It always kills me when I hear about people cutting up credit cards. It’s like a knife in my heart, or a hit over the head with a shovel. It’s just plain sad. I wish everyone understood credit cards, how they work, and what needs to be done to make them WORK for you!
Each of my credit cards is quite dear to me. It’s not that I sleep with them, or cuddle on the couch with them. I also would never buy them a birthday/anniversary card, that’s just plain silly. I do, however, take them out to dinner, take them shopping, and once in a while, take them for a manicure. I’m just super sweet like that! They deserve it. I mean, every time they come with me, they earn me MONEY. Nothing else does that!
My father always taught me that credit cards are fantastic tools, when you used them correctly. How do you use them correctly? You always think of them as CASH. If you want to purchase something, you make sure that you have the CASH to purchase it, but instead of using that cash, you use the credit card to make the purchase. Why use the credit card when you’ve got the cash right there? BECAUSE CREDIT CARDS EARN YOU MORE CASH, or other rewards. When you pay for things with plain, old cash, you just spend your money with no benefits. Well, I mean, you still get the product you purchased, but that’s not enough these days!
The cash you have, which you were going to use to buy the item you wanted, will go right into your savings account, or depending on what kind of card, you can pay it at the register soon after using your credit card. Let me explain that further. Let’s say you go to Target. Target has a credit card through their store. When you use your Target Red Card, you get 5% off every purchase, every day. HUGE savings. Now, if you had used cash to pay for your item, you wouldn’t get the discount. Make sense? Okay, so now you’ve used the store card, you’ve saved your money, now you can also PAY that credit card bill either at the register, or at customer service IMMEDIATELY following the purchase. So take your cash out, head to where you can pay the credit card bill, and know that you saved yourself money, but still have it all paid off with NO DEBT!
But wait, I don’t have a credit card through the stores I shop at. I’d have too many cards. That’s fine! Most stores don’t have cards that benefit you quite like Target, BUT there are plenty of cards out there, like Discover, or VISA, or MasterCard, which you can use to EARN CASH BACK with every purchase you make. KA-CHING. If you’re at your grocery store, you know you have $100 cash to spend on groceries at the store. It’s in your wallet, you know you have it. SHOP, get your stuff, use your coupons, your store loyalty card, and then when the bill tallies, USE YOUR CREDIT CARD. One that earns you CASH BACK. Many cards, like Discover, even offer extra cash back rewards for groceries during certain times of the year. Instead of earning just 1% cash back, you get 5% cash back. Then, you get yourself over to your savings account and deposit that cash, or if you’re DISCIPLINED enough, take the cash home and stick it in an envelope with other cash you need to deposit. Why make 20 trips, when you can make one, right? Gas is going up in price, might as well save on that part too!
YES, this requires discipline. YES, you’ll be looked at like you’re a nut. WHO CARES? Why waste the opportunity to earn cash back, as much or as little as it is, by paying for things with cash? EMBRACE your credit cards, make them WORK for you. Stop cutting them up, but instead, DISCIPLINE yourself and see such amazing rewards!!!