Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Let's Just Say I Suck at Using Credit Wisely

I've had my credit cards for approximately a week and a half and already old bad habits are showing themselves.  With one credit card, I used it exactly as planned.  I bought hubby a bowling ball with it for Christmas and will pay it off at the end of the month and won't use it again.  With this credit card I will get a $100 REI gift card which is great.

With the other credit card, I figured I would pay my bills with it (cell phone, Skype, etc) and pay it off at the end of the month and since this is a cash rewards credit card it would be great because I will take care of my bills, build some credit, and get a little cash back to boot.  It didn't quite work out that way.

I did pay my bills with it for the month but when we were at the mall yesterday I used it to buy us lunch--two gyros for $15--because we were hungry and hubby wanted one and I wanted to treat hubby because I haven't spent freely on him in ages so I broke out the card rationalizing that it wasn't that much money and I will just pay it off at the end of the month.  The problem with this is that, had I been using cash, there is NO WAY I would have spent $15 on a quick lunch for us.  Using a credit card made it way too easy to spend frivolously.  And then hubby got his second bowling ball in the mail yesterday and it came with a $10 credit on our next order and since hubby will be doing a traveling league, I hopped online and bought him a three ball roller bag using the $10 credit--and my credit card.  I hadn't planned to buy him a bag, I was just going to buy him two bowling balls.  If I was spending cash, I would have waited to buy the bag and spread out my purchases over a few months.  Plus I've used my credit card for a couple of Baskin Robbins Blasts, a couple of purchases at the $1 store, and probably some random stuff I can't even remember.  Ugghhhh  bad bad habit!

Now most of my check will go to pay the credit card bills at the end of the month and this is certainly not how I want to live--using my credit cards then having to spend my entire income at the end of the month paying for past purchases.


  • I will pay off both credit cards at the end of the month.
  • I will leave both credit cards at home and put two $100 bills in my wallet to use for financial emergencies (I'm much less likely to break a $100 bill unless it is an emergency).
  • I will only use these credit cards once every six months (and in these cases, I will have the cash in the bank--checking not savings--to pay for what I purchase, and not rely on an upcoming paycheck to pay off the credit cards).
  • January AND February are going to be a no-spend/low-spend months since we have been spending like crazy this month and I don't foresee any reason that we must spend in the first couple of months of the year.  Also, I feel much better about myself and our finances when I am super careful with our spending instead of casually spending money because we have it (or because I have credit cards and I have money coming in at the end of the month).
  • We will use all of the money we don't spend on random junk during these months to put towards something we really want--traveling to Europe and hopefully Asia at the end of next year.


  1. That's a great tip about getting $100 bills! That's so true too!! Everyone hates to break a $100 bill! Will have to do that for my January no-spend!! Good luck with your goals! :)

    1. It works best for me. Having a credit card makes it too easy to spend money but I really hate parting with cash.

  2. Better to catch yourself now instead of waiting until you've gone too far. Then you might just have to change the title of your blog. lol!

    1. Very true. Credit Only Living could have been the title for my previous life and I DEFINITELY don't want to go back there!