Saturday, June 27, 2009

What types of purchases do I use my credit card for?

What types of purchases do I use my credit cards for? I use my credit cards for online purchases and for items like airline tickets, furniture, and anything that is over $200. This over $200 purchase needs to be the total price of an item.

However, I wasn't always like this and I didn't always have a rule for myself. Before when I was in debt I was using my credit cards for EVERYTHING- groceries, clothes, gas, decorations for my new apartment, etc. One day a few years ago, I learned a very important lesson about credit from my grandmother who grew up in the Great Depression. She told me that you should never use credit for "things" that will be consumed quickly like food, groceries, alcohol, etc. I wish I had learned that lesson sooner.

While I was living pay check to pay check I had some very scary moments. The most memorable and threatening memory to me revolved around not having enough money to eat. I went to bed hungry many nights because I had to pay bills that month (monthly rent was the big one). Here I was a 25 year old college grad with a good job and I was going hungry to pay my bills. Yes, I could have gone to my parents house for dinner but then they would have asked questions. I really didn't want to answer any questions at that point in my life. So, I decided to go hungry for many nights each month when my bills were due. Another lesson that I learned during this ordeal, you just never know what your co-workers, friends, and family members are dealing with privately. It is important to be respectful and kind to everyone.

Do I use cash? When do I use cash? Now, I use cash or my debt card for almost everything. I still use my credit cards for online purchases, restaurant meals, and furniture. I like to carry around $200 in cash in my purse now. As you can see I have a $200 trend going on. It actually started between my husband and I. We decided that anything that costs over $200 we would discuss with each other before buying it. So, I just continue to use this $200 rule in my day-to-day finances as well. It is just easier that way for me.

Do you have a cash rule for yourself? If you don't I would make up a cash rule for yourself now. This way you will stop to think about the rule the next time you are shopping. For instance, if you are single and your cash rule is $50 then delay purchasing an item that is over $50 until you weigh the pros and cons of that purchase. It is all about slowing down and thinking about what you are buying before you actually buy it. This way you avoid having buyers remorse later.

Also, I want to say Thank You to everyone who has emailed me or left comments. It means so much that I am helping you. I am truly grateful for the kind words and support. I have you all in my thoughts and prayers and I will continue to post my personal story of how I got out of debt.

Action Items:

1. Do you have a family member or friend who can keep you motivated to get out of debt?

2. Are your friends or family members toxic to your financial life?

Best wishes,


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