I have always been conscience about how I spend money, but lately that hasn't been the case. Over the last six months we have had financial ups and downs that have caused me to re-think the way I do things. My credit cards have become a crutch for me to fall back on, knowing there was available money if we needed it. There is a dependency issue that has formed, and I am working on breaking it. This is how much money I will save by losing the credit card crutch, and what steps I need to take.
Out of sight, out of mind
I carry three cards with me daily. One happens to be my debit card, which doesn't give me any leeway. The other two cards are always screaming to me about charging one thing or another. There have been times when charging was necessary, but most of the time it's not the best option. I plan to take the cards out of my wallet to avoid impulse buys.
With the two cards I carry with me, my monthly payment is $50 combined if I pay only the minimum due. I also have three online stores that have given me a line of credit. One payment is $27 a month, one is $60, and the last is only $25. My total monthly payment for all my lines of credit is $162. While that amount may not seem like a lot, it is enough to cover two of our necessary bills.
Right now my total debt is only $2100. It is a lot for us, but some folks have that balance on one card. If we pay down one card or line of credit a month, we can eliminate the debts in approximately four months.
Knowing how to properly use the cards
I often get caught up in needs and not wants. Over the last two weeks I have stopped myself multiple times when thinking about buying something I don't need. I plan to close two of the three open lines of credit, and keep one major credit card. When using those, I am hoping that I can pay off the balances each month, or at the very least not carry over more than a few dollars here and there. I will remove the cards from my wallet and keep them locked in our safe box, which will reduce the temptation of spending without justification.
Getting rid of the credit cards completely will save us $162 a month. I plan to still use them intermediately, but the dependency issue is being met head on. These steps are taking me in the right directly financially, and this is our year to get financially fit!
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