Most Americans over the age of 18 have at least two credit cards each. From cashback rewards to single monthly payments, credit cards can be handy for sure.
However, they can also be trouble, especially for those who don’t take the time to educate themselves as to how to use credit cards smartly.
Even so, there are some people who simply cannot get credit cards because of bad credit or other reason. For those who can’t use credit cards, or those who don’t want credit cards, there are ways to get along without. Behold:
10 Tips for Getting Along Without Credit Cards
1. Live within your means – Really it can’t get any simpler than that. If you don’t want to buy on credit, and don’t want to get into debt, don’t spend more than you already have.
2. Pay in full – If you wish to make a major purchase take the money you would have used to pay your credit card bill each month and save it in the bank until you have enough to pay the item in cash, in full.
3. Don’t spend away raises – If you get a raise at work, pretend you didn’t. Take the extra money and put it away to save for wanted items and your future.
4. Trim the fat - Cut down on things you don’t need. Look over your grocery and other bills and see where you can trim the fat.
5. Count to 10, or maybe 7 – When you want to buy something that’s not a necessity stop. Wait a week and see if you still want or need it.
6. Comparison shop. Before making a major purchase, or any purchase, look around for the best bargain for the money. That may mean buying a more expensive product if it works more.Buy smart not cheap.
7. Save your spare change. Roll it up and bring it to the bank. I deposited almost $1,500 in change last year.
8. Use direct deposit. You have more of a chance of saving money when it’s deposited directly into your bank account than if you cashed a pay check or deposited it on your own.
9. Use a debit card if you don’t want to carry cash. This way your paying the item in full, with no interest. Anything requiring a credit card deposit, hotels, airlines, etc., can be paid using debit cards.
10. Create a monthly budget. Make sure all bills, utilities, groceries, mortgages and other household expenses are covered. Put a set amount into the bank. Anything left over is extra and can be put towards additional purchases.
Keep in mind…
When you don’t have credit or credit cards, life can be difficult. You’ll have trouble buying a house or car, and it might even be a problem when getting on a college financial aid program. It’s admirable to want to live without debt. Your best recourse is to get a low interest credit card and use it once or twice a year, paying it off immediately upon receiving the bill.
We all want to be debt free, but many times we need a credit card just to be able to get life’s necessities.