for our trip next Sept!

dvcgirl
09-02-2008, 07:16 AM
We use CCs for nearly all of our purchases, month in and month out and pay them off monthly. Why do you feel the need to get rid of them if you have control over your spending? Are you trying to follow the Ramsey plan? Just curious.

tinkerlisa
09-02-2008, 07:36 AM
Honestly, at one point i did not have control over my spending! I have a good hold over it now and I want to keep it that way. We put all our bills on one card and we pay it off every month. I hate seeing a "high bill" so keeping our bills on one card helps me control my spending on unneccesary things! And I feel better knowing that the points from the Disney Visa can go towards another vacation!

tinkerlisa
09-02-2008, 07:37 AM
We use CCs for nearly all of our purchases, month in and month out and pay them off monthly. Why do you feel the need to get rid of them if you have control over your spending? Are you trying to follow the Ramsey plan? Just curious.



What is the Ramsey Plan anyway? Just curious.

eliza61
09-02-2008, 07:41 AM
What is the Ramsey Plan anyway? Just curious.

Dave Ramsey is a popular financial Guru. He's published a lot of books and has a cable tv show. Many people here have done his money make over and swear by it. He wasn't my cup of tea but you can google him and get an idea.

I use my cc's for every thing and pay it off at the end of the month. I like getting the airfare points

campingdude
09-02-2008, 07:43 AM
Just be sure you actually put the credit cards away aka... don't carry them with you. I'll second the Dave Ramsey plan to an extent. I don't agree with all of it but the majority is good advice.

Moeluv4u7
09-02-2008, 07:50 AM
We haven't used CC's in over 8 yrs- (I am very temted to pick up the Disney Visa though- just for the perks-)
& right before I closed out our CC's I started paying balance in full every month- I figured if I couldn't fit the purchase into my monthly budget- I couldn't get it- Was very hard at first- Especially if I ran into a major sale- Start using store layaway if you really can't pass an item up- Most will allow you to lay-a-way sale items as well- I use my bank card (debit/visa) for any ordering I do and it must be in my account or I don't get it- I do admit that we have a few different accounts now- Which I also did when we closed out all cards- When I decided to do this I started an account w/ $200- I figured for just in case co-pays, and such I would use the seperate account- and every month I have 20% of my salary added to it- We also did the same w/ DH's pay into another account- (both are checking accounts that we did not order checks for) We also have an actual savings and a money market (which is never supposed to be touched except for extreme needs- i.e. major home repairs, unexpected appliance replacement, etc) We don't stick to a strict budget per se but I learned to shave some expenses that were unnecessary- i.e. mags that are seldom or never read, lunch at work being a take out Chili's or Applebee's, now is lunch from home & maybe once a week I get my fav salad at Chili's (Quesadilla Explosion) the immense amount of food trips we made to grocery store for "extras", every time we stopped at gas station we saw that we spent for more than gas! :scared1: That one was really the worse & now we keep a small cooler in the back of my van w/ juices and such, always grab a snack bag of something from the house when we go shopping and that ended the quick stop "extras"-(I will also buy a family pack of gum and such to keep for shopping trips out since the kids will still ask for that) We also don't eat out or order in as much as we used to-If you are willing to cut back on a few splurges you can do it! Oh! & we have 5 kids so our extra spending was outrageous! Even $1- a person for a bag of chips & $1.50 for a drink ended up being crazy money-
the next thing you have to do, when you start doing this, whatever it was that you would have spent on that "splurge" add it to the "relief account"- after a while you will see how much "OMG!" :eek: money you were spending that you didn't need to- Good Luck!

tinkerlisa
09-02-2008, 07:50 AM
I use my cc's for every thing and pay it off at the end of the month. I like getting the airfare points[/QUOTE]

thats what i do. only i have to many cards and thats why i put all but one away!

tinkerlisa
09-02-2008, 07:55 AM
that is great advice about the food thing. we were eating out at least twice a week and spending so much there! now its down to Dunkin Donuts once a week and no take out food. we bring our own! we saved a lot of money by doing just that alone!
we also started a savings jar for things we sell that we dont need anymore. we take all our kids old clothes to consigment and put the money away!

minnie1928
09-02-2008, 08:00 AM
I use my cc's for every thing and pay it off at the end of the month. I like getting the airfare points

thats what i do. only i have to many cards and thats why i put all but one away![/QUOTE]

I carry one CC and put all my gas/groceries/etc. stuff on it and pay it off at the end of the month with money I've already put aside to pay for these items. The other positive thing about carrying 1 CC is that if I lose my wallet, I know exactly which card was lost No calling 8 different companies to report it lost.

I like the cash back points too:woohoo: !

tinkerlisa
09-02-2008, 08:03 AM
LOL I never thought about the lost wallet thing but you are right!!! That is crazy trying to get your life back on track after losing your wallet. My soon to be neice had her car broken into and all her stuff was stolen! including a bunch of CC's and her license! She was trying to put her life back in order when it happened again! twice in a period of like 5 months!

Moeluv4u7
09-02-2008, 08:13 AM
LOL I never thought about the lost wallet thing but you are right!!! That is crazy trying to get your life back on track after losing your wallet. My soon to be neice had her car broken into and all her stuff was stolen! including a bunch of CC's and her license! She was trying to put her life back in order when it happened again! twice in a period of like 5 months!


Oh Wow! That really has to hurt- Talk about the headache! :sick:

irish_trip_mom
09-02-2008, 09:43 AM
I have "check ID" on the back of all my credit cards....and I couldn't find my license over the weekend, so I couldn't go spend! Yes, there are some places that I wouldn't have to show my ID, but to go do some major damage, I'd have to have both the card and the ID!

I am a self-admitted Target addict (call it the Mothership!) What I am trying to do now with my free time (now that the kids are in school) is fill my days with projects around the house...painting, gardening, sewing, etc.

tinkerlisa
09-02-2008, 10:11 AM
Lol My addiction was WALMART!:rotfl2: I would end up going there 2-3 times a week. Now when I go, its once a month and its a BIG shopping trip. I get all my neccesities: Diapers, Wipes cleaning supplies, if we need any OTC medicines, all in one trip. that way i am not wasting gas either!
and it helps to have a list and stick to it! and to "fill up" free time i have, i work out now, weed my garden, and my scrapbook!

DMickey28
09-02-2008, 10:45 AM
I am having a hard time putting my amex away. I am trying sooo hard. I keep looking at the budget and seeing what I have to pay it off with next month and use it. Then next month when I have to pay the bill I have less than I thought and I get pissed off!! The Amex (or any CC that you need to pay off every month) is a vicious cycle and I can't seem to break it. :confused3 I have a vet bill i need to use it for this week but otherwise it's done ... I swear....

monorailsilver
09-02-2008, 11:58 AM
Good luck to you!

I so far have not used my CC's since August 5th when I checked into the Poly.

I need to pay them off! I do keep them on me for that extreme emergency but I have been super good & I won't shop if I don't have money right now.

So the first month wasn't so bad.

tinkerlisa
09-02-2008, 12:04 PM
It is hard trying not to use them. Most people think that its free money at first. Then that first bill comes...

KristinU
09-02-2008, 12:12 PM
I haven't used CCs in over a year and a half. Ramsey follower here - cash is king for me and on the pay periods that I'm too lazy to get cash to stock my envelopes and use my debit card instead, I definitely see that I spend more and I'm not as cautious as when I have to hand over those little green pictures of presidents.

My parents and my good friend are both poster children for the "pay it off for the points" game - both have had the "lost payment" issue and have been smacked with finance charges because of the CC company's problem. Not worth the hassle of the points, IMHO. Sometimes I am really tempted, but then remember the fiascos that they've been through and also remember that I spend less so I end up ahead of the points game anyway.

I also like the identity protection that cash affords. No worries when a big grocery chain's database gets compromised.

How do I make online purchases? I'm not nuts about using our "main" acocunt's debit card, so I keep a linked account at our CU that we keep a little $ in - I just transfer $ to it electronically when I want to make a purchase. I also have a similar setup at ING - all of the $ for our various funds is in seperate savings accounts and when I want to buy something I just move the $ electronically and instantly to the ING electric orange debit card and complete the transaction. An extra step that sounds complicated, but really isn't.

XYSRUS
09-02-2008, 12:48 PM
If you're disciplined enough to buy within your means and pay off the CC every month, there's no reason not to use one-especially one that give cash/credit back. My Blue Cash from Am Ex is great! No limit on the cash back. But, if one needs to do cash to be able to realize where all the money goes to, well do that then until you get yourself under control. My little one even told the grocery store clerk that "I cannot get that b/c Mommy ran out of money." -meaning I was at my self imposed limit for that month. My kids know to stop whining when I say I'm out of money. Then they start again in a few days!;)

jlparedes
09-02-2008, 01:01 PM
I shredded all of ours except our Disney Visa since we'll be going in another month and a half. I am using Dave Ramsey's envelope system and it seems to be working great. I just take out what cash I'll need each week and put it in it's own envelope (ie; groceries, gas, etc) and once that money's gone, too bad so sad. The first week we did this we ended up having soup and sandwiches 2 nights for dinner because we didn't plan well. But we all survived and we've paid off 2 bills so far. GL to you, I think it's the changing of the habits that's the hardest.

ceecee
09-02-2008, 01:05 PM
I prefer to carry a CC rather than cash. If it's stolen cash is gone, a CC can be cancelled. I have never had an issue with the bank charging me interest or any late fees and I pay it off every month. I also know I will be paying it off every month and don't charge just to charge.

KelleyD
09-02-2008, 01:32 PM
i have the basic idea of the envelope system. A couple of questions...what are your envelope labels? and I have direct deposit...would i just take all the money out of my acct for the envelopes?

Thanks for any help. I am so done withmy cc.

KristinU
09-02-2008, 05:37 PM
i have the basic idea of the envelope system. A couple of questions...what are your envelope labels? and I have direct deposit...would i just take all the money out of my acct for the envelopes?

Thanks for any help. I am so done withmy cc.


Everybody will be a bit different, and ours have morphed over time but here's what I carry around:

Groceries (for me this includes cleaning stuff and health and beauty stuff)
Copays
Family Fun
Clothing
My "blow" money (i.e. my "free to use as I wish" money)

At home we keep an envelope for DS's "commission" (we follow Dave Ramsey's method of having him earn it and not calling it an allowance)

Electronically we keep "envelopes" (seperate ING savings accounts) for:

Emergency Fund
Home and Garden
Vehicle Taxes
Vacation and Travel
Vehicle Maintenance
Gifts

When we get paid (direct deposit for both DH and me) I move the budgeted amounts to the various ING accounts (if they're getting funded) then I make a list of the cash I need to fill the envelopes with the budgeted amounts. I used to make an itemized list of denominations for the tellers and go into the credit union and withdraw the cash, but for the last couple of months I shifted the budgeted amounts slightly so they're all in $20 increments, which makes it much easier to go to the ATM and withdraw and not have to worry about lobby hours.

This all sounds complicated, but I do it in excel and keep a tab for each month's budget broken into our two pay periods. I just copy the previous month forward and tweak as needed...so it is pretty much on auto-pilot now.

KelleyD
09-02-2008, 07:43 PM
Thank you so much for the detail. I keep thinking I am ok - then i get that bill where everything added up and I cant seem to get ahead...I am going to try your system...

MrsPete
09-02-2008, 08:45 PM
This is gonna be slightly tough for me as I'm used to using them on a regular basis (although we pay the bill off each month). I'm missing something. If you're paying the bill off each month, what's the problem with using the cards? Credit cards themselves are neither good nor bad -- they're simply a tool. What's good or bad is whether you're spending within your means or beyond your means.

estherhead
09-02-2008, 09:29 PM
I also remember that I spend less so I end up ahead of the points game anyway.


I just decided to do cash as of Sept first too! And the reason above is one reason. We have been using our Disney Visa & paying it off at the end of each month and have $350.00 Disney Dollars accrued for our trip this year. Though I enjoy the perks, I know if I had to hand over cash instead of credit I would have been able to save more than $350.00 in the last year.

For some this might not be true, but I know myself. I did a trial run last week to see if I wanted to commit and it was obvious the very first day that I would spend less with my cash. I passed right by the 75% off table of straw bags that I didn't need but were "cute." No way I was spending my precious cash on closet clutter!

So I'm all for you & all for any support or ideas anyone has.

tonilea
09-02-2008, 09:38 PM
I'm missing something. If you're paying the bill off each month, what's the problem with using the cards? Credit cards themselves are neither good nor bad -- they're simply a tool. What's good or bad is whether you're spending within your means or beyond your means.

According to what we learned in the FPU class by Dave Ramsey, most people spend 30% MORE when using plastic in any form. I know it is true for me.

ChristyJ
09-02-2008, 09:40 PM
I'm missing something. If you're paying the bill off each month, what's the problem with using the cards? Credit cards themselves are neither good nor bad -- they're simply a tool. What's good or bad is whether you're spending within your means or beyond your means.

We are paying them off each month, but we've had a few months of big extras (e.g., a root canal, my oldest daughter starting braces with a big down payment, in-laws' 50th anniversary, 5+ months of physical therapy, then chiro appt co-pays, etc.). I also think it's very easy to run to the store for a few items and end up with many more items things when it's credit vs. cash. We've been able to keep up with paying things off each month, but I would rather have more in the bank and think that having cash vs. credit will help with that.:confused3 We saw a show on one of the morning programs about a couple who always used cc and paid them off each month, then switched to using cash and ended up saving something like $1800 because they weren't doing all of those little extras. That's what I'd like to do.

C.Ann
09-02-2008, 09:41 PM
If you can't pay cash, then don't make the purchase..

For larger items, start saving before the actual "need" (or "want" - ie vacation) arises..

I'm sure it will be difficult to retrain your spending habits initially, but eventually it will become second nature and you won't even think about it anymore..:)

ChristyJ
09-02-2008, 09:46 PM
I just decided to do cash as of Sept first too! And the reason above is one reason. We have been using our Disney Visa & paying it off at the end of each month and have $350.00 Disney Dollars accrued for our trip this year. Though I enjoy the perks, I know if I had to hand over cash instead of credit I would have been able to save more than $350.00 in the last year.

For some this might not be true, but I know myself. I did a trial run last week to see if I wanted to commit and it was obvious the very first day that I would spend less with my cash. I passed right by the 75% off table of straw bags that I didn't need but were "cute." No way I was spending my precious cash on closet clutter!

So I'm all for you & all for any support or ideas anyone has.
;) My Kohl's card has been for those fun extras, and I usually validate it with the fact that I'm getting an extra deal of 15% or whatever by using my card. I've bought some things we've needed, but usually it's something like another bag or pair of sunglasses or the cute hat I bought at the beginning of summer (and wore once:rolleyes1 ).

According to what we learned in the FPU class by Dave Ramsey, most people spend 30% MORE when using plastic in any form. I know it is true for me.

I'll be willing to bet I fall within that statistic.

ChristyJ
09-02-2008, 09:48 PM
If you can't pay cash, then don't make the purchase..

For larger items, start saving before the actual "need" (or "want" - ie vacation) arises..

I'm sure it will be difficult to retrain your spending habits initially, but eventually it will become second nature and you won't even think about it anymore..:)

I'm very good about saving for the big things, esp. the vacations;) . It's those darn little things that get me. I'm hoping my willpower holds out.

carj
09-02-2008, 09:51 PM
I just decided to do cash as of Sept first too! And the reason above is one reason. We have been using our Disney Visa & paying it off at the end of each month and have $350.00 Disney Dollars accrued for our trip this year. Though I enjoy the perks, I know if I had to hand over cash instead of credit I would have been able to save more than $350.00 in the last year.

For some this might not be true, but I know myself. I did a trial run last week to see if I wanted to commit and it was obvious the very first day that I would spend less with my cash. I passed right by the 75% off table of straw bags that I didn't need but were "cute." No way I was spending my precious cash on closet clutter!

So I'm all for you & all for any support or ideas anyone has.

This is me too! If I am spending cash, I know exactly how much I have spent. It is easy to forget about credit card purchases because your don't actually see the money going away.

estherhead
09-02-2008, 10:23 PM
Here's an analogy: If you had a chocolate chip cookie sitting on the counter, would you eat it? But if you had to bake chocolate chip cookies would you eat one?

I just know for me that the easier something is to abuse, the more likely I am to abuse it. For some, this is not true. They are disciplined. Like my dh. He is disciplined. If I tell him we have no money, he spends nothing. Not one dime. But me, not so disciplined. I'm OK, but not great. It is true that we pay our cc off each month, that is true. But we are truly spending at our limit.

Wouldn't it be great to spend below our limit? That is what I'm hoping for this. We have some medical bills and I'm hoping to pay them off sooner than later and it would be great to have the extra cash to do so. And to not have to organize the extra crap I don't really need that I'm buying just because I can. Ya know?

And any perks we'd get for the credits cards would be less than I can save this way. I can already tell.

thomas998
09-02-2008, 10:31 PM
Something to consider is that merchants are charged about 2% by credit card companies each time someone buys something with plastic. Unfortunately most states don't allow businesses to charge extra for buying with a credit card (darn the banking lobby).. so the merchants add on that cost they are charged by visa and mastercard onto every price... so if you pay with cash the merchant gets a nice windfall and you get nothing... but if you use a credit card then you can usually find one that gives you points or cash back that amounts to about 1% of what you spend.... so if you can just pay it all off at the end of each month you are actually saving some by getting the cashback or points... frankly its worth it you just have to be certain to pay off all at the end of the month

minnie1928
09-03-2008, 06:22 AM
Here's an analogy: If you had a chocolate chip cookie sitting on the counter, would you eat it? But if you had to bake chocolate chip cookies would you eat one?

Ok, I was feeling pretty good about myself and my spending habits using a CC. I'm pretty "tight" (as DH would say) so I typically only buy what we needed and I use my CC to earn points.

Then you had go and throw chocolate into the equation! Not only would I eat the cookie, I would grab it in a quick but non obvious way so that none of the kids knew that there even WAS a cookie...that way I could eat it all myself. If I had to bake the cookie...I wouldn't do that because then I'd end up eating the whole batch.

Cash/Credit I can handle....Chocolate I can't!!!:worship:

estherhead
09-03-2008, 06:41 AM
Ok, I was feeling pretty good about myself and my spending habits using a CC. I'm pretty "tight" (as DH would say) so I typically only buy what we needed and I use my CC to earn points.

Then you had go and throw chocolate into the equation! Not only would I eat the cookie, I would grab it in a quick but non obvious way so that none of the kids knew that there even WAS a cookie...that way I could eat it all myself. If I had to bake the cookie...I wouldn't do that because then I'd end up eating the whole batch.

Cash/Credit I can handle....Chocolate I can't!!!:worship:

LOL! :) Yummo, chocolate chip cookies!

TY31088
09-03-2008, 07:13 AM
Except for gas and medical co-pays that pop up, as of Sept. 1st we've put away the credit cards.

Any tips from those of you who don't use credit cards?

This is gonna be slightly tough for me as I'm used to using them on a regular basis (although we pay the bill off each month). I know it will feel good to see minimal amounts on the bills that come in though!;)

We stopped using our cc at the start of the year, except for gas. I got turned on by Ramsey too.

We track every dollar we spend on a spreadsheet. We start the week on Fridays with a preset amount of money (the same amount each week). DW and I spend a few minutes discussing our upcoming needs/wants such as golf, haircuts, etc and we go ahead and plan this in the spreadsheat along with a few dollars each for pocket money. Groceries are bought on the weekend. It really makes you think twice before you spend the cash, like the nights when we don't feel like cooking dinner and would rather order pizza, if we don't have the extra cash left we find something in the pantry that is easy to fix or maybe run to McDonalds for double-cheese burgers off the $1 menu.

We just spent way too much money when we actively used our cc, it was just too easy to buy "stuff" we did not need. Even though we did pay the cc off each month.

If we have a big purchase to make we will use a cc to get points but we have the money set aside to pay the card off.

WendyisDarling
09-03-2008, 07:29 AM
We use our CC for a lot of purchases and pay it off. I hate having the big end of the month bill, too. Yet, I like getting the perks.

This is what I have been doing lately to be sure the CC spending stays within our budget. Like many people, we have automatic bill pay through our bank. Ours is free and I imagine that is the case for many people. Every couple of days I get online and check my CC statement (or you could keep track of receipts) and go ahead and make the payment through online bill pay. If I buy something online , I usually go straight to my bank account and make the CC payment, even if it is just $10. I don't wait for the end of the month statement. I pay as i go. I record the payments in my checkbook and use that balance to be sure things are under control. My statement will often show dozens of little payments. It may be a pain for some people, but I love getting those perks and this way I don't have a bill that may have gotten out of control.

We just returned from a vacation that was paid for with CC points :thumbsup2

jnzimm
09-03-2008, 10:41 AM
thats what i do. only i have to many cards and thats why i put all but one away!


I have only one cc and use it for everything and pay it off monthly. Talk about losing your wallet and putting your life back together. What about losing your wallet w/o a cc in it but cash and all your other id. I will take my chances losing cc that way I don't lose any thing unlike cash lost forever.

tinkerlisa
09-03-2008, 11:04 AM
I do the same thing: One credit card. I have too many. And at one point, my spending was outta control! But i took care of it I do one "BIG" shop once a month for things we need like diapers and go grocery shopping every 2 weeks and i watch for sales. saves on gas and I find that when i have a list, i stick to that and am less likely to just buy whatever my heart wants! It hard to have the cash ready on hand. we have our pay direct deposited into our checking account. i like the points i get from my CC.