cash... or charge?

@ruthinian (2311)
United States
May 5, 2008 1:27pm CST
With the crazy interest rates that credit card companies are imposing on the card members, the US Government finally will intervene to regulate these abuses and to protect the consumers. My hubby took a bank loan to pay off his 3 credit cards that are eating up all our bills. It was the best decision he made. We are still struggling but then, we are surviving the nightmare of high interest rates. Now, when we go shopping we spend cash or debit card. In this case we are able to monitor our finances and wont spen beyond our limit. It's hard to spend money that you don't have. What about you? Do you still pay cash or charge it on your card?
3 people like this
15 responses
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
6 May 08
I haven't had a credit card in eight years and my sister just got one recently for one store to help build her credit a bit. We charge very little on it and pay it off right away. For everything else we pay cash and often use our debit card for it. We don't have much money so if we added a lot of credit bills to our current ones we would be in trouble. You are right, it is very hard to spend money you don't have. One reason we don't have the cards but also why we don't have checks. We have a check card but no actual checks. My sister and I are both manic/depressive and when we are deep in either phase it is really easy to blow money we don't have. This way we can't. Once the money is gone it's gone so we try to spend it wisely.
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
I agree with you. You really need to have a great deal of self-control in spending your money otherwise, you will be the one in trouble. The credit card companies don't care.
1 person likes this
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
7 May 08
Of course they don't care. They just want their money and if you spend then they get more, that simple. That's why they will increase limits or let you go over your limit. I'm glad I don't have them anymore.
• Philippines
6 May 08
I still use cash to pay for stuff. It is the best way to monitor your spending power. At least with cash you still have the power to monitor if you do have enough cash to spend. Unlike with credit cards, which is tempting at the same time you can't really monitor how much you do spend. Plus, you still have to consider that credit cards do have charges and whether or not they claim its lower than the other, it still is additional charge on your part. Maybe if you get to add all your accumulated charges you could bought something out of it if it was in cash. It really takes a lot of will power to stay away from the temptations of a credit card. I should know, I had been addicted with it. But with our economy now, one should stay wise and think of the future.
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
I agree with you, cash is the best way to deal with your finances. Credit card is like a devil's advocate. You feel powerful in a store because you know you can take whatever you want because you can swipe. But then you will realize eventually that your hands are tied and you cannot escape anymore, specially if the interest rate is going up like crazy.
• Philippines
7 May 08
That is so true. Just a small plastic card and it can provide you with a very big problem in the long run. It really is so much tempting when you have it inside your purse. Truly a devil's advocate.......how I wish this shiny small card can be as cute as keanu reeves.......two of the devil's advocate. hehehe
@anawar (2406)
• United States
6 May 08
I run my finances with my debit card and twenty dollars in my wallet. I'm careful with what I spend and luckily_ I don't want to own a bunch of things. I keep two credit cards I use with discretion and caution. I only charge what I know I can pay off within a few months. It's always good to have at least one credit card for emergencies. If you have trouble controlling credit card spending, place all your credit cards in a freezer container, fill it with water and yes, freeze your credit cards. It stops implulse buying because you really have to think about what you're doing while you wait for those cards to thaw out.
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
I agree with you, credit cards should be used for emergency only otherwise, you will be buried alive in debt if you don't know how to control it. And freezing it will really keep you away from temptation.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
7 May 08
Thanks for replying to my comment. I like it when people do that because I know it can be hard to keep track of every discussion. Frozen assets work, don't they?
@jesbellaine (4157)
• Philippines
5 May 08
As much as possible, I pay it with cash so that I don't really have to use my credit cards. i only use credit card if I am really out of cash and needs to buy something. I always limit the use of my credit.
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
I agree. Credit card should be used for emergency only.
• Philippines
8 May 08
Yup, better to use the credit card for emergency purposes only so that I don't have to pay a lot of loans or debts.
@mikeysmom (2094)
• United States
6 May 08
we are struggling to get out of credit card debt. once i get them paid off i am not using them anymore unless i have an extreme emergency. i will transfer balances to 0% interest rate until i can get them all paid off. last year we paid off some but we still have a long way to go. sometimes it really worries me but i cannot think about it all the time or i will not be able to function. hopefully the government will intervene but it is doubtful since the banks and the government are in each other's pockets.
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
That's sad. And the saddest part about it is that, you are paying more on interest than the real amount of your debt. That is why, my hubby took a bank loan and the bank paid off all of his 3 credit cards. Now, he is paying only the bank and the amount that he is paying is lesser if you have to add up the bills that he was paying for the 3 cards before. He can sleep now.
@NCgirl (488)
• Philippines
6 May 08
Hubby and I had problems with our credit card bills too. Once he gets paid this next month, we're going to pay off all the credit card bills and cut it all off. It's just so streesful that you get different kinds of charges every month, even if you didn't use the card at all. So right now, we are spending by cash or debit card--to be safe. So we could have this discipline with our spending. Credit cards are just and will always be a temptation to buy something that you don't even need. And I agree with you, it's hard to spend money that you don't have. It's like you charge it now, and you'd be paying for a long months for that certain item. Oh well.
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
I know what you mean. Been there, done that, so to speak. That is why, now we are stress-free. We are only paying our bank loan and was able to get rid of the 3 credit cards. We are not paying half of what we are paying before. We are paying more on interest than on the real debt that we have.
@razcal2267 (15577)
• United States
6 May 08
I fell into the credit card mess awhile ago and took what seemed like forever to get out.It was bad for me because although I had a credit card I rarely used it. It really was just for emergencies. That is until I got sick and needed to pay bills that I wasn't able to. The credit card became my go to. I now still have a credit card, tat is paid off but I do not use it. It is once again just for emergencies. For me now cash is the only way I pay for things. I take that back. I use my debit card online. This might not be the choice for everyone but it is what works for me. Like you said monitoring where the money is actually going is a big part of it.
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
Same with me. I learned a hard lesson on credit card and self-control. Now I am debt free and I use cash. I agree with you, credit cards should be for emergencies only and you need to have great deal of self-control to be able to avoid temptation.
• Indonesia
6 May 08
you described the disadvantages of using credit card well. using credit card(s!), we tend to spend beyond our limit. i have visa but i have never used it . i prefer pay cash.
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
Yes. But I already learned a hard lesson on this. Now I am free from debts. I prefer cash too.
@scrawl (374)
• India
6 May 08
You should check out badcredit offers programmes. It was conceived to help consumers with less-than-perfect credit rating You can still monitor your finances and maintain a modest living, while trying to recover financially
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
I see. Thanks for sharing. I would do that.
@lingli_78 (12852)
• Australia
6 May 08
i still use credit cards to pay for my bills and purchases... the only reason is because i get points from it and i can exhange it for vouchers, goods or cashback... and i got up to 55 days to pay off... so i got nothing to lose as long as i make sure that i pay off the balance every month and don't owe them money... my principle is, if i don't have the money, then i won't buy it... take care and have a nice day...
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
Good principle. I agree, why buy things when you don't have money to pay for it. It will only bury you in debt if you can't pay for it.
• China
6 May 08
I use credit card seldomly. Not I have some problems with that, just i don't like going shoping but enjoy staying at home sleep or watch movies, therefore I have no chances to use it.
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
Good for you. I wish I could do that.
@bowtieguy (5931)
• United States
5 May 08
All my pay is direct deposit so I don't susualy have any cash on me. I use my debt card most often and for larger orders I will use my visa since I don't have to pay it all off right away.
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
I see. A lot of people are using debit cards too because the company pays directly to the bank. I guess it's more convenient and safe.
• United States
5 May 08
My husband and I have not used credit cards in about 6 years. The bank we have our construction loan through recommended we get one to build up our credit a little. We got one, used it and paid the balance every month. Now that we have been approved for the mortgage, the card has been paid off in full and cut up. We use cash or the bank/debit card only. Our goal now is to get my student loan, the car (one is paid for one still has a loan on it), and the business loan all paid off. It is a good thing my husband is stronger than me...I like to shop too much and would never have us out of debt as far as we are and I would never even attempt to do what he wants us to do now.
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
You are right, having a good financial management skill will help you deal with money matters. Same with us, we already have straigthened up all our finances so that we will be able to keep track of everything and be able to pay the bills on time to avoid interest which in my opinion is the real problem.
@tonibabe (189)
5 May 08
i use my cards but i am very organised and make sure i always have the money before i spend it! it does worry me alot about the price of living going up i dont no how we will be able to afford it if bills go up any more! i dont want to get into debt but the way things are going we mite do!
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
You are right. We should know our limits in spending so that we will not have problems with paying the bills.
@ebsharer (5519)
• United States
5 May 08
We normally use cash or debit. The only credit cards we use have no intrest. Like for instance we are remodeling our house so we use our home depot card often. They are always running specials if you spend over X amount you get no intrest for a year or six months. We use it and are sure to pay it off before the "no intrest" period is over. Once the card is paid off we start over. So in a way we are using credit and in a way we aren't. We have a lot to do in our house and this is the only way we can do it. I don't mind using credit cards as long as they are intrest free and I know we can pay it off in that time period. It works kind of like a lay a way for us. We have 3 cards that are intrest free right now. Home depot isn't always but we only use it when it is. Our Chase card is intrest free for a year and our Citi is intrest free for bill payments. We only use that for the Upromisse money you get.
@ruthinian (2311)
• United States
6 May 08
I agree with you. My hubby has this credit card for a certain jewelry store and he can only purchase jewelry for it with no interest. I don't complain. He bought the jewelries for me anyway.